Off the back of ‘Living Poets Society’ released last month on In The Balance Records, we spoke to G00SE about his musical influences, rhyming over his own beats and joining In The Balance. Photo Credit: This and That Media
First up, tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a fun-loving, bubbly Capricorn who loves walks on the beach and Indy movies (that one’s actually lifted from my online dating profile). I’ve been writing hip hop lyrics for about ten years now, producing hip hop for about 5 years and being rejected for dates on my online dating profile for about 3 years. I grew up in the West Midlands but have made Bristol my home for the past 8 years, which I now consider my musical hub. I help run various hip hop events in Bristol, including Scribble N Scratch – a live graffiti battle night – and host a live hip hop open mic alongside hip hop band DeCyphers, of which I am a member.
Where did the name G00SE come from?
It’s actually a childhood nickname given to me by my sister, so nothing particularly gangster rap about it. It’s not from the movie “Top Gun” so if people could stop asking me about that that’d be great. The “0’s” were added instead of “O’s” ahead of my last release, for legal reasons, as there’s some Belgian house DJ’s or something called “Goose”. Maybe one day we’ll collab.
You released Living Poets Society on In The Balance records, how did the hookup with Verb T come about?
The Verb T hookup actually came through my good friend Chillman who I’m in hip hop group Verbal Highz with, alongside Entra P and Coosie. Chillman had already dropped his ‘Abstract Patterns’ LP on In The Balance records and put my music in Verb T’s ear who then hit me up to release my EP. Verb T is such a great guy to work with and I really love the work ethos of In The Balance as a label so I was pretty stoked about it to say the least.
Whats the furthest thing from Hip Hop you take influence from?
I would have to say the furthest thing from Hip Hop – and also my favourite musician – that I take influence from is Polish composer Frederic Chopin. He was the first musician I listened to that made me realise that music isn’t just something you hear, it’s something you feel, and something that can speak to you on a profoundly deep emotional and spiritual level. For me his music is so powerful that it has transcended the art form of music and entered the realm of shaping my own philosophy on life (partly aided by reading up on his life and himself as a person). Such is the power of music.
I read that you produced all tracks on Living Poets Society, what challenges and advantages do you face when producing and then writing to your own music?
I would say the only “challenge” per se is that it obviously takes more time and work to produce a beat and then write to it as well. I would mainly say it’s advantageous as I get to put out music that is solely my own vision of what I want it to sound like and there is no compromise. Whilst collaborating with other producers and writers is a great way to diversify your sound, I love the creative control of being able to produce and write my own music entirely.
If you could work with any producer dead or alive who would it be?
In terms of overall record producers it would have been a dream to work with someone like Curtis Mayfield or James Brown. In terms of Hip Hop producers, the names that spring to mind are people like Pete Rock, Buckwild, Easy Mo Bee, Nick Wiz, Godfather Don, Lord Finesse, Showbiz. The list is endless really. I’d die a happy man if I could work with any one of them! I’ll be waiting by my Sony Ericsson for Pete Rock’s phone call.
3 albums you couldn’t live without?
I always find it difficult to choose a “top 3” or “top 10” etc. of anything, as I find it so wavering and it can change greatly depending on my mood. In terms of hip hop, I’d say 3 staple albums that I will always consider greats are Big L’s ‘Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous’, Jedi Mind Tricks’ ‘Violent by Design’ and Epidemic’s ‘Illin Spree’.
What’s next for you?
The next release for me is an album that Chillman and I are working on that’s produced and written entirely by the both of us. We’ve already started recording that so it should be in your lugholes by the end of the year. There’s also a lot of In The Balance records madness which I’m not sure I can speak about yet but definitely watch that space. I’ve also got my solo LP creatively completed so will be dropping that hopefully next year.
Give us a tip for 2018.
Wear sun cream if you’re English and the temperature goes above 14 degrees Celsius, read more and watch less, and check out the music of Hex One.
Gotta give a shoutout to my neighbour who told me to turn my music down while I was making a beat because it “sounded like it was going to give him psychosis”. Big love to my Verbal Highz family, my partner in rhyme Social Conscience, Habitus, Dusty Sounds studios, all the ITB fam, Ben Laird and of course a massive shoutout to Dfacer and the whole UKHH crew. Mass respect!