Gina Kushka’s song Bring It Down, produced by Jay Weathers, have been listened to over 20 thousand times only on SoundCloud and have been featured in many big publications, putting her on the spotlight.
We at Youthgasm had the chance to chat with her about music, the instant recognition, her love for painting and more.
For how long now have you been making music?
I officially started writing music when I was 11. My mom bought me a guitar for my birthday after I begged her for one because I wanted to teach myself to play. Before that, I was writing poetry and I’ve had a diary/sketchbook since I can remember. I was the same age the first time I stepped foot into a recording studio to record, and it absolutely blew my mind. It was the same feeling I got when I was on stage (I’d been in various dance, acting and singing schools since age 4.) At that point, I knew this was what I was going to do and nothing could stop me.
Why did you decide to make music in the first place?
I didn’t really know how to rationalize things when I was younger; I felt everything very deeply and couldn’t understand why certain things were happening around me. I’m still the same to be honest, but I dealt with it through writing, so I now know how to channel it. Even when I was a little girl, I would write my mother letters and slide them down the stairs or under her door when I was in trouble or if I felt anything intensely that I needed to express. So writing music has come from a very raw place for me. I really need to do it or I’d go insane.
What do you expect from your music career?
I don’t have any “expectations” as such in this journey. I decided when I was 12 that one day, I was going to be the best artist I could ever be. To me, that means being completely true to myself and focusing on what is important. To me, the most important thing is the creative process; the music. I always wanted to make music that was entirely real, authentic, pushes boundaries and exists in its own lane, and I am happy to be patient with that journey. It’s about allowing myself to grow into the most honest artist I can be. If I have anything similar to an expectation, it would be the hope that I can continue growing into the honest artist I want to be, and more importantly, that it connects to as many people as possible.
Bring It Down, your new single has been getting a lot of attention lately. Are you currently working on new music?
It has been great warming up with Bring it Down and Mid Air. I couldn’t be more grateful for the support. The connection that it has had so far with people all over the world is what this all about for me. That’s what makes all the hard work worth it. Other than sharing those two songs, this whole year I’ve been focusing on the music and writing side of things. What’s being shared online is only the start of what I’ve been working on. I have something very special and personal coming out in January and I’m so excited about sharing that as well.
What are your plans as of now to go forward with your music career?
I don’t like to give too much away, but we have a lot in store for next year. I am just really enjoying sharing my music in this way right now and seeing how it connects and who it’s connecting with. That’s a really awesome feeling.
What the process of creation of a new music?
I like to drive the music as much as possible. There have been loads of ways that a song has happened, but the one constant in every song is that it HAS to be entirely real and honest to me. Everywhere I go, I have my notepad and pen with me. If ever I feel anything intensely or something of substance happens around me, I write or sketch it down. My songs always stem from those moments that I’ve recorded. Sometimes I write an idea with my guitar first and we’ll flesh it out in the studio, or we start from scratch in the studio and build the song together. I do really like the process of building a song from scratch with the producer/s in the room, though. It can get pretty interesting when an idea is bounced around.
Is being a solo artist everything you thought it would be?
I guess I didn’t really know what to expect of it. All I wanted to do was write and sing my songs that tell the story. One thing that has been incredible about creatively directing my project is that it has pushed me to new heights of creativity, new levels of searching for myself as an honest artist, and new levels of thinking about business. Although I have found that this can be a very lonely journey filled with more sacrifices than I ever imagined, my manager is like my big brother, so I don’t feel entirely alone in this. I’m just enjoying every single second of this right now and I can’t wait for next year.
What are your biggest inspiration music-wise?
Musically, I’ve been inspired by a range of musical influences that have been in my life since I was a little girl. My mom introduced me to a lot of the music that has shaped me. She played me music that ranged from the 80’s icons to the real soul and blues legends, and then also introduced me to the incredible pop rock of her era and African music which was all around me, growing up in South Africa. As I started discovering my own musical taste, I became obsessed with heavy metal and hip-hop. I was the 14-year old kid who wanted to turn up to lessons with bruises proving she’d been in the middle of the “System of a Down” mosh pit. More than that, my best friend at the time; her brother introduced me to all sorts of hip-hop and was taking us to underground rap battles in London aged 14. I thought he was an absolute hero. My biggest inspiration though for anything I write is real life. What happens every day to me, to my family, around me; the music has to connect so it has to be entirely real.
Would you say living in London influences your music?
In terms of the music itself and being in London, it’s the people and experiences I have that inspires me the most. The London music scene is epic as well; it’s super experimental, innovative and boundaryless. London is an extremely vibrant, colorful, inspiring and motivational city.
I’ve seen besides music you also use canvas as a form of artistic expression. That’s definitely not something you see every day. Do you ever make a compilation were both your talents meet to make your view, even more, exposed?
I have been painting and drawing for as long as I’ve been singing. They’ve both gone hand and hand really. I guess painting is a different release to music, though. I like being totally alone when I paint. With my music, I know that what I’m writing will eventually be shared to appreciate and relate to, so when I write, I’m subconsciously more aware of how I tell the story, but with my paintings, I treat them as if they’re just for me. It’s like my own little bubble that I can escape to. I guess painting is like a practice for me in how to be as honest as possible in my music.
Any other creative talents to add to the list?
Haha Well I’ve been acting and dancing since I was 4, so one day in the future, I’d really like to explore too. I also LOVE cooking; my mom used to be a restaurateur so she taught me all about the beauty of great food. Oh, and I love clothes and used to irritate my mom so much when I was little because I would always dress myself and go out in the most outrageous gears, even in my mom’s own high heeled shoes.
Anything else you would like to add before we finish?
Just a big thank you for connecting with my music so far!!! I can’t wait to share more next year.
CONNECT WITH GINA KUSHKA
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