Dami: What inspired you to start making music?
GLDMAZE: Aw man, I think the biggest inspiration is the hope I can always better myself through making things. I was always interested in science fiction and fantasy, and the mad scientist or master wizard characters, you know. They’re always creating wonder and various augmentations to themselves or reality with their craft. I believe hip-hop has that same power, so I try to become that archetype for rap.
Dami: Who are your biggest inspirations?
GLDMAZE: Kendrick Lamar, Earl Sweatshirt, Travis Scott, and whoever was writing those Veggie Tales songs haha. Those songs had me hype in Sunday school man. We got the DVDs and everything.
Dami: Apart from sci-fi and fantasy, where else do you grab inspiration from when making music?
GLDMAZE: God mostly, but also from the depths of the madness I sometimes experience as a part of my everyday life. I think that my life so far has been one of contention with psychosis until I eventually snapped in 2020. That snap led me to discover a lot about myself and I’ve been on a healing journey ever since. With the help of my family and good friends, I’ve been able to bounce back and I really feel like I’m back to being myself again. This entire process of healing and learning of self through expression is the biggest inspiration in my music today.
Dami: How do you think that translates to your music?
GLDMAZE: I think the sounds that I curate all have a very immersive feel to them, and I definitely want to give people an escape from their reality through my own storytelling of that same experience. I feel like HYPERNOIR is a statement meant to display my thoughts on the psychotic experience and show that there’s hope for anyone who feels similar as well. My music before HYPERNOIR was kinda esoteric in the sense that it wasn’t as accessible as it is now. As I’ve grown, the music has become more descriptive of my world as a means to invite people in, not alienate them.
Dami: Speaking of HYPERNOIR, can you tell us more about this new album?
GLDMAZE: Yeah man. This album means so much to me. Speaking on it as an introduction to my artistry, I think it displays my unique poetry and versatility on such beautiful, wunderkind production (from my friend and genius producer/artist LESSTHANTHREE and collaborator nyd.nawshis). Conceptually though, it’s really a checkpoint after experiencing all of 2019-2022, which I know for me and most people was a trying time. So, I’m letting you know with this project that I’m right there with ya haha. I moved to college for the first time (I’m 21), dropped out because of a psychotic break, been in recovery, and I’m just now headed back to school with a newfound vigor and spirit that I think can be felt in the music. HYPERNOIR is the state of things: how things were, how things are, how I’d like them to be, and how things will be. It’s a story of redemption after failing hard.
Dami: What do you want listeners to take away from this album?
GLDMAZE: I want listeners to feel like they can come to this album after a long day at work, when people make you feel crazy, or when you want to be alone with your thoughts. I want them to feel where I come from mentally and spiritually, and that I’m on this journey with them. HYPERNOIR is a rap album in the style of a sci-fi film noir piece like the Matrix, and I think everything from the production to my delivery emulates this aesthetic. This is supposed to take you to another world alongside with me.
Dami: What are 3 words you’ll use to describe this album?
GLDMAZE: Hi-tech, buzz, and ambient.
Dami: What’s next for you after HYPERNOIR?
GLDMAZE: Man, I got like three writing projects I’m working on. Each kinda different from the last. Most pressing for me though is this poetry collection I’m working on. I’m still working on music though, and best believe I got something up my sleeve for next year. But as of RIGHT now, it’s writing for me.
Dami: Ooouu poetry collection. What’s that about?
GLDMAZE: So, I did an art project from my senior year of high school through sophomore year in college called “Call.Jericho” and it was on my Instagram. It was a collection of pictures that I made using only Snapchat and they came out really fire, super surreal, and colorful. The poetry book is gonna tell the story of what’s happening in those pictures, which is essentially the training of a demigod like Percy Jackson haha.
Dami: How do you balance college and your music career?
GLDMAZE: I barely do man, I barely do haha, but I’m getting better at the time management slowly but surely. I think it’s a mixture of knowing your weaknesses when it comes to productivity and taking small steps to get better. Like I write things down for EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING: phone calls, things, people say to me, all that shit. Some stuffs fall through but its been a good habit that I’m trying to build before I go back to school next semester.
Dami: Apart from balancing college and music, is there any other thing that’s hard to balance?
GLDMAZE: Probably all the ideas that I come up with on a daily basis. I’m an architect in the sense that I come up with these big plans and plays, but without proper strategy and small steps to execute, those plans amount to nothing. What I’m in the process of figuring out now is how to consistently make room for basic things like making my bed or some shit. I be in my head so much I look around and shit is just a mess around me metaphorically and literally. So yeah, adulting is hard, adulting while being a creative is even harder, so it’s a balance for sure.
Dami: What are some dream collabs?
GLDMAZE: I think doing something with JPEGMAFIA in the distant future would be fantastic. He’s just a genius man. I’d like to work with Lancey Foux and MIKE as well.
Listen to GLDMAZE HERE.