Following the release of her single “Sometimes (Backwood)” in 2021, which has over 84 million streams and hit #1 on Spotify's U.S. viral chart. Gigi released her debut EP How To Catch A Falling Knife in April. Last fall, she opened for Noah Cyrus on The Hardest Part Tour. After the release of her EP, Gigi headlined shows in Los Angeles and New York.
What was the creative process like for your debut EP How To Catch A Falling Knife? Gigi: It came most naturally in the sense, that I wasn't expecting to turn songs I was writing in my bedroom into a project. At the time, I was going to music school in Boston, and I had come back home when COVID hit, and my sister passed away. During this time, I was really lost. I wasn’t happy in school and I was going through this crazy grieving process. So, most of the songs I wrote were in my bedroom, I didn’t have access to the resources to help me record a project. The beginning of it was very bare in the sense of I'm just writing this to get it all out because I'm going insane. I uploaded some music online, and I saw that it took off, it changed the trajectory and the intention and direction of what these songs were. For so long, I wanted to put these all together, but I'm just figuring out able to now. There are a lot of steps that I had to go through myself, I wanted to get to the point where I felt like it was good enough to record. Once all that stuff started happening, it all just kind of fell together. I was able to ask my buddy, he just graduated from school, I was like, "Hey can you record this with me," because it's hard to ask somebody to stop their entire life if they're going to go have like a desk job, but now you have a promising opportunity ahead of you, like hey do you want to record this with me. I took all the things; I took all of the stories and all of the pain. I picked the things that best exemplify the experience of heartbreak and grief, I got connected to Jen De Silviom, and it all came together like that. You described the EP as not a guide but a question, can you expand on that? Gigi: The reason why I say that is because I don’t know. It’s more of these are my experiences of taking a really big risk on a person, a relationship, and on a love, and watching it fall apart before you. That’s why I aim it more as a question, how to do it I don’t really know but if I figure it out, I’ll let you know.
What is your overall goal as an artist?
Gigi: I always feel like that’s such a big question. You know what the goal is, and that’s something I’m always reevaluating. The most important and precious thing to me is to be a vessel to where others can experience whatever they need to experience, almost like a projecting board. There are things that are more personal, a song about my sister, that I feel my intention when I shared that with the world and my friends, really. That’s what it was on the internet, my friends that I was sharing it with. That was more of a cry for help or expressing that because I needed to get it out. To learn that through, that other people experience the same kind of feelings of pain, anguish, and yearning. That is the healing part for me in the whole grieving process, but ultimately, it’s just important that whatever I do, how people experience it themselves not me. What was your favorite part of creating your EP? Gigi: Looking back, the process of creating it took time and the way everything fell together. In taking time, there are specific points and seasons of my life that are my favorite. The craziest moment was being in the studio. Growing up, I was a huge Ariana Grande fan; I was obsessed. Even before she had music out, but when she released Yours Truly, it was the only thing I listened to. So, we were working with Jen, and she booked the studio for the Ep. Then it turns out that I’m going to be in the same room that Yours Truly was recorded in. Which is insane 'cause that was Ari’s first project, and it was one of those fate moments. The whole experience of being in the studio especially where one of my greatest inspirations worked. It wasn’t something I planned, that was the universe or God. It really put the extra sparkle in something already so magical because there were so many nights I was in my bedroom with no direction, no plan, stressed as hell. To be there and get to that point and have so much fun recording it probably was one of the biggest blessings I’ve ever seen happen in my life.
If you could use one keyword to describe each song on the EP, what would it be?
Gigi: Starting out with “Kill For You,” I feel like a good keyword would be, delusion. For “When She Smiles,” I would put that as, toxicity. “Figurines,” I can't put it into one word, but grass is always greener. “Balsam Fir,” yearning. “Glue” bereavement. “The Man” inadequacy. “Karma” anguish. And “Sally,” acceptance. You recently did a couple of live shows to support the EP. How did your live shows help bring the stories that you're telling in the EP to life? Did you have any certain visuals or ways that you differentiated your live performances from your studio recordings to help? Have listeners focus on certain lyrics over others?
Gigi: The live shows, in general, are where I thrive the most in terms of really getting the story across. Being live is my most favorite part about it. The way that I rearranged the songs has helped me keep the stories really fresh. I wrote most of these songs when I was 20 years old. I'm 23 now, so I think in the live experience it helps keep it really fresh. Seeing how crowds react to certain things that you wouldn't really know would have a reaction at all. It helps you kind of lean in and go back and analyze what was it about this that's so special that maybe I didn't even see. I think that's what you know helps me keep it fresh. What was the inspiration behind the EP How To Catch A Falling Knife? Why did you pick that as the name? Gigi: The overall inspiration of the project, I was experiencing my first ever heartbreak. I grew up experiencing a very repressed sexuality in a Christian household. When I was seven, my parents started taking me to church, and we started going multiple times a week. They put me in a Christian school, and my mom worked in the cafeteria so I could go to this school. My whole life was surrounded by the Bible, and that means if your someone who is struggling with sexuality 9 times out of 10, that environment is not going to be great for your development. In a lot of ways, I was stunted, and there were certain parts of guilt and shame. This sense of, I’m lost, and I don’t know how to be in love. When you’re a child and you're experimenting with romance for the first time you already don’t know how to do it -most of us don’t. When you add the fact that you never thought you were going to meet somebody. I wasn’t consciously telling myself I’m not good enough or I’m not worthy of love. When you meet someone, and it’s the first person you meet that sees you for who you are and is the first person you can be 100% yourself with. That is where it gets really dangerous because that’s where codependency happened for me. If I think about how I viewed love and relationships to now and how I choose to write, my perspective isn’t the same. There was a lot of ownership that I put on the other person for my feelings and my experience. I was so heartbroken, I went through this, it was all about me and my heartbreak. Which is natural cause you’re experiencing it for the first time. There was a lot of things I knew going into it at face value that wasn’t promising. That’s where the term How To Catch A Falling Knife, the term of stock and investment, never catch a falling knife. That’s when you’re buying an asset at its lowest point in the hopes that it’s going to go back up. If it doesn’t, and it keeps going down, you’re doomed, in the same way, I viewed this person as a risk investment for myself emotionally, and if it worked out, it was going to be great, and I was going to be rich. As much as I am emotional, I’m very analytical when naming it -it kind of matched that sentiment. I weighted it out of what’s really important, and experiencing love was worth it to me regardless of the outcome. What is your favorite song on the EP? Gigi: I’ve always felt an intense connection to “Figurines,” it’s my favorite song to play live. Out of all the songs it’s the most different in its arrangement, the recording is very glowy and flowy but there’s a certain kind of angst to playing it live that I really enjoy. Just the story itself, out of all the songs on the project it veers the most away from heartbreak but on a larger scale, death. I saw a very interesting thought where it talks about why heartbreak is so hard and a lot of times it's because it's final. One of the things I struggle with is another milestone over, another milestone closer to being gone and I think that’s what “Figurines” really covers. As you get to know me, you’ll know I really struggle with existentialism. What was the most difficult part about this EP? Gigi: Knowing that it was going to be out was the hardest part. Letting it sit and having the time really heal from the experience was really important to me before I shared it. I know that other times I may not have that opportunity. Through the process, I’ve accepted to an extent that this is my calling, this is what I signed up for, and I have to be as vulnerable as I feel comfortable with. Even if I don’t, that doesn’t mean it’s still not the right thing to do. It was really personal, and it’s the idea of knowing who you shared these things about has access to hearing it was probably the hardest part. I’m somebody who’s always in the past, pre-therapy has been fine and not really share how I feel, and that’s not really possible as a songwriter. I kind of let go of the cool girl that isn’t fazed, and I allow myself to express how I feel to people to their faces and through music. It helps me lead a more honest life, and I don’t feel like there is a weight on my chest all the time. Before I wrote this and put it out, there was a weight on my chest all the time. Hopefully, by continuing to release music, I’ll learn how to let go of what I think I should be and what other people think I should be. How does this EP represent who you are as an artist and the story you want to tell through your music? Gigi: I think it mostly represents who I am as an artist with my honesty. I don’t know that I’ll always be writing heartbreak songs, but it was true. One thing that you will get with me is that I’m not going to talk about something that isn’t true, and if I do, then I’m going to tell you. I won’t put up anything that I wasn’t experiencing to some degree. I want to be as open as possible. Music and the project are one thing, but I also really love talking, if you can’t tell. Letting you know everything about everything and especially about future projects, and when I get into grief, I want to be as open as possible with those things. I think that’s one thing that really came through on my project, the vulnerability of it.
Listen to How To Catch A Falling Knife HERE