An up and coming rapper and singer, Gonz have always had a passion for music. A native of Philadelphia, the local rapper and singer had his first live performance back in 2009 at the Silo in Reading, Pa. From that point on, Gonz continued to having work with major acts such as DMX, Nas, Fat Joe, Fabolous, The Burgeoning, Meek Mills and etc. With musical influences that include Michael Jackson, MC Hammer, Prince, Fugees, Lenny Kravitz, and whole lot of other classics its no wonder why his music is so pure. Yet even though his style of music is still a work in progress his ability to make himself diverse in different genres of music makes him a true artist. So for you guys out there that want to here some good Hip- hop music with a nice beat and flow with an amazing voice that blends perfectly, then check out GONZ!
Video: “If I May” in Studio ft The Burgeoning
Video: Gonz – Alive (Official Video)
1.) How did you come up with the name Gonz?
The Nickname GONZ started off as Gonzalez then got shortened to Gonzo then finally just Gonz. The story is there were two Justin’s on the block I grew up on and it was just too confusing since we were always playing ball or out at the mall or whatever else we use to do as kids. So everyone started call me Gonz and I’ve been know by that ever since. It’s actually weird hearing my real name anymore.
2.) What is the drive or motivation behind your success?
So far it’s been just a natural love for the art of music! I want everyone to feel what feel when I make my music. Obviously getting paid is nice too but I just love the feeling of when someone walks up to me and tells me that a song of mine touched them to me that’s worth all the work and time!
3.) How would you describe your style of music?
My style of music in my opinion is still a work in progress. Right now its hip-hop with the R&B style with an indie twist when I perform live with The Burgeoning. Sounds interesting, but on the other hand I feel like there is so much more to me and my music than what I current have recorded. I feel like the music I want to make is in the making still, I’m still learning, I guess we all just have to wait and see.
4.) Do you have any musical or major influences?
Well as a kid I wasn’t really allowed to listen to any rap music so MJ was non-stop in my house along with MC Hammer, Prince, Fugees, and Lenny Kravitz and whole lot of other classics. My first Hip hop album I actually ever listened to was The Punisher album by Big Pun lol… I use to have to sneak that out of my dad’s walkman at night and then place it back in before he woke up in the a.m. but it was totally worth it. Q-tip made probably my favorite hip-hop album (Amplified) to this day never gets old.
5.) When and where was your first performance?
My first show was at the Silo in Reading, PA in 2009 which I remember like it was yesterday. I was so nervous, I was shaking out of control, and drinking too much as well. I get out there and the music is playing and the place is packed and then I start spitting my rhyme and then half way through I start getting tongue twisted and then I suddenly just stopped like dead in the middle of the track.
I remember getting booed I remember that being the longest night of my life because I never failed at anything till that point. To be honest with out that moment I am not sure I would be the same artist I am today. If it wasn’t for that night I would not take this as serious as I do now. My preparation for a performance is something I take super serious because that night, I am mentally prepared normally a good 72 hours before the show I’m in character.
6.) Could you see yourself doing anything other than music?
Well before music I was a major golfer and was a ranked player in PA, I even moved down to Myrtle Beach to play golf to go pro it did work out as planned but I will always have another shot. Golf is a sport where age doesn’t matter as much its pure skill. Also, I can definitely see myself getting into acting that’s just something I’ve always wanted to get involved with but the focus is on music right now the rest will fall in place when its time I truly believe that.
7.) What is something that you want to do but have not done yet?
Travel! One place really want to visit is Australia! I’ve herd so many good things and the two people I met from Australia have to be the two most interesting people I ever met just so deep but polite and welcoming at the same time. In a 30 minute conversation I wanted to just drop whatever I was doing and hop on a plane to see where they came from and live maybe even grow as a person.
8.) What are some of your accomplishments and downfalls that you have had?
Well some of my accomplishments are performing on just about every major stage in the Tri-state. I have performed with Major acts like DMX, Nas, Fat Joe, Fabolous and Meek Mills. I have independently released to solo projects and made money from both as well. My down falls are my online networking skills I’m just so lazy when it comes to the social media stuff and because of that I think it has hindered my growth as an artist. I have not done my best to network at all but I finally get it! This industry is not about good or bad music it’s about your network into days world the internet is our portal to untapped viewers, followers, fans etc… it’s our job as an artist to listen and respond! So that’s what I’ve been working on how to connect!
9.) How is it like working with The Burgeoning?
The Burge is family we always have a good time working with each other every session is honest and just real. We have these jam sessions that are so epic and amazing it blows all of our minds how talented we are when focused. The sounds we make together to me is our sound of the future we just don’t have anything on wax yet but when it happens look out because it’s going to be so fresh everyone is going to want to pump the new sounds. The best part about working with my family is how hard we are on each other if its good we all know and when its bad you get called out! It’s simple step up or shut up, the honesty between us is what makes us so powerful when it all comes together.
10.) What other new projects are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a video for “While I’m Here” produced by Piano Boi. The record is from my most recent album Winter Fever with BSMG this spring. It should be a fun video that everyone gets a chance to show who they are and whatever it is they live for. As far as a new music I’m working with The Burgeoning, Do the Producer, Roach Carter, and a few others on some really cool music I am calling “Personality”. I choose that because I feel music today lacks personality release date still in the air but I do have about 3 tracks written so far it sounds really good.
11.) Where can people find your music?
A few places Gonzmusic.com ITunes Amazon Band Camp pretty everywhere.
12.) What lies ahead in the future for Gonz?
Well I took a long hard look at what I have accomplished as an artist and in the future I want to really impact people from every direction possible. I want to make music we all can embrace not just listen too for a season or be part of a trend that is a waste of time. I want my visuals to really mean something not just be a music video, and I want my shows to be an experience instead of a underground talent show. Also, make classic organic honest music that always has a real feeling and meaning! That’s what the future is for me being more honest and creative the rest will fall in place!