This will be the first we’ve both been together in Woking since we both moved away; myself to university in Uxbridge, while Gian went up to Stroud, Gloucestershire, to work with his dad in a family restaurant. Considering this is the twilight of the ‘You Don’t Know.’ album, it seems only fitting to be meeting up with the co-founder, just to chat about his role in the project, his own upcoming work and the general clutter he’s been through in the last 8 months.
Tee: So I’m sitting here with Gianluca, aka G-Take, aka The Next Best Thing.
Gian: Yes all those names
G: We did that
T: What else have you done?
G: Erm, that’s it really. I’ve kept it pretty low (laugh). Seems like I’ve flown under the radar quite a bit.
T: Well no, you’ve been on other people’s projects.
G: Well yeah, people keep coming to me and asking me for lyrics and to be on tracks, and I can do it! I could do everything, not to big myself up but if someone was to come to me and say here’s the beat, I’d love you to be on it! Here’s the concept, or you can just do what you want and rap on it, I’m like absolutely, give me a week and I’ll come back to you with whatever and it’ll be done. But things get in the way, like other people. Like, for example, we have Ross who’d been asking us to do something with the track he sent us-
T: -yeah I’ve spoken to him-
G: Yeah, he’s been chatting to me like, have you done anything with the music and I’m like I’m ready to go, I’ve got your music, I can put it into audacity and record tomorrow for you but Tee wants to go through it with you before I do anything! (Laughs) So these are the road blocks that I hit.
G: I think it was just The Dance?
T: Yeah cause who else was featured? It was just Andi and Chloe, who had two tracks.
G: But The Dance is a great song.
T: Then obviously your EP then the album, and now this new album, which you’re on–
T: So what was it like, doing this project for you. Because you own a restaurant, you moved from Woking to Stroud in October.
G: I moved to Stroud, Gloucestershire in the West of the country. I think. That’s probably not right. I’m nearer Wales than I am Woking now, which is really surreal. I live with a friend of mine from college who helps out at the restaurant. I’m a restaurant manager slash owner with my Dad and Grandfather. So it’s us three that run it and I work everyday but 2, so my life is extremely busy and cluttered but I still make time for my stuff.
T: Yeah, and we say all that to say that it’s an 11 track album. And Gian who’s a huge part of the collective is only on 4 tracks. Was that cause of the lack of availability?
G: I mean, if Roti wanted me on more tracks it could’ve been done.
T: Yeah but, deadlines (laughs). So a lot of circumstance came into it I feel.
G: None of which were me!
T: You just said you’ve been working 5 days a week!
G: (Laughs) Yeah true.
T: So only having those 2 days off a week, and living in a different place as we’re hitting our stride, how does that feel.
G: It definitely hurts because when I lived here (in Woking) before, it used to be a case of ‘get off your ass, walk 40 minutes to Tee’s house’. Now it’s ‘book that day off, make sure it’s free, book tickets, get all your stuff, get a 2 to 3 hour train, get here, reminisce, watch a film, eat pizza, do something productive, get home in time to do the work shift‘. And it’s just cluttered. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s that it could be some much easier.
T: And it has been so much easier
G: If I could drive, it would be so much easier. I feel like when I can it will be because it’ll just be hopping in the car and listen to Queen for an hour and a half, some Eminem, get here, work, have fun then drive back at whatever time I want.
T: Speaking of Queen & Eminem right, there’s a lot of influence of both rock and hip-hop on 40 Nights.
G: Oh yeah, I even did a remix of Radio Gaga.
T: So how do you use that at the foetal point of your project?
G: There’s definitely gonna be a lot of that in there. I mean, the way I live my life is how I’ve been brought up and I’ve been brought up on this music. So if I’d completely put myself into an album and say it’s mine and this is my project, I can’t hide anything. I can’t say I’m not gonna do this because people feel a certain way. If I want it on there I want it on there. The only thing I won’t do out of respect for younger people and The Collective is swear. But at the same time, I don’t want swearing on there. Like, if I did want it on there I couldn’t hold it back purely because the messages I portray out to people is be yourself, believe in yourself and trust that you can do it. If I was to then let myself be censored, I’d be hypocritical. I can’t say this to one person when I’m doing the other.
T: That’s a very interesting point because we’ve got the ‘Jesus Christ For Me Collective’ right? And that is something that is also very strong in your music. Like even on my favourite song 40 Knights, you say ‘Remember God’s there’, so how do you try and strike this balance in your life between this element of faith and this clutter of life that we now find ourselves in? Like, how do you try and keep God involved in your life now with it not being so simple as it was when we both lived here?
G: Oh that’s not even a question. Like, I have had times in my life where I’ve questioned the existence of God and my faith and things. Like when I was younger and growing up, going through this hard times and family problems and things just not going right and I really have had those times where I’ve said to myself right there’s nothing, I’m on my own here. And I’m still here, that’s all I’ve really got to say is I’m still here. Like there’s just no doubt in my mind. Like Stephen Hawking my be able to say oh there’s nothing or whatever but I just can’t. I dunno, maybe I’m just blind. But even then, ignorance is bliss, leave me alone (laughs).
T: This is what I mean, like, as Christians, we’re either the most fortunate people to know this or the must stupid to think this is real.
G: Either way, I just feel that there is more than this, I just can’t physically live. I can’t accept things that’ve happened, like I can’t function, without having that faith in what I feel. It’s not a case of I don’t wanna be told it, or I don’t wanna face reality; I’ve faced reality. I’ve had a lot of real experiences in my life and a lot of hard times. I’ve seen what can happen. I’ve seen both sides, I’ve had all 3 options and there’s no way in my head that there’s nothing going on. I feel it’s a relationship I’ll never lose. And that confidence is obviously instilled to a point where I’m just not worried about it at all. I’ve had so much in the past now that almost feel like I’m never gonna falter.
T: That’s very cool. So we had 40 Nights, which you enjoyed doing. We then got to Lost Angels, which we can both look back at and say it wasn’t our best work because, I think, we’re trying to collage things from the start of 2012 to the end of 2014.
G: The problem was, it was done so long ago. Year 11 was a very transitional year for me. Like you wouldn’t know it was the same person from the start of it till the end. So all ideas and recording from 2011 and 12 compared to now, like I was only just starting to walk, and now I’m running, now I’m getting up to speed. The past 2 years have been so progressive, even in the last 5 months I’ve been rapping so differently. Like I’ll listen back to the album now and my dad will love it but I’ll here myself and cringe. I’m like it’s slow, it’s choppy, it’s not fun, there’s no passion, who am I? Like I wasn’t trying to ruffle any feathers or rock the boat, it was just work. Now it’s fun.
T: Do you feel any of that when you listen to 40 Nights?
G: When I listen to some of it yeah, not all of it. Nowhere near as much as with Lost Angels.
T: So we come to You Don’t Know. What do you think about where you are now?
G: Where I am now is great. I’m having a fun time in my life and things are going great. I have money in the bank, which is always nice. Money doesn’t mean anything to me but it’s nice to have it there. I’m getting rewarded for the hard work I’m doing. I got recognised in the restaurant for being a rapper, and people will come in and have a cup of tea and invite me to their recording studio and things are just kicking off. I keep in touch with everyone in the Collective, I’m happy for all of them, and we’re all having a good time, working hard and getting things done. So it’s so rewarding to hear the finished album, to hear it all mixed. To have something finished and to get it out there for people to hear and for them to like it. Because it’s a case of me working so hard both inside and outside of music. Like I’m working on my life!
T: So on your album, can we expect to hear about this life?
G: It’s gonna be a step up. Everything we’ve been doing is the been raising the bar and I’m not interested at keeping at the same level or dropping it. (Laughs)
T: I do think that the swearing thing is so important to talk about though. Like we’ve had so many conversations about it, and I think it’s so important because there are so many Christians that swear. And it’s something else we turn a blind eye to. Like this album we just released is about death and how we turn a blind eye to that in the church, right?
G: What I don’t want though is for people to look at me and think well he said it so it’s fine. That would be the worst thing ever. I swear cause I have a certain view and belief, probably different to yours, and I would hate people to say that his reasons are right and he’s just given me the reason to do this or keep doing this. Not at all,you need your own reasons to do your own actions.
T: Now that’s what I find interesting. I feel personally that’s a really tough thing for you to say and continue doing that yourself, but this isn’t my interview. Overall it’s very important that these issues get brought up and discussed at least. But yeah, close us out.
G: You can expect a real kick up a notch on my album. It’ll take a while, so I can make it banging. I’m a big personality, a big character, I’m loud, I’m quite larger than life and happy and that’s what you can expect on the album. Just a little bit of that and some music.
I guess we’re just growing up…
Remember, you can check out G-Take’s features on Rootsta’s album, as well as all his previous work at our bandcamp, www.JC4MeRecords.bandcamp.com