Interviews

Q+A – Australian Producer “Gem”

Otherworldly LA-based Aussie producer and DJ, Gem has today shared her dreamy new electro pop banger, Malibu, the first taste of her forthcoming EP set for release later this year. The track is accompanied by a suitably contemplative video that gently whisks the viewer through the utopian dreamstate of Gem’s mind. This stylish, meditative, retro electro track is buoyed by warm synths, chilled 80s-inspired percussion and that wistful vocal.  For fans of The 1975, Jessie Ware and LANY, the song was mixed by Grammy winning Serve Courtois (LANY, Sasha Sloan, Loud Luxury) and mastered by multi Grammy award winning Dale Becker (Khalid, Macklemore, RÜFÜS DU SOL).  Tuned to 432hz, the frequency known to align oneself with the universe, Gem explains, “This song is my love letter to the universe, written with the intention of manifesting new love and produced in 432hz, I wanted to experiment with the powerful formula of frequency + intention = healing.” Gem contemplates, “What if producers could be the modern day shaman?”

We caught up with GEM to learn more about her and her music.

H2Z: Hi, thanks for taking the time to chat with Hear 2 Zen, what have you been up to today?
GEM: Thank you for having me :-). This morning I had a vocal session with LA, all digitally of course as I am currently in Australia.  We were having harmonies recorded on some new tracks I have coming out this year. Always love seeing the final stages come together. This afternoon was spent with my grandfather

H2Z: Tell us about yourself, how long have you been performing/creating music for?  
GEM: Music has been a part of my life from the very beginning. Growing up with a musical family, it’s been very much part of my DNA. I remember carrying a note pad and writing poems that later became songs from about 8 years old. 

H2Z: Who are your greatest inspirations?  Why?
GEM: I’ve SO many! Joni Mitchell for songwriting, one of my favourite all time records is Blue. It just keeps you in a whole mood. Stevie Nicks- she’s one of my favourite singers. Taylor Swift how she has reinvented herself time and time again.  Linda Perry, nominated for a Grammy for producer of the year last year (did you know no female has ever won still to this day)

H2Z: How do you create music?  Are you lyrics/story driven, or does the music/melody come first?  Explain your process. 
GEM: I like to have the concept- the name of the song, a lyric idea based on an experience that has emotion and colour. Something I can bring myself to feel easily through memory.  Then I build a track to that concept I take it about 70% and then write the top line and melody. I am very deliberate about frequencies and spend time experimenting with how something impacts the body. The whole experience is very important to me. I’m super focused on creating sonic tonics – feel good remedies.

H2Z: What has been your greatest challenge so far in performing/creating music?
GEM: My biggest challenge has been to really back myself and just go for it. Thankfully I have supportive people around me, that’s key. I’ve been slow to call myself a producer and really step up into that role.  Shyness perhaps, I’m actually quite introverted. 

H2Z: Tell us about your new release, how did it come about?
GEM: Malibu is so special to me, my first original piece that’s out under my name. It’s my love  letter to the universe, produced in 432hz I just love the tranquility and vibe. . I was quarantined in Sydney and really leaning into the feelings I had first going back and forth to California, the magic, the warmth, that feeling that maybe just maybe your dreams might come true. 

H2Z: What advice do you have to artists who are just starting out?
GEM: Find the parts of yourself that are the most true- explore those and bring them to life.  The things that make you unique are your gifts as an artist. 

H2Z: Tell us your favourite Zen practice.
GEM: I meditate daily and afterwards I listen to a particular frequency based on what I need emotionally or physically. This morning it was 528hz – it’s a miracle tone known for its positive boosting properties. I just put it on and close my eyes, breathe through the track and feel connected and grateful.

Listen: MALIBU

Watch: MALIBU

More About GEM

Having lived in LA and made an impressive splash in the entertainment industry for the last year, Gem has revelled in the spotlight playing regular high-profile gigs, including The Emmy Awards pre-party and Pride Festival in Miami and NYC.  She recently flew back home to Australia to perform at the Melbourne Grand Prix, but the event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which luckily saw her able to hunker down and isolate here in Aus with her family.  

Proudly repping Australia, Gem was named one of the top 5 female producers in the world to watch by Showbiz Magazine and she’s been welcomed in to the industry’s inner circle via the Grammy NEXT program as one of the top emerging producers for 2020-2021. Gem insights, “LA has acted as a teacher and mentor to me, the city itself has so many different colours, smells and experiences – the access to inspiration in that wonderful city is vast and plentiful.” 

Best known for her electro reinterpretations of 70s classics on her covers album the2070s that peaked at #2 on the iTunes electronic charts and last year saw her nominated for best electronic album and producer of the year at the Independent Music Awards in the US. “It feels like a coming of age in a weird way, to be stepping out from behind the desk and releasing original music that is my own,” Gem explains. “It definitely has a greater sense of vulnerability attached and at the same time it feels like I’m exactly where I need to be, letting my guard down and getting my true music out.”

Created by Hussam Eissa, an emerging digital artist out of Egypt, this 4D video takes viewers on a journey through the wonderland of the inner workings of Gem’s imagination. “The single artwork and video clip is inspired by a vivid dream I had. I was traveling in my bed over the waves of Malibu, constantly searching. The waves lapped at the side of the bed as it rolled gently on the ocean. A whale swam around me and jumped out of the water and dived across the bed while I stayed asleep thinking it was a dream, not realising my thoughts had been so powerful the room had burst open and the bed really was laying on the waves, realising then that being awake can be a simulated dream state if you’re truly living presently from your heart chakra.”

Malibu is out August now. 

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