WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 27: G-Eazy attends Elton John AIDS Foundation’s 30th Annual … [+]
G-Eazy is the latest artist to enter the NFT space. The multi-dimensional rapper/producer has teamed with digital artist Dzanar and the Quincy Jones-backed OneOf for “The Geralds,” a new collection that showcases his many different sides and hobbies, from his mountain man persona to the skateboarder. And fans who purchase the NFTs will have the chance to win VIP perks, from dinner with G-Eazy to hanging with him in Vegas.
As G-Eazy explained when we spoke about it, it’s important for him to share the different aspects of his personality and be open with his fans. When he delivered the song “Angel,” last month for his mom, who passed last November of cancer, he was blown away by the response.
I spoke with G-Eazy about the NFT collection, the genius of Danny Elfman’s Coachella set, why he chose to team with OneOf for his first foray into NFTs and why none of his fans should be surprised if he makes a country album in his mountain cabin one day.
Steve Baltin: Since the last time I saw you was in the pit at Coachella, how amazing was that Danny Elfman set?
G-Eazy: Oh my God, man. That was definitely my favorite set of the weekend. I’m a huge, huge Danny Elfman fan. And I love the way he combines his stuff.
Baltin: Speaking of combining your stuff that is what you are doing with “The Geralds.”There are all these different cool things that people can get with the NFTs. So talk for you about how being able to merge your relationship with your fans in a physical space with the virtual world.
G-Eazy: I’ve always had a very special relationship with my fans. I feel like early on in my career that was what got my ball rolling, the really early hardcore fans, who would come to show after show after show on tour and by the meet-and-greets over and over. And I just felt like connecting that was always essential. But in terms of the concept behind the Geralds, that was just the first thing I thought of. Given the wide spectrum of my personality and identity and the different things that I’m into, and fans that have followed me for the past decade of my career, know that I’m into these kinds of things. So I just wanted to find a way to express those different layers that way.
Baltin: Do you feel like the NFT is just you being you and that as you get more well known and also get older, you can be more comfortable being open?
G-Eazy: Absolutely. It’s definitely been about embracing all these different elements and different pieces of my personality and myself and sharing all of that. And everybody who’s been the journey with me over the last decade has gotten to see these different sides and different ways.
Baltin: What do you want people to see about who you are from this project?
G-Eazy: There are layers on layers on layers of Geralds, [chuckle] and seeing the different ways that that resonates and connects with different people is always interesting. I feel like the mountain man Gerald was maybe the most popular. So I have a cabin, it’s been in my family forever. My grandparents actually helped build it. There’s never been a TV inside, there’s no Wi-Fi. It’s kind of where I go to hide out and to get my break from reality. So yeah, it wasn’t the biggest part of G-Eazy that’s always broadcasted and shared, that’s for sure.
Baltin: Do you think it’s become the most popular because people were not aware of that side of you, so it’s like the most unknown and most surprising?
G-Eazy: I think that could definitely be possible.
Baltin: What are the other ones that have been popular thus far?
G-Eazy: Snowboarder Gerald for sure. [chuckle] I guess the identity is who I am when I’m up in the mountains is a popular one.
Baltin: So you really went deep though in this in terms of showing a lot of different sides of yourself?
G-Eazy: For sure. But that’s always been something that I’ve tried to do in one way or another throughout the history of my career. When I do an album, it’s typically a wide-ranging eclectic experience. It’s a deep look into the multiple layers of my personality. I’d say I’m pretty far from a one dimensional artist.
Baltin: Because you have this relationship with your fans, was that important to you to show them these sides of you?
G-Eazy: With any creative project I’ve ever put my name on or been involved in, I think it’s important to explore deeply and really express yourself. And from the beginning of my career, I’ve always been very involved in most all things visual. I used to design my own album artwork. I used to design my own merch. So yeah, we wanted to go the whole nine yards with this for sure.
Baltin: As you started to put this out there was there one part of this that was the most fun for you to reveal?
G-Eazy: I’d say the whole experience in general, and just finally diving into this space. I don’t claim to be an expert on this space. But I’ve been very curious and open-minded towards it in general. So for me, it’s been this really fun learning experience in general, just getting to get my feet wet, and take my first leap into this space with this technology, and this avenue of connecting. Ultimately, it’s just another art form, at least on the aesthetic side. And a different way of expressing yourself and connecting with your audience and finding those links and connections. But then, on the technology side, I think, it’s especially something I’m intimately curious about and excited for the possibilities and potential of where the whole entire technology thing can go from here.
Baltin: If you’re a musician, I think everything creative you do outside of music fuels back into the music at some point. I’m not saying you’re going to go do a country album up in the mountains, and I’m not saying you won’t either.
G-Eazy: Yeah, it’s not out of possibilities. [chuckle] And you and I have talked about this for years and years and years, but I’ve always been fascinated by the intersections of different cultures, and ways to combine eclectic influences in different worlds and bridge the gap and bring them together to create something unique and interesting. I think that’s at the heart of what I’ve always aspired to do creatively.
Baltin: Are there one of these VIP perks that you are most looking forward to sharing with your fans?
G-Eazy: I think all of them offer this closer depth into my world, and this access to me, because my music is very revealing and vulnerable. So there’s a whole different side of actually getting to have a conversation with me or experience something in person. I think the chance to have dinner with a fan, sometimes I love to have long conversations with fans to pick their brains and see [them] give feedback on new music before I release it or see what they connect with or identify with, and what they like about certain songs, ’cause it helps me just understand how to connect to my audience further.
Baltin: What was the last thing you heard from a fan that really resonated with you?
G-Eazy: I think a lot of the feedback I got on my last release, this song called “Angel,” that I did in honor of my mom. Hearing the way it connected and resonated with different people, whether or not they could apply it to having lost a parent or not, but just hearing different ways that people identify with that song. The thing is, at the end of the day, we’re all human beings we’re all vulnerable creatures that live and feel and experience so much and have sense of feelings. So when you share your truth as an artist, it opens up the space for that connection.
Baltin: What was it about OneOf that made them the right people for you to work with on this?
G-Eazy: How sustainable their technology is and how inclusive and accessible they make the technology. Because that’s one thing I wanted to do, is lower the barrier of entry and allow for people to get involved easier. As somebody who’s not an expert, I wanted to partner with a company who understood that, I think because it’s such a new technology in this rapidly changing world that we currently live in, for people trying to find a way to get involved, I think accessibility and inclusivity is very essential.
Baltin: What’s coming out the rest of 2022?
G-Eazy: I’m just working on new music, excited for the challenge of figuring out where I wanna take my career from here.
Baltin: Country record in the mountains, we nailed it.
G-Eazy: Yeah, [chuckle] you got it.
0:16:29.9 S1: Alright, cool dude, anything you wanna add I didn’t ask you about?