After becoming a sensation at age 10 with powerful covers of Alicia Keys songs on national television, Gabi is primed to become a pop star in her own right. Gabi's star is on the rise and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. When she sat down to talk with GoGoMix, we discussed her transition from child star to adult pop singer, acting, and a few of her favorite things. Check it out!
GGM: You’ve had a couple incredible opportunities to perform on National Television. Can you pin down which performance is your favorite?
GW: That’s a hard one! It would probably be my most recent performance on 106 & Park because I finally did original music and people are finally starting to understand who “Gabi” is as a musician and artist.
GGM: You’ve been in the industry for ages, but your debut album is coming out soon and you’re becoming a recording artist in your own right. Have you felt any pressure transitioning out of being a “child star” and becoming a recording artist in your own right?
GW: The transition was definitely a humbling experience. It was exciting. I started out playing instruments on television when I was around 9 or 10, doing shows like The View and Today Show, and eventually I got signed to RCA. They allowed me to become my own performer. Before I was doing covers of Alicia Keys songs and other people I looked up to. Then they got me working with those people like Alicia Keys and Babyface. It was mind-blowing and very surreal. I’ve also learned a lot, and I’m very grateful I have a team that allows me to find myself, grow, and develop my artistry.
GGM: “Something to Prove” is a really hot track. I noticed that it musically quotes a little bit of the Isley Brothers and that sample is super-iconic from Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa.” Can you talk about how that song came about?
GW: I was in the studio with some very talented producers, Pop and Oak, who know I look up to older artists like The Isley Brothers. They pulled out “Between the Sheets” and I automatically thought “The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World” by Keith Murray, and also Biggie. And then I thought about some experiences I could talk about and I came up with something not really happy, not really sad. I just started singing some melodies and it came to be.
GGM: You’ve done a bit of acting. Can fans hope to see a return to screen in the future?
GW: Oh, most definitely! I really enjoy acting! I wanted to do music first and use it as a platform to get into acting rather than the other way around. I feel like it’s more respectable that way. But yes, definitely! I'd love to do more acting, perhaps on a serious TV show, or perhaps a TV show of my own!
GGM: I know you’re very influenced by Prince and Alicia Keys, so if you can nail it down, what would you say is your favorite Prince song and your favorite Alicia Keys song?
GW: My favorite Prince song is “I Would Die 4 U”. I really love the energy of that song. And my favorite Alicia Keys song, and there’s so many that I love, but I think my favorite would be “If I Ain’t Got You.” That song means a lot to me. She put so much emotion into that song.
GGM: Have you seen any good movies lately?
GW: The last movie I saw was 12 Years a Slave. That was a while back, but it was a really, really good movie.
GGM: What kind of TV do you like to watch?
GW: I watch it on occasion. I’m big into Netflix. Right now, my show of choice is Cake Boss, cuz I’m really obsessed with baking. (laughs)
GGM: Okay, out of curiosity, what is your favorite thing to bake?
GW: I really like baking peach cobbler and cupcakes!
GGM: Are you reading anything currently?
GW: I’m actually reading this book called The Secret. I’ve just started reading it but I’m really into it. It’s about the secret to making things happy for yourself. I can’t tell you too much because, you know, it’s a secret (laughs). It’s just a really good book about life.
GGM: What’s the best behind-the-scenes story you have from the music business?
GW: Hm, let’s see. Yes! When I was eleven years old, and I’d just started off in the industry, I went to this producer, Rodney Jerkins. I went to his studio. He’s famous for Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, people like that. One day, I was leaving the studio, and we drove to the corner, and we were just about to leave, and Rodney was running down the street with a phone in his hand. He came up to the car and said “Someone wants to talk to you!” He handed it to me and was like “Oh, by the way, it’s Michael Jackson.” So Michael Jackson was on the phone, and he said “I’ve heard a lot about you. You’re very talented!” I was totally freaking out. My mom was in the car crying!
GGM: Wow! That’s an awesome story! And finally, can you talk a bit about what fans can expect from your debut album, or is it too still-in-production?
GW: My album is almost done. You can expect it top of next year. It’s very musical but still young, something fresh. A lot of different genres on there. I think my music takes people on a musical journey. It’s old school, but with a lot of new flavor. I’m really excited to share the different sides of “Gabi.” I put a lot of heart into all the different songs I wrote and produced.
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