Alternative R&B artist GUGU is a South African born, London raised 20 something, who boldly explores human emotions by taking you on a sonic journey through the land of the feels.
Otherwise known as Queen of the Feels, and currently based in New York, GUGU is a child of the Zulu culture, whose influences range from Mariah Carey and Roberta Flack trickling down to FKA twigs and Mafikizolo. The alternative exists in her ability to fuse her native Zulu language with the English language, to candidly explore various human emotions on ear-grabbing beats.
Placing a great emphasis on her emotive tenors that get showcased through her passion-fueled vocalization, GUGU presents us with her most recent single “What Day.” The elusive hues that linger in the instrumentation are complemented with enticing drum patterns that shape the entire soundscape. As soon as GUGU touches down with her intimate croons, the power that she holds in her threshold is uncanny. She carries forth the ability to deeply pull us into her composition as we navigate through the salutary substance that’s plaited into the framework.
GUGU’s cascading harmonies allow us to glide through the overall concept of “What Day,” with affluence and poise. The repetition that is etched into the spellbinding chorus brings life and memorability to the sonic canvas that we wander throughout. Encouraging us to feast upon the lyrical motif ‘what day of the week?’ there’s an illumination that surfaces through the amalgamation of the musical elements before us.
The emerging status of GUGU is well-defined as she continues to release intoxicating melodies that are sure to draw you into a pacifying state of cognizance and bliss. Taking over our headspace one song at a time, GUGU establishes her name in a manner that will have you swooning.
Thank you for joining us at BuzzMusic GUGU, and congratulations on the release of “What Day.” We love how you manage to provide such a buoyant spring to the elusive essence of this song. What inspired the lyrical content that we get to embrace?
Thank you! As someone who doesn’t shy away from feels, I’m very intrigued by the plunge involved in boldly exploring all feelings, no matter how basic and mindless they may seem. So ‘What Day’ is literally a song about that moment when you’ve just finished enjoying the day with someone you have a crush on, and now you’re anticipating when you will see them again. The lyrics break down the various sentimental moments that you’re looking forward to sharing with your crush again. Being one to incorporate the sounds of your roots into the music you create, has this always been the case for you when crafting your signature style? Funny enough it wasn’t initially. It got to a point where two roads started merging into one. On one end more South African beat makers were asking me to do more cultural vocals on their stuff, and then I also started feeling like there were certain ideas, emotions, thoughts that I wanted to communicate, but communication through language is weird. Sometimes certain words can’t fully carry all the feels that come with certain experiences, and that’s where being able to express yourself in more than one language starts having more value. Could you please share a glimpse into what the creative process looked like when fashioning the vision of “What Day” together? Did anyone assist you in the release process, and in making this song the masterpiece we hear today?
The creative process was pretty organic and free-flowing. Surprisingly this song came to me on its own, while I was on my own. It’s like the song wanted to take the plunge and boldly let, whoever crush was out there, know that this is how it’s feeling. What I love about feels is that one feeling can have many different layers, and the merge of audio with art through song allows you to really peel those layers, and in tandem connect with everyone who may have felt that feeling, but might have understood it in a different way. That’s why I always lead with ‘all feel matter’ because every feeling you have has something it wants to teach you about yourself and the world around you and to run away from them is essential to run away from yourself. - Nobody really assisted me in the release process, I’ve had some strategic support from a more industry perspective but everything I put out creatively, ultimately has my creative stamp all over it.
What is the main message that you aim to send out through the music you create?
The main message is to not run away from yourself. Like many people (myself included) spend a lot of time doing. I want to reduce the societal fear of feelings because as a psychology grad, I learned that our ability to think clearly stops when we repress that we are upset, but it restarts when we express. That might be the reason why we seem to get the greatest art from artists when they’ve been through emotionally challenging events. I want people to feel things through my music because ultimately I want to live in a world where everybody feels safe enough to show up as whoever they want. My music should serve as a support for you on your journey of self-discovery, and as the Queen of feels, it’s only right that I would feel right doing it through feels.
What's next for you? The next thing for me and my career is the steady and continued growth of the gang, which is everyone on this journey with me and my career as a whole. I have more songs I’ll be putting out as the year reaches its 4th quarter, and I’d like to fully start producing visual content, I have so many creatively inclined ideas that I just need to link up with some good videographers to make happen, but you know, its got to be perfect, what’s next for me honestly is, NOTHING CAN STOP ME I’M ALL THE WAY UP!