By: Alexis Faber//
Minimalistic and real – these are just a few words to describe the artist Just Gift. Originally from Austin, Just Gift began making music in high school, where his vast curiosity led him to create his own sound and image. Listening to music from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, his ears are experienced with different genres, beats, and styles of music. His single ‘Out of Date’ tests various beats, connecting with the listener through emotion. His creative being is inspiring and I can personally say, I have learned from this interview to continue staying curious and that individuality and self expression is absolutely necessary when becoming successful in any creative industry. Just Gift had some time to answer a few questions we had for him.
Give us a little background information on yourself – where you’re from, when and how you began your career in music?
I’m from Austin. I began making music in high-school out of curiosity. Curiosity that, I’m pretty sure, stems from the wonder that being a fan of music affords us. It’s all wonder probably. First you wonder how they do it. Then you wonder how you’d do it. Then they wonder how you did it.
If you had to pick one artist to perform with live, who would it be and why?
Peter Eddins on the ivories.
What specific moment or moments in your life led you to want to create music?
That’s a good question. I used to tell my mom I wanted to sing as far back as I can remember. We used to drive around and listen to music from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s….all day. I still do that. Never really learned how to sing. I did learn how to craft a 16 though. Maybe subconsciously I always clung to that. Perhaps rapping was a necessary compensation…to assuage how I viewed myself. I also could have just watched too many smack dvd’s in high-school.
What’s your favorite (or least favorite) part of the music industry and why?
My favorite part is finishing a verse I’m proud of. I’m a creative, I have to create. My least favorite part is probably self promotion. Not that I don’t like it, I just think about it the least. Process of elimination.
What is one of your biggest musical goals at this moment in time?
Improving my work flow and having a better understanding of it.
Who or what is your source of motivation to continue striving for success?
Another good question. That varies from team members to racing my own shadow. Finding new ways to do things, new things to do, or just setting a new personal record.
The song ‘Out of Date’ is so different, I absolutely love the sound – give me the background story on this song and why you chose the beats that you did.
I always say I go with the wand chooses the wizard approach, when it comes to picking beats. ‘Out of Date’ was just one of those beats. It spoke to me immediately. It was composed by Peter Eddins, who’s painfully talented. But what’s more important than that is his feel for engagement. What the listener is feeling is important. That beat did a good job of staying aware of that.
Who are the current artists that you are listening to for inspiration?
Haha, still riding around listening to old music. I’d love some suggestions. My ears are older than I am unfortunately.
If you had to pick one word to describe yourself as an artist, what would it be?
What can we expect from you in terms of future releases, songs, EP’s, albums, and live performances?
It’s no fun if I can’t surprise you.