ENERGY NEVER DIES
Moe: Hello, Ganda. Thank you so much for hanging out with us. How are you doing?
GVNDV: I'm good. I'm good. How are you doing?
Moe: I'm doing great man. I'm excited to talk to you about this music. I want to talk to you about your song, “Energy.” but before we do that, feel free to introduce yourself and tell us where you're from?
GVNDV: I go by the name of GVNDV (Ganda), Gavin Isaiah. I'm from Chesapeake Virginia. I'm just out here trying to come up in the music world for real, for real. Trying to hold it down.
Moe: Fantastic! Let's talk about your vibe, okay? When I listened to your song the first time, I realized it's very hypnotic. Your opening line was, “energy never dies.” What kind of energy are you sharing with your audience?
GVNDV: Right now, definitely positive energy, you know, just something uplifting. Everyone has their own vibe. I try to set the tone to be relaxing, but still energetic, you know?
Moe: I got it. And where does that vibe come from? Like, what is the source of your lyrical genius?
GVNDV: Oh, for real, it just comes from my role. Me wanting to guide people with music especially with the new sound that's been out, you know, I really like it. A lot of the old school people don't really respect the new sound. I respect it. I just think more could be done with it, so I try to incorporate lyricism into everything I do. I just try to get in the middle and mix it all up.
Moe: Now it’s interesting that you brought this up because this topic was going to be further down in conversation. You were talking about today's music, and how some people are kind of critical of it. What is it that draws you to it and what genre are you talking about? I’m asking because some people don’t know what genre you are referring to.
GVNDV: You see, like, I don't respect the names for it because people like to categorize it. I think it's very creative what people are doing, like more auto tune and melody based music. If you think about it, good music has always been melody based. So, it's getting back to a point where now in Hop Hop where that matters more than the melody matters more than the lyrics. Lyrics have always been important to me though and they always will be.
Moe: What you're saying is extremely important.
GVNDV: Yeah, so, I think it's not to be shunned. You know some people just completely shun it. You know yourself that music incorporates itself. Eventually, it all links up, you know, because it's the one thing that’s universal. Like, now there is a Country Hip Hop song that's number one in the country right now.
GVNDV: Country has never really been my thing. Young Thug came out with a Country album like what? A year and a half ago maybe two years ago? Not a Country album, it definitely incorporated into mainstream.
Moe: They had a theme.
GVNDV: Yeah, like there was some Country in there and I was like okay Cuz, you're doing something different, but now they got Billy Ray Cyrus hopping on the wave. I saw it coming, but now every form of music seems to be mixed. Electric is being mixed with rock, rock has been mixed with rap, you know?
GVNDV: It's just… it's music.
Moe: Absolutely. One important thing that you just touched on was that music is universal. It's one of the few things on this planet I feel that brings us together. I definitely know the song that you're talking about with Lil Nas X, and you know how that has kind of just taken a life of its own. But it also shows that even if somebody is trying to take something away from you, if it is rightfully yours. They can’t. He had been removed from the Country Category on the Billboard charts.
Moe : All of a sudden here he is back. But I digress. What I want to do touch on you as an artist. I was going through a lot of your music and I was watching a lot of your videos and I came across one that was called Dream. It is a beautiful song, I mean, wow, it really is. I wanted to talk about that because it's a little bit of a contrast from “Energy.” Can you give us a little bit of the back story to that song?
GVNDV: Well, in that song is I'm basically speaking on that my point in my life, my personal struggle at the time and just a lot of people around me and their struggle. I know a lot of my true relatives and friends relate to that song. A lot of people are going through it every day, and it’s not talked about a lot.
Moe: I get that.
GVNDV: You know, from that perspective, I’m not glorifying it but showing the reality of where that lifestyle comes from.
GVNDV: That's just how I was feeling at that time.
Moe: I appreciate your honesty.
GVNDV: Yeah, no doubt.
Moe: I'm very interested in the millennial generation. I don't think we as a nation understand your truth, like the truth you were just speaking about in the song Dream. As an artist and as an African-American male…and I'm asking you this because we're going to be doing a music panel soon, do you believe that your dream is possible?
GVNDV: Most certainly. I believe my dream is possible. You know like even this moment here and now is furthering to help my dream come true, you know? This is a platform I never thought I'd be on. You're from Atlanta and I'm from Chesapeake, Virginia. You probably never heard of Chesapeake, Virginia. There is really nothing out here but I definitely believe my dream is possible because everybody I look up to comes from similar situations or even worse.
GVNDV: So, if they made it, and they strive to work for it, then yeah, it's not like some magical thing that can't be accomplished. A lot of people think its like oh, you need a wing and a prayer. What you need is dedication.
Moe: So true.
GVNDV: You also need people around you that support you and believe in the same vision that you have and you'll get there.
Moe: That's beautiful and I love that. I love that about you. It shows a lot about your maturity level. And actually, I'm a little bit familiar with Chesapeake, Virginia. You all have some really strong artists there. So, it is about a platform and just getting out there and things like that. You just brought home really a very interesting point and I want to give you that voice right now. What do you believe critics are missing when it comes to the voice of the Hip Hop community right now? Especially with the newer generation that's coming in. What is the disconnect there?
GVNDV: The disconnect comes from perspective. I can't even lie, some of these millennials just be crossing the line. Doing anything for attention and is not about the music at all. I think there is a line that has been dissolved. Actually, there was a fine line between artists. There was a time back in the day when you did not even know a person and love their music. Now, it’s like today, it’s all about the personality. That's why trolling is such a big thing. You've got to be popping on Instagram, doing all this crazy stuff, doing antics in your videos you know what I'm saying? That's how people are. “Oh, you heard this new song by such and such? He’s crazy.”
Moe: Do you feel like because of social media and the drive for attention, that it’s actually become more important than the actual content of the music?
GVNDV: Definitely. 100 percent. Not for me, but for millennials and their fans, yes. It is way more about the pop, it's like a popularity contest. It's not really about the content because you know they're all saying the same thing if you ask me. I'm not going to say they are all like that, because some of this new music has made you look at it from their point of view. I listen and it's like wow, this kid is really sad or like, he's not bragging about doing this stuff.
Moe: Very true.
GVNDV: He's just telling you about his life. That's like a few percent of them. A lot of people these days who make music just do it for attention. They do it just to be a loud mouth or just to brag and say I got this or I got that. It's not really about making a change in any kind of way.
Moe: What you are saying right now is really important. I want people to hear this straight from the artists because I don't think that we're listening. I'm going to be honest. As a parent of two millennial young adults, I see that generationally there is a disconnect. Music is pivotal. It's very important. This is the way a lot of millennials and a lot of artists are expressing themselves. You mentioned pain a little bit ago, about someone sounding like maybe they're depressed. Your generation actually has a lot on its shoulders right now. A lot of what you've learned, you've learned from us and we need to understand that part. Then I think that we can move forward trying to help develop something positive. You said it's not the way that you approach music personally. What experiences are important to you to share when you're vibing creatively?
GVNDV: Yeah, I talk about experiences that either I went through or that somebody close to me went through. Sometimes it’s just when I was asked for my opinion to help out with a situation. I would never try to exploit anyone or air anybody's business out. I just speak on situations that I know other people may need help with, who don't see a way out. It's like look we made it out, you can make it out too. Like, there is a way. I'm just coming from a perspective of there is light at the end of the tunnel, for everyone.
Moe: I definitely respect that. Who are some of your musical influences?
GVNDV: Definitely Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole. I listen to Boogie; fond of him lately. It varies a lot. I listen to all types of music. Those are just like the rap influences. I love John Legend. I really like Erykah Badu. She's one of my favorite artists of all time. Back in the day I listened to Anita Baker, The Isley Brothers. I love like R&B and slow music. I love music with an aesthetic to it.
Moe: We don't get a lot of that right now.
GVNDV: That's why I said I feel that. You know when people grew up on good music. They incorporate it into their style and there's not a lot of that sound these days. That's what I'm trying to get back to. That groovy old school but still lyrical storytelling because it all goes back to storytelling. Back in the day, they all had a story to tell, these days nobody has a story to tell. They're just saying stuff. Literally, people just say stuff now that doesn't make any sense. It doesn't have to connect, it doesn't have to be a full sentence. It just has to be noise on noise and it sells. That's crazy because music is a thing that needs to be appreciated.
Moe: I agree. One of the many things that really impressed me about you is that you do have a great ability to express yourself through the medium of music. I don't want anyone to get it twisted, you know, that you're in one lane. I found a track called, “Lost With Me,” and on that track you go hard as hell with no filter. Explain your style to us as an artist.
GVNDV: As an artist, I try definitely not to box myself in. You know I wanted to infuse all of these elements like auto tune because Kanye West is also one of my favorite artists. A lot of people didn't really get the 808s album. They probably purchased it though. I'll have conversations today with people about it and they will be like, “Oh, I don't know man, 808s, it wasn't all that.” I'm like, “you all are crazy. How do you listen to all this new stuff and not respect that album?” That album was the forefront for all the new stuff. He was doing auto tune before Lil Wayne I think.
GVNDV: But that's one of the albums I really appreciated, so, I'll always just try to be like Kanye with the auto tune and just try to sing, but it comes out different unless you try to sound exactly like somebody else.
GVNDV: I just like to experiment with music. It's just all experimental with me. I have rules for myself. I can't do this and I can't do that. It can't go too far so, you know, I try to keep myself grounded.
Moe: Excellent. I want people to understand you because I think that the art that you create is absolutely beautiful. You deserve a platform. You definitely deserve to be heard.
GVNDV: I appreciate that. Thank you.
Moe: My pleasure. What is your goal on your journey of life right now?
GVNDV: I definitely want to be heard with the music and I think I am. I'm not going to say I think, I know I do want to reach like the highest I can get with my music. I want to take it to the top. I can so, I believe I can. You know, when that opportunity comes I just want to seize it and make the most of it. I don't want to let people down. Some of the music of today is just letting our generation down. This is what we're looking up to. I want to be something good that they can look up to. A person they can say, you know, wow! He made a change. My kid wants to be like him. I want somebody to listen to my stuff and have a change of mind, like, I can be a campaign leader, or the President. Something that can make a positive change.
Moe: I definitely respect that. Are you currently working on a project?
GVNDV: Yeah. Lil Mac Book. It's coming out May 15th. That will have the song “Energy,”on there, and I just dropped another song called No Wi-Fi that's also going to be on there.
Moe: You know that we will definitely support that project. I definitely look forward to that. You've been such an inspiration. Just speaking to you on an intellectual level I can tell you're very level headed. What do you want to say to anyone who is listening? Just about pursuing goals and achieving greatness?
GVNDV: My advice is, if you can't find people that see your goals just start working on it yourself. Start trying to acquire everything you can to get it done yourself because you're the one who knows how far you want to take it. People will eventually see your goals and they will join up with you, you know, like, believers will come. Never stop believing in yourself and the believers will definitely come.
GVNDV: Just know to keep going to pursue it.
Moe: Excellent. I love it. How can people follow you on Social Media?
GVNDV: @GVNDV_ on Instagram and Twitter.
Moe: Do you have any particular closing statements that you would like to make?
GVNDV: Yeah. I just want to say, if you have dreams, don’t let anyone tell you that you can't accomplish your dreams. Anyone can be anything they want to be. I believe that. I live my by that. I'm trying to become a living example of that. Those that believe in you, keep it in your heart, keep it in your mind, and stay positive. Keep your head up and last but not least, R.I.P. Nipsey Hussle.
Moe: Any shout outs you want to give before we close out?
GVNDV: I'd like to give a shout out to my bae @thatblaziianchick on Instagram. She helped me shoot all my videos because we shoot and edit them ourselves. You know, we put in that work.
Moe: That’s very cool. Your video, “Dream,” was shot extremely well. Any other shout outs at all?
GVNDV: I'd like to shout out my label, The Music Has Changed. I'd like to shout out my little homie, Trey. Keep your head up. Keep doing your thing in the studios. That's about it. Shout out to you Moe for having me.
Moe: It is my pleasure. We appreciate you. We appreciate your energy and definitely, I'm certainly wishing the best for you and thank you.