Gizzle is an extremely talented musician with one of the biggest hearts in the industry, period. The Los Angeles native is a multi-faceted creator who has worked with some of the greatest to ever do it like Diddy, Nicki Minaj, Pharrell and Snoop Dogg. Her songwriting talents yielded two Grammy nominations, awarded her with endless plaques and most importantly, gifted her with priceless memories.
I discovered Gizzle from her feature on Lupe Fiasco’s “Jump,” which my opinion is the ultimate co-sign (I was a huge Lupe fan). Soon enough, I found out rapping was only one of her multitudes of talent.
So even though we’ve known each other for a minute, when WE TAKE NOTE was invited to join Gizzle at her studio in North Hollywood so we could preview her forthcoming project and chat about her journey as a songwriter and entrepreneur, I knew she would have some heaters on deck for us.
What is your goal with your new EP?
I really want to tap into this newer, growing fanbase I have that’s really high energy and health-conscious. They work out a lot and play Fortnite a lot. I’m really conscious of my message and being positive so this project is more uplifting, designed to get you amped up and working on yourself.
Are you health-conscious?
I try my best to be! I think about my health more often than not. I don’t like to do the label thing, ‘cause I was hardcore. It alienates people. Everyone is on their own journey. I’m pescartatirnan because I will eat fish, but I prefer to eat vegan and stay away from dairy. I’m “Pegan” I guess.
You’ve been creating music for a while now. How long had you been writing before your first songwriting credit?
That’s an interesting question, no one’s ever asked me that before. In 2008, on Snoop Dogg’s Ego Trippin’ project. Before then, I was technically a ghostwriter. I started working on my first album (for someone else) when I was 17, but I didn’t get credited until I was 20.
That whole thing is mind-boggling to me, ghostwriting vs. you can be in the room and can get writing credit.
People say that! They hit me now like “I need a ghostwriter.” I’m like “bro, I haven’t been a ghostwriter in so long!” It’s so funny. Back then, I had this little project I never put out called The Ghostwriter’s Notebook.
I feel like that would touch a lot of people!
It’s a different time though. Everybody is pretty open. I try to celebrate it and remove stigmas. All great things happen through collaboration, creatively and otherwise.
You’ve been known to collaborate with some talented people in the industry. How does watching others create spark your own creativity?
It’s just inspiring, because everybody’s process is different. Especially someone I haven’t worked with before or don’t get to work with often, you kind of want to take notes. What’s Pharrell doing to get this vibe? Or working with Ty$, he’s a machine. It’s like “alright, what you want now? What are you recording with? What mic are you using?”
You always want to learn from your peers and get better. Steel sharpens steel. Anytime I see anybody in their bag, in their vibe, it inspires me to work harder and create stuff I enjoy hearing, whether it’s coming from me or my friends.
Can you talk about your relationship with Ty$? You guys are both from LA.
That’s my brother. We’ve been working together since the inception of his career. Our first joint we did together was “All Star,” which was the record that really got him going out here. I’ve never been more proud of a person in my life. He’s so deserving of everything that’s come to him and that’s coming. He works hard. He’s humble, smart, sweet. Ty is everything to me.
What’s the best record that you all have made together?
My favorite is “Never Be The Same” with Jay Rock. Second is “Credit,” but “Saved,” we got a plaque for that one! We have a lot of songs together. We have songs that the world may never hear. Early Gizzle and Ty$, just grinding? We were making some gems.
Why do you think it’s important that people express their creativity through music, art, writing, etc?
Because it’s a form of therapy. I probably saved myself maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars in therapy, just by being able to express myself through music. As a child in South Central with a single mother, being raised my grandmother, later losing my grandmother — just having the traumatic experience of growing up in the inner city, I was able to write down and work through those emotions.
Get to the studio, record it, release it, hear it, reflect on it! It’s like your journal! I remember where I was then, and thank God I’m not there anymore. It really helps you navigate life. Now as an adult, I don’t carry a lot of that with me.
You’re a musician and founder of your own label. Tell us about your decision to create the label and your plans for the next few years.
The GZL Company stands for Grace, Zeal, and Leverage — the three tenants that have guided my career. All things you must do with grace. You must have great zeal. Be overzealous in some aspects, but you have to gain leverage! My extensive songwriting career was me gaining my leverage. Building my relationships, learning what I needed to learn about my craft in order to create the music that’s indicative of the person I am now.
Because it took time to figure out who I was as an artist and as a woman, what I wanted to be expressing to the world. I knew I had to create my own vehicle and find a way to pass on the knowledge. I’ve been in the industry since I was 17, I’m 31 now. That’s a lot of game. For that 17-year-old girl wherever she is in the world, wanting to get into this business thinking “oh I gotta get the attention of a major,” you don’t have to do those things anymore! I wanted to present a model for what the new age independent game is, and also make room for the growth to come.
And I just like to do whatever I want to do. In order to do that, you gotta own it. The only way you can have people not telling you what to do is if it’s yours.
Is there anything you want to let us know?
Take the time to get to know yourself, know what you want out of life. Surround yourself by good people, who inspire you to be better, who support you. Even your small wins. Go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated. Continue to fine-tune you and I promise, the world will bend to your will.