Rapzilla recently interviewed Reach Records’s newest signee, GAWVI, about landing with the label as an artist and, initially, as a producer.
Much of GAWVI’s early experience as a producer came working in South Florida with the rap group Rhema Soul, whose albums Dope Beats & Good News, Fingerprints and Dope Beats, Good News, Vol. 2 were entirely produced by GAWVI.
Through Rhema Soul, GAWVI was introduced to other Christian hip-hop music, like Lecrae’s. At age 16 or 17, GAWVI attended his first Lecrae performance and was impressed. GAWVI proceeded to hand CDs of his beats to Lecrae at the next few concerts he caught. When GAWVI gave him CD No. 3, Lecrae had a message for him.
“Bro, I’ve been looking for you,” GAWVI said, quoting Lecrae. “Every time you give me a CD, you never leave your contact information.”
Lecrae soon flew GAWVI to Memphis, where Reach was based at the time, and the producer has worked with Reach ever since. Over just the past year, he produced the tracks “I Wouldn’t Know” by Lecrae, “Uncomfortable”, “Desperados” and “Vendetta” by Andy Mineo and “Crowns & Thorns (Oceans)” by KB.
After years as an on-staff producer for Reach, the label announced in January that it had signing GAWVI as an artist, making him Reach’s first new artist since 2011.
“As I was creating a lot of songs for the guys, there were a lot of moments where I just needed some musical outlet for me where I was like, ‘I just want to create some pop songs right now. But I can’t make any pop songs for Lecrae. He’s not going to sing a Calvin Harris-type of song,'” GAWVI said.
“As that was happening, a lot of the guys here at Reach started realizing, ‘Hey, GAWVI, you have a huge passion for different genres of music. What if you start dibbling and dabbling into different stuff? That’s what created the idea of, ‘Maybe you could be your own artist and release your own music kind of like how DJ Mustard or Calvin Harris, again, or Skrillex or Diplo, they release their own stuff.”
GAWVI’s debut album is scheduled to release this spring.