Music is evolving. Evolving in such a way that all genres have blurred lines. There are new artists, sounds, and waves emerging. Don’t sleep on the up and coming talent, because those behind the scenes today are shaping the industry’s sound of tomorrow.
Gwen Bunn, artist and Grammy nominated producer, is laying the groundwork now to forever change the game in the future. She grew up in Decatur, GA (also known as East Atlanta), one the focal points responsible for the shift of the hip-hop scene over the past few years. The same city that gave us hometown heroes like Future and Gucci Mane. Being brought up in the middle of that scene, one would’ve expected Gwen Bunn to try her hand as rapper.
Not likely. Instead the self-taught vocalist, pianist and guitarist, is always striving to do the unexpected.
That ambition even translates to her performances. Where she’s been known to amaze fans by simultaneously playing the keyboard and guitar, while never missing a beat on stage. Gwen is always striving to go against the grain with her personal style, musical sound, and evolution as an artist. Her growing fan base motivates her to continuously work on building her own catalog of music. Being signed as a songwriter to BMG: The New Music Company, gives her the opportunity to do so, in addition to putting in work with some of your favorites.
She has had the opportunity to work with countless artists ranging from Childish Gambino, Ty Dolla $ign, to Schoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar. You may have heard her work on their collaborative hit single ‘Collard Greens’, where she’s credited as a producer. Not to mention, that album, ‘Oxymoron’, was nominated for ‘Best Rap Album’ at the 2015 Grammy’s. That collaboration came to fruition after Gwen’s first trip to Los Angeles and it proves the sky is the limit for the emerging star.
Gwen’s unmatched genius is not only present when listening to her music, but it even shines through her conversation. When speaking about her latest album, ‘Safe Travels’, she describes it as a “Journey with the music…I’m really into space. I just wanted to take myself and the people on a journey. I wanted to elevate people. Sonically, I wanted them to feel like they were on a cloud. Just those type of vibes”.
Recently, I had the chance to chat with Gwen Bunn and we maintained those “type of vibes” as she dropped countless gems. Here’s everything I learned:
Self-actualization is what pushed her to take music seriously…
“I’ve always been musically inclined and an athlete. Taught myself to play piano at 10, but still always had a love for basketball. At about 15, I realized I wasn’t going to play basketball professionally. That’s when I shifted my focus to the music.”
On her musical genre:
“Personally, I would call it eclectic space. I love quirky sounds and incorporating different things. I love reverb and spacing things, there will always be that element…..always something to stand out. As a producer, I can’t really put the sound in the box of a specific genre”.
On the motivation behind ‘Safe Travels’:
“It was extremely important for me to give the fans something new. That’s why I didn’t put it on major platforms…didn’t want to have to wait on approval or wait for a release date. I wanted to get to the point and give the people what they needed. That’s why I released it exclusively for the fans on my personal Bandcamp page, that was my motivation and how important it was to me”.
The differences between ‘Safe Travels’ and her first project, ‘The Verdict’ (released in 2009):
“The Verdict was me experimenting and trying without knowing or direction. I’m a little older….so, conceptually ‘Safe Travels’ is more focused. I wrote ‘Safe Travels’ in a week and put it out the next week, but I had a clear direction. If you listen to both, you can hear that growth musically, vocally, and overall quality”.
The story behind being featured on Rapsody’s, ‘A Rollercoaster Jam Called Love’:
“Rapsody’s been a fan of mine for years and vice versa. We go back to me doing some work on her first mixtape. So when, she was working on Laila’s Wisdom, 9th wonder (producer), hit me to see if I was in LA and told me to pull up to the studio. He had already sampled, my song, ‘Yours’ from ‘Safe Travels’ and put that on his Instagram. I end up pulling up to the studio, it was actually Jay-Z’s studio. Rapsody, Guru, 9th Wonder, and Kadeem Haridson (actor, ‘A Different World’) was chilling the studio…random, but he’s a huge hip-hop head and is good friends with them. Yeah, it was good vibes, we were all there the day we did the song and the rest is history.
On the best advice she’s received from another artist:
“That came from Terrance Martin. He’s a producer, jazz musician, experimental, funk…ya’ know all genres. He’s worked with Snoop and Kendrick. He’s young, but he’s done so much that he’s a vet. I saw him travelling while I was in NYC, headed to LA. We had met a few times before, but that time he told me… ‘I can already see you ’bout to do some crazy things….just make sure you save your money. I’ve seen it for years. Save your money, don’t let it come & go. Keep doing you and save your money’. That stuck with me.”
What she plans to bring her fans in 2018:
“A tour of some sort. Big collabs with some more of your favorite artists and more production.”
Advice she can give aspiring artists:
“This kind of goes for anyone with a dream….Study your craft. Be obsessed with your passion. Oh, and save your money.”
As one can see, Gwen Bunn is not only talented, but wise beyond her years. Currently, Rapsody’s, ‘Laila’s Wisdom’, is nominated for ‘Best Rap Album’ at this year’s Grammy Awards. Making this Gwen’s second time being nominated. Even still, Gwen remains very humble as she’s always trying to connect with her fans.
Check out this video of her taking fans through “the process” below:
For upcoming tour dates and information, head over to GwenBunn.com.
Purchase her latest album, ‘Safe Travels’ at melodydungeon.bandcamp.com
Follow Gwen Bunn on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @GwenBunn.