I never could color inside the lines. It offends my aesthetic sense of beauty to draw in such a rigid fashion. I like to be free and reckless when I draw. I’m no Michelangelo, but my grade school art teachers discouraged me from even trying. They would “grade” my artwork which always perplexed me. Really, my painting got a C? A “C” according to what? What is the metric that they used to measure my paintings?How do they know what I was expressing or why? And why should I stay inside the lines? I live to blur them.

Grading art in a way that inhibits creativity is just wrong to me. Art: The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. I go where my imagination takes me and the process is what I live for!In every art medium I want to be free to express whatever I feel at that moment. I understand the importance of  technique, I’m a dancer.  Once it’s time to perform, technique hopefully is an inherent skill and you shouldn’t be “in your head” on stage.

When I first starting writing music professionally I got the same criticism. Pick a genre and stay inside that world. Why? My influences are vast and so is my music. I don’t just listen to one style of music, I listen to everything and I always have. In my house growing up I heard jazz, blues, rock, fusion, classical, folk opera, and it was a beautiful thing. This doesn’t mean that I scoff at tradition or can’t appreciate straight ahead jazz, country, Rock, metal,   whatever. I Love Coltrane and I’ll listen to Loretta Lynn all day. My heart takes me in a different direction and that direction is now the new music paradigm. Gone are the days of having to be a  traditional country artist. Pop artists are collaborating with Urban artists, Rock artists are reaching out to jazz masters and electronics is blended into everything. I love it. The handcuffs are off. It cracks me up how many genres there are on music platforms now. You can also make up your own. I usually choose alternative because I like to be an alternative to everything else. I hate picking one genre. Other. I also like “other.”

Britney-Spears-Nicki-Minaj_610Last year I saw that Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj were touring together. Ha! What a trip. I kept trying to choreograph that show in my mind. Fascinating. I can’t imagine the two of them in the same room hanging out but maybe…it was great. The LA times blogged about Minaj touring with Spears and also Lil Wayne. Minaj:”Let me just say I’m going to take from Britney and Wayne, because they’re both veterans. Being completely honest I’ve learned so much from them, in terms of production. Britney’s production is so amazing.”

I’ve been watching Minaj on the rise for years and she is really a brilliant business woman. She blurs all the lines and love her or hate her, she is fearless. Lil Wayne integrated Rock Riffs into his music on collaborations like the one with Kevin Rudolf, “Let it Rock.” Steven Tyler built a genre busting bridge with his Run DMC collab on Walk This Way. Travis Barker of Blink 182 is a frequent collaborator with Hip Hop artists including a personal favorite of mine, Yelawolf. His remix of Flo Riders “Low” blew up on you tube. Then he turned around and worked with Willie Nelson. He also performed with DJ AM and the duo performed on the MTV music awards.

Here’s a great performance of AM and Barker at Paramount studios.

Whether it’s underground or The Billboard Hot 100, Grey is the new black.   Britney Spears and will.i.am are still trending on Billboard with Scream and Shout.

Personally, I love Spears in this world; it makes sense to me. Great video.

Once of the most bizarre collabs to me is Common with The Jonas Brothers. Say what? Strange Brew. That one really tripped me out. Not sure if I love it, hate it, or love to hate it. Interesting. The point is music has become The Wild Wild West and I say bring it on! I am so tired of being told that I have to pick a lane when I am creating music. I have; mine. I write what I want when I want and that is the beauty of art. Call my work whatever genre makes you happy. I could care less. Other. Be open and innovative and don’t try to fit your style into a box. Over time you will develop a signature sound all your own and that is what will define your music. I do think there should be an undeniable thread to people’s work and a unique style. From the first line of the music fans should know undeniably that is Ghezzi. It might take years to settle on your sound and be comfortable writing your music, but don’t let that stop you. We all borrow from our favorite influences but never try to imitate or force someone’s style on your own work. Don’t follow trends. Trends don’t last and that will lead you nowhere. Be a trend setter, it’s much more fun and all we really have as artists is the process.  Let it develop organically.

Rock and Roll is a blend of rhythm and blues music of the 1940s, which itself developed from earlier blues, boogie woogie, jazz and swing music, and was also influenced by gospel, country and western, and traditional folk music. Rock and roll in turn provided the main basis for the music that, since the mid-1960s, has been generally known as rock music. And everything sprang up from the mother-load, the blues. To catch some great deals on classic blues recordings be on the lookout April 20Th for National Record Store Day. The famed Vanguard Records is releasing limited edition vinyl recordings from the likes of Buddy Guy and Big Mama Thorton. Can’t wait!Among Vanguard’s releases for Record Store Day 2013 are exclusive vinyl editions of Festival: The Newport Folk Festival/1965, which was originally released in 1967, and Blues At Newport: 1963. Festival offers rare performances from Delta legend Son House (including “Death Letter”) and a breakthrough set from the Paul Butterfield Blues Band as well as the Chamber Brothers, John “Spider” Koerner, and Geoff Muldaur. Blues At Newport: 1963 features performances from John Lee Hooker, Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and others.

To know where you’re going musically, you’ve got to know where we’ve been. Listen to everything, and then throw it all away and do your music.

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose ”

From Wonderland: Best & Worst Unexpected Collaborations of 2012

6 Responses to Genre busting

  1. vartan says:

    what genre do u make ? ” OTHER ! ” should never be scared to collab with genre’s outside our lane. we’ve always been a fan of meshing which is what brought us all together…and we will continue!

    • Ghezzi says:

      I Love genre-busting! It enables you to be so creative and meet so many fantastic artists that you might never be aware of otherwise. You never know the doors can open when you broaden your reach:-)

  2. This is so true. Some of our favorite artist stepped across genres such as Nelly, Ed Sheeran, and Jason Mraz.

    • Ghezzi says:

      It’s the direction of the Industry and much more creative…and fun!I’ve always been happier collaborating with artists across genres. It’s getting easier to do.

  3. Ever J says:

    Ghezzi,

    Let it develop organically!! I loved reading all of this because for so long I felt I just didn’t fit with my music, and then I tried to “fit” in, but its not me. I am realizing I am gonna do what I do best, and so far..things are starting to catch on fire with my own stuff..its amazing!!
    I really enjoyed reading this! Thanks.

  4. james avery says:

    Ghezzi,thanks.After reading this and talking to you on the phone your right.I’m not in a box.I have music i was just scared to put out there,not in what we do i was told.it will come out now,well when we get the chance

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