Think Ahead Tuesdays: Gavlyn, Make Up for Your Break Up
By Anton Constantinou
As far as female rappers go, Gavlyn is in league of her own. The 25 year old from LA is not only beautiful, she spits better than most dudes in the game in the moment.
Since arriving on the scene in 2006, Gavlyn has so far proved herself a fierce talent, capable of multiple styles and flows. And she’s set to make further headway this week with the launch of her latest album, Make Up for Your Break Up.
What makes Gavlyn so exciting to listen to is her unique voice and choice of beats. She’s raw sounding in a way which instantly makes you think Jean Grae or Bahamadia– a talent scarcely seen these days. In fact, Gavlyn is something of an old soul by modern standards. Her gritty rhyming, complex subject matter, and classic boom bap style production is distinctly 90’s. To coincide with that, her influences include the likes of Mad Skillz, Hieroglyphics, and old school Jay Z. Outside of hip hop , she’s into jungle, drum and bass and alternative rock, and artists like Portishead, Amy Winehouse and St Vincent. As a result of her broad tastes, Gavlyn’s music has a fresh, authentic feel which is instantly recognisable.
Like most, Gavlyn started out rapping in high school. As a teenager, her and other underground hip hop heads would practice by dropping bars to MF Doom instrumentals. To harness her skills as a poet she also began doing spoken word cafes. By 2012, her first album, From The Art was complete. As a debut release it’s pretty generic sounding, let down to some extent by average production, but that’s only given Gavlyn room to grow as an artist. Early signs of prowess do shine through in places though. No worries is pretty sick, and Blown Away boasts a seriously dope beat.
On Habit That You Blame, Gavlyn definitely upped the ante. Her second album is much more lyrical and self conscious. The production is also better. Themes tackled this time around range, pride, complacency, selfishness and greed. She even goes as far as to share as few nightmares she’s been having in the song, In Dreams.
Sound wise, Habit That You Blame benefits from a mixture of low key piano notes, heavy bass and low pitched synths, which allows Gavlyn to achieve a much darker mood and feel akin to an early wu tang joint. It’s release also coincided with a big European tour she went on that year. 2013 saw her taking the stage in Germany, Sweden and Denmark, and along the way garnering respect from fans the world over.
By the arrival of her third album, Modest Confidence, a year later, Gavlyn had well and truly come into her own. Of the 13 tracks on offer, no one song sounds the same, thanks not only to Gavlyn’s own lyrical dexterity, but also the great instrumentals she was given to work with. Production came far and wide on this album, with international beatmakers on board including So Cal Vets DJ Hoppa, DJ Dubplates and EQ. As difficult as it is to pin down the stand out tracks, there’s three in particular which we really like: Take Over, Guilty Pleasure and the title track itself, Modest Confidence.
Given Gavlyn’s ongoing growth as artist, we see no reason why Make Up for Your Break Up shouldn’t prove a further step towards self actualization. For a snapshot of what’s to come, here are three tracks already released for it:
Widget not in any sidebars
Widget not in any sidebars
Latest posts by Anton Constantinou (see all)
- Interview: Highlight Nation Meets Easy Mo Bee (Part 2) - January 6, 2019
- How Many MPs Must Get Dissed? Five of the Biggest Punchlines in British Politics - November 24, 2018
- INTERVIEW: Behind the Scenes with Artist, Writer and Radio Presenter Novar FLIP - October 14, 2018