"Every individual has a story, a perspective, a lesson to teach others"

Gaby Paul

Singer/Songwriter

Phoenix, Arizona

What are you doing right in this very moment?

In this moment I am sitting on my door step in front of my apartment with all of my little cacti plant babies sitting right next to me.

What does your creative process consist of?

My creative process is different depending on the day/night. Sometimes it’s the very first thing I do when I open my eyes in the morning. I’ll wake up with a new song melody in my head from a dream, sometimes. I have to then immediately record myself humming the melody into my voice memos on my phone. If it’s lyrics, I’ll look through some photos or videos to refresh myself on memories I’ve had with people or at certain places. Visuals trigger moods for me and I remember everything from what a person was wearing, to how they smelled, to the tone in their voice and so on.


Why do you sing?

I sing because it has always felt like a natural form of expression to me. I started singing at 3 years old to Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Shania Twain. You know, the iconic divas. I then started taking voice lessons at the age of 14 where I began training in classical singing. I traveled around the country participating in vocal competitions and choir concerts. I loved auditioning and performing in theatre and opera showcases all through out high school. A lot of people don’t know that I am classically trained and experienced with operatic singing. Although I do respect classical music as an art-form, it’s not where my heart lies. My love is in Soul music, Jazz, Blues, R&B, Indie, Funk and Psychedelic. It jives with my lifestyle. So naturally, I feel most comfortable composing in those genres.

What possesses you to write?

I like to write my lyrics in an atmospheric format. I am addicted to describing a specific setting that puts the listener into a trance, making them almost believe they are having these distant memories themself. Aesthetics and visual representation can tell a story by showing the listener a clear picture of a scene by listing in detail how the nostalgia looks and feels. I’m obsessed with almost getting a secondhand high or experience by listening to what other songwriters want to appear in my imagination when they are storytelling in a song. In that regard, I try to make my memoirs capture a mood that speaks for itself. My song, Sonora, has metaphors that depict a “live fast, die young” type of reckless lifestyle.

I write to keep my past alive and to release emotions. I have to write or else I won’t be able to sleep because I’d be keeping everything buried inside of me and it would slowly kill me in time.


Where do you get inspiration?

I get my inspiration these days from the Sonoran desert. The Southwest has so many monuments that are rich with history, you can almost feel all the past lives this land has seen. I’ve always felt a very strong connection to the Arizona desert ever since I was a little girl. I was born here, so the Wild West has seen me grow and evolve through all the good and the bad in my lifetime. I tried to capture the Southwest in ‘Sonora’, by incorporating the many sounds of the Americana desert echoing around the beat. I also loved including words that helped set the mood of classic western imagery in the lyrics.


How would you describe your sound?

I’d describe my sound to be a retro blend of R&B, Jazz and strong vocals, depending on the type of song. Warm and rich vocalizing either to a gritty beat or some smooth “call and response” method playing on the piano. I say that because that’s what people have told me they hear when they listen to some of my compositions.


What’s a perfect day for you?

A perfect day for me would include my best friend and I going on a road trip just to drive and escape the normalcy every day life can bring. We always get a little crazy when we are together but it’s worth it and very entertaining... Especially for others to watch and witness! We also tend to cause a lot of trouble and blast music on the open road with no one and nothing holding us back. I just feel so free in those moments, so that’s definitely how a perfect day looks for me.

What do you want people to take away from your music?

I want my returning listeners to feel understood when they hear my music. Every individual has a story, a perspective, a lesson to teach others. I want people to feel like they are in a safe space to reflect on their lives when they tune in.

I’d also like people to know that some stories are better left untold. I don’t feel it’s always necessary to explain myself and why I create some of the art that I do. I am not an open book when it comes to my past. Maybe in the future I might feel more comfortable opening up about my life, but I leave a lot of my work up for interpretation. My songs don’t come with a back story because I think most music can speak for itself. If you listen closely, you’ll know what I experienced in order for me to write about some of the things that I do.


Who do you dream of collaborating with?

It’d be a dream to collaborate with either Brittany Howard, Leon Bridges, Hiatus Kaiyote, Thundercat, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Two Feet, LoLo Zouaï or Brent Faiyaz. Those are some artists I’ve been digging for quite some time now.

I would also completely die to sing on a sample for Kid Cudi, Travis Scott, J Cole or A$AP Rocky. All of these people are legendary in their own right.


What’s a sublime childhood memory you have?

One sublime childhood memory I have is spending the summers with my grandparents in Arizona. I unfortunately had a rough childhood, so a lot of my memories from when I was a kid feel like one big blur. So, it’s hard for me to remember certain years but every summer vacation in between the school years I’d spend quality time with my grandparents. My grandma was a mother figure to me, since my biological mother was deceased. My grandma was a visual artist just like my late mother (her daughter). My grandma introduced me to her 60’s-70’s inspired clothing she designed and made herself. She had a fashion business for herself that she had built from the ground up. She was such a bad ass! She also had a huge turquoise jewelry collection, which is now proudly mine. My grandpa was also a visual artist and made all of his vintage and bohemian styled home decor himself. They were so creative, fashionable and eccentric. They also were the first people to take me on road trips, introducing me to the Wild West. I learned so much from them about living “to the beat of my own drum”. I think about them often and I can feel them with me every day.


What are some of your favorite movies?


Black Swan

No Country For Old Men

Nocturnal Animals

American Beauty

The Place Beyond The Pines

Almost Famous

The Love Witch

Black Snake Moan

Lolita

Stealing Beauty

Lovelace

American Honey


What’s coming next for you and your work?

I have some fresh R&B/Soul inspired tracks that will deliver a soft but sultry side of me. I will be releasing a lot of new sensual sounds with wispy vocals. I’ve been writing some of these songs for a while now. I’m grateful for those who are waiting to hear more from me.

New Single "Sonora" out Feb 26

Bandcamp: https://gabypaul.bandcamp.com

IG: @thegabypaul

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