Friday, November 26, 2021

Meet Glaive, the 16-year-old star of the hyperpop revolution

Glaive’s grades were hit hard so that his music could flourish.

Attending high school practically last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this restless teenage musician – now a breakout from the internet scene known as hyperpop – admits that he paid little attention to his instructors’ Zoom lessons as he sat in front of him. computer at his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina.

“It was terrible educationally,” he says, adding that anyone listening carefully enough can hear one of his teachers speak in the background of his song “Stephany,” which he recorded while technically in class. “But that’s when I started making music. So if that school year didn’t happen – if it wasn’t as bad as it was – then who knows what I’m going to be doing right now? “

What Glaive is doing on a recent afternoon, just a year after he posted his first songs on SoundCloud, is gearing up at Burbank’s rehearsal studio for several upcoming performances, including a sold-out Friday night show at Roxy. Dressed in a baggy black sweatshirt with bracelets on his wrist, the 16-year-old with floppy hair, who has never heard live music before seeing rapper Playboi Carti at the Lollapalooza festival this summer, opens his backpack and takes out his backpack. shabby laptop.

“You can tell I had it for a minute because there are a lot of stickers on it,” he says.

Glaive, whose real name is Ash Gutierrez, used the laptop to compose songs, through which he struck a deal with Interscope Records, which has released a series of EPs over the past 12 months with millions of streams each on Spotify; his latest song “Then I’m Be Happy” is a collaboration with another hyper-pop artist, Erikdoa, with whom he will appear in Roxy.

True to the name of its evolving genre, Glaive’s music has a punk, proudly fierce energy, with droning synth riffs and heavily processed vocals over distorted beats that can suddenly explode in double spasms. (Other like-minded hyperpop artists have begun to rally around the popular Spotify playlist with over 240,000 subscribers, including 100 gecs, Midwxst, and Osquinn.) Sound seems inextricably linked to the pandemic in terms of both methodologies – no need for social distancing. when you’re working alone in your bedroom – and his gross, diffuse emotions that have drawn Gen Z’s, deeply familiar with the over-arousal sensation when they stare at a screen or two for hours.

“Thank goodness he had music,” says Glaive’s mother, Rebecca Gutierrez, who believes her son stayed home during the first six months of quarantine. “Without this exit, I don’t know what he would have done.”

Glaive conveys the awkwardness and frustration of adolescence with wit and detail.

(Madeleine Hordinski / Los Angeles Times) #

However, Glaive’s talent suggests that he would have found his way to music, even if unforeseen circumstances did not force it on him. For all their jagged structure, songs like “Astrid”, “2009” and “I Wanna Slam My Head Against the Wall” have sweet, beautiful melodies almost as catchy as songs on Top 40 radio. Lyrically, he conveys the awkwardness and frustration of adolescence with wit and detail, like in Touche, where he rhymes: “I took melatonin to get some sleep” with “I was spending serotonin, but hey, at least it’s free. “

Matt Morris, A&R Glaive spokesman for Interscope, says he was struck by the artist’s freshness – a mixture of melancholic melodies with an almost ecstatic rhythmic drive – but it was his songwriting that really attracted him. “And Ash was 15 years old. when I first heard his material, ”says Morris, who also signed with Olivia Rodrigo. “I couldn’t believe that someone so young was writing songs that were so well written.”

Erikdoa, who at 18 says he thinks of Glave as a little brother, adds, “The guy writes like he’s been alive for centuries.”

Glave was born in Florida but moved to Hendersonville, North Carolina with his parents – his father is a retired professional polo player whose career was run by his mom – after his father retired when Glave was about 10 years old. “It’s a small southern town that definitely sleeps at night,” he says. At school he was “a serious, withdrawn, calm, silent child”; at home, he played video games, including with medieval weapons that gave him his stage name, and surfed SoundCloud.

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Lil Peep’s morose but polished emo rap was a key revelation. “Guitars, trap drums and heavy 808s – I’ve never heard anything like it before,” says Glaive. Pip’s death at the age of 21 from an accidental overdose in 2017 left him reeling. “I felt like I lost someone I knew, which is pretty corny. But that was a lot. “

According to his mom, Glaive was an excellent student before COVID. However, not inspired by distance learning, he started working with recording software; he found the beat on the internet and then mumbled his way to the melodic structure. He sang about what was on his mind, and most often it was girls – a standard procedure for emo boys from generation to generation, although Glaive’s music softens a little the harsh accusatory tone that defined emo in the 90s and 2000s. …

“I have a few songs from the point of view of a manipulative character, but I’m not like that, I don’t think so,” he says with a nervous laugh. (Glaive is 6’4 ” tall, but he leans in so that he appears a little smaller.) “I never try to be rude or aggressive towards anyone. So if I’m really upset about a relationship, I never say, “Damn … them.” Always like, “Damn, I’m sad.”

Glave made his debut EP “Cypress Grove” at home. But he first traveled to Los Angeles earlier this year to put together its sequel, All Dogs Go to Heaven, with the help of producers like Nick Mira, best known for his work with Lil Tecca and the late Juice WRLD, and Blink’s Travis Barker. 182. He doesn’t have to need To travel to the capital of the music industry, he explains, “I just brought the same laptop and the same mouse into the studio.” However, waking up every morning in a beautiful Airbnb overlooking the Hollywood sign “I mean, it was definitely a good time,” he says.

Glave is not the only hyper-pop artist gradually approaching the mainstream, nor is he the only one to say that the genre, which emerged from a group of digitally connected friends, has expanded to meaninglessness. 100 rock fanatics are preparing their first major-label album for Atlantic Records, and Midwxst is on the list of stars for this month’s Day N Vegas festival alongside rappers Kendrick Lamar and Travis Scott. However, he may be the only one to balance his growing fame – “I would accidentally write a Taylor Swift song,” he says half-jokingly, “with a return to full-time school. A few days after we met, Glave was due to return to Hendersonville for a few weeks of classes before heading out again.

“I’m not thrilled,” he says, explaining that he and his parents had a preliminary plan with the principal of his school that would allow him to graduate by the end of this semester. Did he consider just dropping out of school? “My mom would never let me do that,” he says. (Confirms Rebecca Gutierrez: “Finish high school, then make music.”)

Not that he hated all things. “You can learn something interesting in your English lessons to reference him,” he says, and indeed Romeo, Juliet and Marie Antoinette appear in his song “Amulet”. “But I can guarantee that I won’t need algebra in my music career.”

When asked if he has heard the latest album by Billie Eilish – another teenage musician whose song “Happier Than Ever” paints a dark portrait of the pop star Glaive seems to be heading towards – he nods and says that the recording made him sympathize with her. …

“But she became famous at the age of 13 and 14,” he notes. “These are the years of your development. And obviously she is a woman from the music industry, which is much worse – every person in the world talks about how you look, how you act, yadda yadda yadda.

“Personally, I’m 16 years old and I feel like I’ve reached a certain level of maturity and I know what’s going on enough to understand it.”

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