How did you come by your stage name?
Well, I was always big on literature because I had a lot of great role models such as my older brother constantly placing reading materials in front of me. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald always stuck with me for some reason. Maybe it was Jay Gatsby’s drive to succeed for a girl? I’m not really sure what the actual source of admiration is, but it definitely works for a great story.
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
I’ve always been very, very strongly opinionated; or so I’ve been told haha. Expressing myself without negative reaction hasn’t been easy, however. But I never intend to offend anyone. I feel this generation is just a bit less privy to my blunt personality… which then led to me writing often and that pretty much transpired into writing music.
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
My big brother has been the biggest influence by far. He’s always encouraged me to be me, even if it meant going against the grid. Ironically enough, the second biggest influence in my life, I’ve never met; Jay-Z. It really is bigger than music.
When I used to tell my friends how much I admired Jay, they’d try to ignite a debate about how great, or not great his music was. Although I think he put out amazing music, again, it was bigger than the music. I admired his growth from not the typical rapper’s “rag to riches” story, but he kept pushing from the “riches” and elevated to higher growth beyond that. How can you not admire that?
On your upcoming project, how did you come up with the concept?
MO Then Math actually has a double meaning. More than math, obviously a play on the Asian stereotype that Asians are only good at math. But it also represents motive (MO), then math (the money will follow); Make your motives, goals, aspirations clear to yourself. Put the work in. The numbers will come.
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
The greatest challenge by far is passing two major barriers. One, which is a shared one with all up and coming artists of breaking through, and two, the Asian barrier.
I honestly don’t really like speaking on it, because I definitely want my music to speak for itself rather than the main topic of me being that I’m Asian, but it’s the reality. Asian Americans have yet to break through completely in the entertainment industry in America.
How can fans find you?
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jgatzbi
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jgatzbi
Twitter – https://twitter.com/jgatzbi1
Website – www.jgatzbi.com
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Careful who you show your music too. I honestly say F the feedback portion. Work hard at what you do and make sure it’s what you believe is your best work. At that point, any changes needed to be made, is it even really you? So why bother putting yourself in a position to have to ask yourself that.
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