South Jersey’s 15-Year Old Artist Gigi Marie Breaks Down Music, Adolescence, Family, & More |@NicoTheBeast |@mrszarrella

MJ here with I Am Hip Hop Lon­don!  Tonight I need to share the story of an aston­ish­ing and heart-stop­ping tal­en­ted young lady! I came across a video of a high school tal­ent show and imme­di­ately every ele­ment of my being and soul became elev­ated. Gigi Mar­ie is a 15-year old high school stu­dent and lyr­i­cist from south Jer­sey with the cul­min­at­ing abil­ity to deliv­er raw yet heart­felt and pro­found lyr­ics through her ten­acious voice!

MJ:  Gigi, let me start this inter­view first and fore­most by say­ing thank you!  At age 15 thank you for invest­ing in your fam­ily, invest­ing in your edu­ca­tion, and invest­ing in pos­it­ive out­lets that can only mani­fest change in what feels like a dis­or­i­ented world. Even our youth can be role mod­els for adults!  Please take us on that stage with you the night of the tal­ent show.  What impelled you to raise the bar, and to bring to light such sens­it­ive, swept under the rug top­ics as sui­cide, addic­tion, and lives lost?

Gigi: First I want to start off by say­ing thank you for tak­ing your time to inter­view me. I know you are a very busy woman but the fact that you took the time to inter­view me means so much! I lost many people to those top­ics, so it’s very import­ant to me. So many people have dealt and deal with these top­ics every day, but most don’t know how to talk about it. They don’t com­pletely under­stand how to cope with it or talk about their thoughts while deal­ing with it.

MJ:  Unfor­tu­nately, you have exper­i­enced the loss of loved ones from addic­tion and sui­cide.  Can you tell us the impact that had on you at such a young age?

Gigi: My cous­in Dean com­mit­ted sui­cide in 2013. He was one of my best friends and was more like a brother then cous­in. Also my grand­mother Net and uncle Mike (dad’s mom and brother) died months apart from each oth­er. We lost them to addic­tion. It was extremely hard for me. I felt like I had to stay strong, and music was a release to escape the hardest times.

MJ:  There is a tre­mend­ous amount of pres­sure put on teen­agers in terms of con­form­ity, exper­i­ment­a­tion, defi­ance, etc.  What or who do you cred­it to stay­ing groun­ded and focused?

Gigi: I cred­it my par­ents for keep­ing me groun­ded. My mom and dad always told me to stay true to myself. They told me nev­er to change for any­one, and if someone wanted me to change, they weren’t healthy to be around.

MJ:  Let’s talk music!  Now we know it’s in the genes, but that doesn’t equate to you craft­ing your tal­ent, that part is a choice.  When did you fall in love with music? Tell us about the moment you declared to pur­sue music?

Gigi: I have been in love with music since before I can remem­ber. When I was about 3 years old my uncle decided to help me play the piano. Since then it’s been a huge part of my life. My father has also rapped since he was 16, so that also provided music­al exper­i­ence into the Hip Hop cul­ture. I saw how people acted and how people had this image that was shown towards the pub­lic. I declared to pur­sue music when my uncle passed. My uncle always said he saw big things for me. He wanted me to be suc­cess­ful and he helped me get through things that I didn’t think I could get through. I was determ­ined to prove that and make him proud.

MJ:  Why Hip Hop?  Is it a fas­cin­a­tion with the cul­ture?  Is it the trans­form­a­tion of words to a cadence and rhythmic flow of lyr­ics? Is it being mes­mer­ized by your father’s career?  I could go on and on, but I’m eager for your respon­se.

Gigi: Hon­estly Hip Hop is so diverse and incred­ible. It’s all dif­fer­ent and not one song has the same mes­sage. Not every­one has the same flow, and not every­one has the same word choice. My father has always made sure that I got things right. He made sure that I per­fec­ted my breath con­trol, and my flow. He made me feel like if it really meant some­thing to me, to stick by it and keep going, and keep per­fect­ing it.

MJ:  How old were you when you laid down your very first track? Tell us the array of emo­tions that flooded you when you heard the mastered pro­duct!  Has it been an adren­aline rush since then?

Gigi: I can’t remem­ber how old I was but it was so excit­ing. I’m pretty sure I was about 13. It was dif­fi­cult, I won’t lie. I had to make sure I had to per­fect the 4 count. I had to make sure I could con­trol my breath. I fin­ished and listened, and it was such a rush. Hear­ing my voice over a beat was so cool to me, and it made me feel like I’m finally doing some­thing I love.

MJ:  Talk about your rela­tion­ship with your par­ents and fam­ily.  I know they are encour­aging and very sup­port­ive of your choice to pur­sue music.  How involved are they? Tell us some chal­lenges of hav­ing busi­ness and fam­ily under the same roof. What are some of the perks?

Gigi: They are involved in pretty much everything. They want to make sure that I have stuff sor­ted out. They want to make sure I can talk to them if some­thing ever goes wrong. The perks are sim­ple, we all relate to one another and if we need to talk, we have each oth­er. We hold each oth­er down, and call each oth­er out on things.

MJ:  Who would you con­sider to be role mod­els in your life, both per­son­ally and music­ally?

Gigi: My role mod­els are my mom, my dad, my grand mom, and of course, Eminem. My mom and dad have always been there for me, even though I don’t always under­stand somethings. They help me under­stand. My grand mom has always been there for me. She’s always there for me when I need her. All I have to do is call her or text her and she answers almost right away. Eminem’s music was just extremely help­ful and his words meant a lot to me. His music has got­ten me through the rough times.

MJ:  Talk about your future goals. When I come back to inter­view you in a few years, what will we be catch­ing up on?

Gigi: I will be going to col­lege and I want to be suc­cess­ful! I want to make all my years of hard work mean some­thing. People are going to hear my name and know who I am. They will know what I stand for.

MJ:  What gen­res of music do you listen to?  Who is in your cur­rent playl­ist?  Who are some artists that you would like to share the stu­dio or stage with?

Gigi: Besides my dad and The League I listen to Rock, Altern­at­ive, Pop, and of course Hip Hop!  I have all sorts of people in my playl­ist but I would love to rock with Eminem. I’ve always looked up to him. It seemed like I could relate to him, even though I don’t know him per­son­ally.

MJ:  Before we wrap up, I’m curi­ous to get your stand­point on a few things.  What is your opin­ion on what is cat­egor­ized today as music by the media and radio?  What type of effect on young people do you think it has?

Gigi: It kind of all sounds the same. the mes­sages aren’t the same, but the beats are. It brain­washes young­er gen­er­a­tions into think­ing that’s music. But I want people to hear old music and pay atten­tion to the words and mean­ing, not just the catchy beat.

MJ:  Is there any­thing else you would like the world to know about Gigi Mar­ie?

Gigi: Every­one needs to know that I am always here if any­one needs help or to talk about some­thing. I will always try and help you get through some­thing, even if I don’t know u or haven’t been through it myself.

MJ:  I want to thank you again for exer­cising your voice and tal­ent in a man­ner to exert hope and change. Salute!

Gigi: Thank you for the oppor­tun­ity MJ, it means so much to me and my fam­ily!

For more info on Gigi Mar­ie email christyzarrella30@gmail.com

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MJ Savino

MJ Savino

MJ is Hip Hop Blog­ger, Pub­li­cist, Book­ing Agent, Act­iv­ist, but fan first and fore­most. “Hip Hop saved my life, it is only right I give back to the cul­ture”!

About MJ Savino

MJ Savino
MJ is Hip Hop Blogger, Publicist, Booking Agent, Activist, but fan first and foremost. "Hip Hop saved my life, it is only right I give back to the culture"!