“Shake it, like a red nose!” Sage The Gemini exploded on the scene with his 2013 hit single “Red Nose,” who’s music video currently sits at over 114 million views on YouTube. That same year, he released “Gas Pedal” featuring Iamsu, which gained him his first Top 40 hit. That video trails behind closely at over 109 million views and counting. Read more…
Coming up alongside the HBK Gang and the Bay Area’s hyphy movement, real name Dominic Wynn Woods made a name for himself in the realm of hip-hop and R&B. Fast forward to 2018, Sage admits to finally being able to create the type of music he’s wanted to do all along — spitting raw, authentic flows just like the rest of the lyricists in the game.
Now, he celebrates a banger with Chris Brown titled “Buss It,” proving his ability to get any crowd moving.
For those who don’t know, who is Sage the Gemini?
Sage the Gemini is very down to earth and different in the most humanly way possible. What you see is what you get, on and off the job of music. I’m just a regular, surprisingly tall person.
Where do you fit in the realm of R&B and hip-hop?
Anywhere I can. [laughs]
“Red Nose” is a timeless record. How has your sound evolved over the years?
I don’t even know if I could say evolved, but I’m more confident to put out the stuff I’ve been doing. I’m more confident in making my production bigger. Lyrically, I’m getting a lot better. But I can’t tell because I wasn’t able to put out all my lyrical stuff, because nobody wanted to hear anything lyrical from me. I’m not sure if I’m getting better or if I’m actually doing what I want to do now.
Do you feel like now in 2018, people care about lyrics?
No, nobody cares about lyrics at all. I don’t think anyone cares about anything musically. You could be very, very popular and as soon as you do music, everyone’s going to buy it cause you’re popular.
Your name carries a lot of weight in the Bay. How does that play into your life and your career?
I really can’t tell you, I don’t go outside. [laughs] I really don’t. I feel like there’s a lot more people that dislike me in the Bay. The Bay is like crabs in a bucket. I’ve got a lot of love for the Bay and the culture. We are the most humble people. But everybody is either a rapper or a pimp, so if they can’t do a song with me… I’ll have people coming to me like, “Let’s do a song.” I’ll be like, “You’re flossing $50,000 or $200,000 around their neck, why don’t you pay for a verse? You pay for a verse for everybody else, give me a verse. This is how I feed my kids.” Then they say no, and I say no on the feature. Instead of explaining to me why they won’t pay me or “Hey look, what if I came with a great song?”, they want to start being assholes.
What keeps you there then?
That’s where I’m from! I can’t stand it here (in LA), because there’s too much traffic. And then when you get to the front of the traffic and it clears up, there’s nothing causing that traffic. And it’s every day!
What part of the Bay are you in?
I moved towards the Sacramento area. I had to get away, because they were trying to bring me back to the old me. I’m like, “I don’t feel like being violent, there’s a lot of money to get. I can’t be violent because ya’ll didn’t mess with me before I was famous, and now ya’ll trying to mess with me now that I’m famous.” We’re cool. I don’t shine on nobody. I don’t do nothing. It’s just we can’t hang out. Nothing’s for free, and they don’t like that.
How important do you feel is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
Very, because everybody comes to LA. They think this is where the opportunity is. Everybody is here. Once you get here, everybody’s like, “yo, let’s work. You can just catch people’s vibe. They’re like, “Aye, you want to get on this song?” Everybody is here, period. [laughs]
You recently released “4G,” which talks about people loving you for the fame. Can you talk about your mental state while creating this one?
Hell, I don’t even remember creating it honestly. [laughs] When I get to the studio, I just go in and make something. I never just sit there and plan it. I never write anything until I get to the studio. I don’t pre-plan or blueprint nothing. You just go in your brain and let it flow. It’s not like it’s the most lyrical song in the world, but it’s talking about real stuff.
You also released “Hoop Dreams” with Yhung T.O, can you talk about who you choose to collab with and why?
I choose to collab with people based on how they grow as a person. I don’t care about no clout. I made my own millions. I can go pay whoever I want to be on a song, but I choose to choose people who decide to evolve and humble themselves. T.O. is a good person, he just has a lot of anxiety. Before I knew who he was as a person, I used to always ask him, “Are you Hollywood-ing me?” [laughs] He’s just hella quiet, and I didn’t know that. But he broke out of his shell. I used to talk to him all the time, and he just grew as a person. He’s getting way better at his music. I just see him evolving. I was like, “Yo, you should get on this.” He was like “okay cool.”
What do you want fans to get from your story?
Honestly, I don’t even know. I don’t feel like fans aren’t looking for a story. They’re just looking for stuff to just be fun and get hyped to.
What is it you want fans to get from your music?
Shoot, get happy. Be happy.
You just released a “Buss It” with Chris Brown. Can you talk about the dynamic in the studio?
It’s crazy. I hit him one night just checking on him, and he was like “right on.” I was like “oh shit.” He replied through a DM and asked when we were going to make a song. I was like, “What? I’m waiting on you!” Later, he FaceTimed me and asked, “Yo, when’s the next time you’re in LA?” I was like, “Man, I could be in there whenever you want me to be in there.” [laughs] He was like, “If you come up here, you can just pack a bag and stay a week here.”
That’s so much love. Did ya’ll have a friendship before that?
Nah, but he knew I was a big fan. He said he messed with my records, and I’ve seen him do a funny video to “Red Nose.”
Is that OHB chain?
Yeah, I’m OHB now. It’s a real friendship. We talk about music of course because we’re musicians, but it’s not only about music. We both make sure we’re good as people, period. I can vent to him, he can vent to me. I went to his rehearsal, then we pulled up to the studio. He was like, “What was that beat you were working on on FaceTime?” I was like, “Oh, it’s right here.” He was like, “Load it up.” I was like “what?!” I loaded it up, and he went in there and just blacked out. He freestyles everything, even his raps. He doesn’t write anything down. Like crazy, complicated, tongue twister raps, he freestyles them. I was like “dang.”
What are some goals you have for yourself as an artist at this point in your career?
My goal is to go diamond. I want to get in my zone to where I can have a lot of people want to work with me based off how creative I am, not how popular I am. Like to where Beyonce goes, “I got this song, Sage would sound crazy on this.” Because of my voice or whatever unique piece of the puzzle I have that she’s missing at that time — which really, she’ll probably never have anything missing. [laughs] If I could make shit better for people, that’s my goal. To have everyone go, “When Sage steps in the room…” or “We’re going to a Sage concert ‘cause we know it’s about to be lit, and I know I’m going to come away from here feeling better.”
What’s your take on the music industry now?
I don’t have one. I really don’t listen to anybody. There are some catchy songs, don’t get me wrong. If the song feels good, then cool. I’m more about listening to me, close people from the Bay, Chris Brown, and Andre 3000.
Who are some of the Bay cats you fuck with?
Of course, Iamsu, Show Banga, my nephew, Matty4. He blowing up big. He’s evolving too quick, it’s scaring me. You should follow him, @400bands on Instagram. He looks just like me.
Can you talk about being slapped by Teyana Taylor?
No I cannot. [laughs] I don’t have her permission. I gotta call her and ask for her permission. It wasn’t nothing serious. It was like a play fight. She smacked me and I was like “oh damn.”
What did you with your first advance?
Man bro, I bought everybody cars. Well the people that were working for me. I bought a house. I bought myself hella cars. I gave my mom and dad a whole lot of money. [laughs]
What are 3 things you need in the studio?
Just the me and the engineer. I don’t smoke or drink.
What would you be doing, if you weren’t doing music?
Probably finishing school to become a firefighter. Or an EMT or medical assistant.
Best encounter you had with a fan?
When I first dropped “Gas Pedal,” I was working at PacSun. She said, “You look super familiar!” She was asking me where certain things are, and I turned to her to answer. After she realized it was me, she gasped and fainted. She passed out, hit her head and everything. I looked at my manager like, “I don’t know what’s going on.”