Gavriel Releases Stacked Collaborative album "Extrovert" [INTERVIEW]
Over the last few years, Rockland County, NY based artist Gavriel has been slowly but surely carving a lane of his own in the music world. With his ability to cross genres and pen memorable and relatable tunes, it seems his steady-flow of releases have helped him find a growing and devoted fan base and there is no doubt his sound is resonating. Hot on the heels of the release of his most recent album, "Extrovert", we took a minute to chat with Gavriel so we could get some more insight into his background, creative process and inspirations.
The new project is a collaborative effort that sees Gavriel teaming up with a number of other ultra-talented artists to create a dynamic and impressive 9-track release that takes listeners from stunning ballads like, "Here by Your Side," to smooth Pop bops like, "That's Just Life," to fresh Folk feelings, like Yousef David collaboration, "I Am Awake". From beginning to end, Gavriel and his cohorts combine their efforts to craft a stunning and incredibly cohesive album that promises to have something for everyone. While each track on the album has something different to latch on; attention grabbing lyrics, smooth melodies and slick production are present throughout, ensuring that while the vibes may vary, the quality remains top notch.
Having been hooked through the entire rollout of this project, we felt it only made sense to set up an interview, ask some questions and give Gavriel and his new album a bit more shine. If you do nothing else today, throw this album on and let it rock - and if you feel like learning more, keep scrolling and peep the chat.
RockDafuqOut x Gavriel (Interview)
RDFO: When you first started playing piano at 4 years old, were you instantly hooked by it? How long did it take for you to really find a spark/interest in playing?
Gavriel: I instantly was hooked by music. Whether harmonizing while singing songs with family and friends, playing piano or playing drums. Piano was an on and off relationship for me in the beginning because the focus in any lessons I would have was to read and play already written songs. I never wanted to play other peoples’ music. I wanted to play what felt right when my fingers hit the keys.
RDFO: As a kid when you first began to perform, did you find being on stage to be easy for you or were you nervous/did you get stage fright?
Gavriel: I was a bit of a shy kid and had a lot of social anxiety growing up so performing was absolutely terrifying for me. Although, once I started it’s like I went into a trance and the music just flowed out of me. So all of the nerves dissipated.
RDFO: At this point, what other instruments do you play? Which are you best at? Which is your favorite to play?
Gavriel: I now play piano, which is still my favorite instrument for most things and for getting lost in. I also love playing guitar, as I find it extremely easy to write lyrics with a guitar.
And drums is an instrument that I absolutely love, although apartment life leaves me at a loss for the ability to have a drum set with me these days. Ukulele was a huge help for me as well as guitar was too difficult for me to play at first and Uke helped me Segway into guitar eventually.
RDFO: Growing up in Rockland County, NY, did you find your hometown had a flourishing musical community or was it hard to find like-minded musicians there?
Gavriel: The Orthodox Jewish faith, as a whole, tends to be filled with beautiful singing of haunting melodies that I often join in on in the synagogue. So practicing harmonizing was very easy when I spent a lot of time around singing without any instruments on shabbos.
RDFO: Seeing as you’ve played music nearly your whole life, what was it that made you finally launch your solo project in 2020 and so far, has the reaction to your music been as expected, worse or better?
Gavriel: Getting married mid 2019 sparked a lot of inspiration in me which let me to start writing. After that things just kept moving in he direction that music was clearly the path I need to embrace. Thankfully the response has been overwhelmingly positive and that constantly encourages me to keep on writing and producing.
RDFO: We couldn’t help but be impressed by your new collaborative album, “Extrovert”. How long did it take to finalize this project and how did you go about selecting the artists that finally landed on the release?
Gavriel: This album took over a year all in all. Some songs were written longer than a year ago and some were written within a few weeks before the album dropped. Finding the artists was mainly a matter of seeing who’s music moved me and then, more importantly which artists moved me as people.
RDFO: Out of all of the songs on this project, which is your personal favorite/means the most to you?
Gavriel: The song which touches me the most is probably, "Here by Your Side." Something about the way the pre-chorus hits really just gets me in the feels instantly.
RDFO: Regarding the work-flow on this album, how involved were you in each aspect of its creation? Did you produce the project? Is there anyone on your team that played a bit part behind the scenes helping you make it all come to fruition?
Gavriel: I did a lot of the production on the album, although all of the artists gave massive input and in most cases did some coproduction as well. Yoe Mase was also a massive help as he helped me finalize the album and coproduced a bunch of the tracks.
RDFO: Are you currently still completely independent? Who have you been using for distribution and is the end game to eventually get signed or would you prefer to stay the course as an indie artist?
Gavriel: I’m currently working with an indie label called Two Keys for individual releases. Nik, who runs the label, is an amazing person and I hope to always work with him in some way or another down the line. My goal right now would be to get on a label like Nettwerk or Glassnote. Honestly it’s been a dream for a while, so hopefully they read this haha
RDFO: Since you’ve launched your project in 2020, what are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned? Have you had any major let downs? Is there anything you wish you had learned earlier on that you think other artists should keep in mind from the jump?
Gavriel: The hardest lesson I learned was that quick stream jumps tend to mean a lot less than you want them to when they’re happening. This journey can be a long and slow one at times. I’m nowhere near where I hope to be and even now I struggle to stay positive about that fact.
RDFO: Seeing as you are from Rockland County, was the Palisades Mall a hangout spot for you as a teen? What is your favorite store in the mall?
Gavriel: Palisades Mall is an awesome place. The AMC there is pretty fire. Full reclining seats and whatnot.
RDFO: Do you still call it the Tappan Zee Bridge (like most of us New Yorkers) – or do you now call it the Mario Cuomo bridge? Lol
Gavriel: I’m Tappan Zee for life and nothing can change that lol
RDFO: How supportive is your wife and is she your biggest fan? Does she make music/involved in the industry?
Gavriel: My wife is amazingly supportive in very real ways. Not just superficially.
She doesn’t create music or play any instruments etc but she has very good taste from a consumer perspective, which I find extremely helpful when I’m uncertain about the way certain lyrics or Melodie’s sound.
RDFO: When you are in a car driving or as a passenger, do you like to take the aux?
Gavriel: I hate taking the aux simply because of the pressure that comes with being the road-trip manager. And sometimes I’m surprised by another passengers’ unique taste in music (but usually not).
RDFO: So far, what has been the biggest highlight/most exciting moment/favorite performance of your career as a solo artist?
Gavriel: Selling out my first solo show at the Rockwood Music Hall felt really really good. It’s the first and so far only solo show I’ve done.
RDFO: Do you find It hard to stay ahead of the curve or does creating/finalizing/releasing come easy for you?
Gavriel: I have way too many releases scheduled honestly. If I had it my way I’d be dropping albums all day
RDFO: Seeing how well things have gone so far, what are some long term/short term goals you currently have for yourself and your career?
Gavriel: Nettwerk, 100k consistent monthly listeners and being gifted strats and the such would be pretty epic haha.
RDFO: If you could sum up your opinion of the music business as a whole in two sentences, what would you say?
Gavriel: Rough times. Go into real estate.
RDFO: What is up next for Gavriel?
Gavriel: The flip-side of, "Extrovert".