A Boxer, TV Personality and now Music Artist…
Motivated and Hardworking are terms that are thrown around a lot by many individuals in the world in order to describe themselves, but it is rare to find someone in our generation who actually embodies these admirable attributes. In order to truly make it in this industry you need to understand the meaning of those words and stop at nothing to achieve your goals. That is what is so inspiring about these electronic dance music artists and the journey that they have embarked on. They have gone above and beyond what we can comprehend as hard work and have given us something to admire just through sheer determination and grit. There’s not many who can qualify and say that they have dedicated it all and have made something of themselves, but DJ Greg Gatsby is definitely one of them.
Greg has one of the most unusual journeys of any artist that I have heard of. He started off as a Golden Gloves boxer and a TV personality before he went on back to his first passion… music. Greg has gone on to do some pretty great things including headlining and playing shows from Canada to Miami. What’s so amazing is that even though he has accomplished so much he is still humble and more driven than ever before. That’s crazy to think about when you are dealing with a former boxer.
I must say this was one of my favorite interviews and I was proud to get an opportunity to talk to this great artist.
Behind The Beat with Greg Gatsby
OTB: How did you get started with the Electronic Dance Music, producing and Djing?
Greg Gatsby: Well, truth be told I had a very unique path. When I was in high school, sports (basketball specifically) were a very important part of my life. So during practice and before games we would have what was called the layup line drill and there would be music in the background. One day I decided that I was going to make the layup line song mix and with a basic mixing software I started making mix tapes for practice. I continued doing this through college working on mixing and combining mixing music with the sports I played. After that, I got more and more into the electronic dance music scene and I started booking DJ’s for gigs and events. After a while of just learning, watching and meeting these artists I realized that this I want to do. I have a base in this business and I want to move people and I know I can do this.
OTB: What are your biggest influences driving you to succeed/ what is your biggest inspiration?
GG: I want to have a voice. I want to have an impact on people and their lives and I have realized through my journey that music is the most powerful tool/outlet to do that. My initial inspiration that has carried through was being part of this scene and these events. Just the realization that you can interact with people and the fans on a different level than most normal people is truly something special to me.
OTB: Who were some of the artists that have inspired you and your sound?
GG: Well really everyone at mad decent is amazing and they definitely influenced me a lot. However, specifically I would have to say Diplo. He has done so much and really has helped change the game. I mean there aren’t too many people who can encompass so many different genres of music into one set like he can and still have the crowd going crazy. He interacts with the fans on a different level and they feed off of the energy he provides.
OTB: So it seems based on your production and sets that you have made that there are a variety of genres that you use. What would you say is your genre of choice and who do you listen to?
GG: Well I love so many different types and forms of music really and my sound and my ear are always naturally evolving, but I would say I like hip hop, moombah and trap over the big room house tracks of today. I love listening to albums like Illmatic – Nas and artists like the Fugees. When I’m producing obviously I just try to let everything flow, but my major influences really come out and I enjoy staying in the 100-110 bpm range and it seems that is coming out more in my productions.
OTB: In your career so far, what was your favorite show and venue to play?
GG: I would have to say that Metropolis in Montreal was the best show and venue I have played. I was the headliner for that show and it was amazing just having real productions behind you. The crowd was also amazing. There were about 3-4 thousand people who knew music and had an appreciation for music It was a gig that may have been above where I was as an artist, but that might have made me appreciate it more and make it more special.
OTB: If you could meet 3 people alive or dead who would they be?
GG: See below
1) Steve Jobs – I really understood some of his characteristics and attributes and I feel like I can relate to them. I like that there was a certain tenacity and a drive that he had that there was only one level he could accept and that was exceptional.
2) Pac – He was so ahead of his time. His insights about the world were really inspiring and it seems like he was talking to his generation and preparing them for the future.
3) It’s a Tie between Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift – Its actually funny because I put into contracts that the venue I play at has to do something in regards to Miley Cyrus or T swift. So they usually put up a picture of them or something. To be quite honest, I don’t know what it is, but I think that they are both great.
OTB: All artists have goals and aspirations for their careers. Where do you believe you will be in 3-5 years?
GG: Well I think I will buy Avicii’s house in California because he would’ve upgraded by then. On a serious note though I want to be in a situation that my team and I can be financially stable and I want to be in L.A.
OTB: If you could be doing anything other than music or be in any other profession what would that be?
GG: For a while I was working with kids and once I got really invested in music I couldn’t do that work as much. I really miss motivating and working with kids so I would say that I would be a coach for basketball or boxing. I already am a certified boxing coach and have competed at a high level so it makes sense.
OTB: When did you feel like you had accomplished something within your music career?
GG: Well when I was first learning how to produce, I had a person sit down with me and tell me that he was going to work with me to the point that I could identify the keys of songs by ear, He forced me to listen to songs after song and mix in key and when I messed up I would have to go back to the beginning and do it all over again. Finally when I started doing everything perfectly I realized that not only had I developed my ear, but I felt that I accomplished a major goal of mine.
OTB: What advice can you give all the up and coming artists who want to make it in this scene?
GG: Well my advice is as follows; the key to success is to make sure that you network your ass off and become friends with the right people, that is really the most important thing. It sounds easy, but it really isn’t or else everyone would be doing it. Also, be a genuine person because people see through fake people all the time and it will get you nowhere. So be you.
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