SAN RAMON, CA – As a teenager, GSG didn’t have much self-esteem. He didn’t have confidence, and often wouldn’t speak up for himself. It was something he was painfully aware of, and he turned to music to help compensate for his perceived lack of boldness. Rap, in particular, helped him find a voice. It seemed natural to him – after all, he’d always been a lover of music and he’d been singing since about age 6.
It wasn’t until a high school teacher asked him what he wanted to do with his future, however, that he started to really think about a career in music. That was five years ago, and today the 22-year-old up-and-coming hip-hop artist from Northern California looks back on that moment and the answer he gave his teacher at the time and is proud of the boldness he showed and the courage he’s displayed in chasing his dreams ever since.
“When the teacher asked us that question, I said I wanted to have my own record label and make really great music and run my own business,” GSG said. “I don’t think people really knew how serious I was about that – I just didn’t know how to start. But as soon as I graduated high school I started a label called ‘No Established Culture,’ and I decided I needed a name that was really true to who I am and what I want my music to represent. As a teenager I had low self-esteem, but when I make music everything changes. I have a new confidence and I believe in myself more. When people hear me they say, ‘You’re a genius.’ So I chose the name God Sent Genius. It’s not something I’m trying to be boastful about, either. I really feel like my music is inspired by God.”
In the five years since he began that professional music career, GSG has been working on multiple projects as well as traveling the country for a year on a national tour. He said the tour was a major education about what it takes to be successful in the music industry – with many hard lessons along the way. And now he wants to take that education and use it to create an EP and an album that fans will be amazed with.
The EP is called “Assassin XVII,” and it’s a project he put together with long-time friend and music collaborator Beentrillaquist. He said it’s an EP that’s inspired by trap music, but that it’s a sound that’s unique and all his own.
“The idea is me going and taking that production style and putting my own spin on it lyrically,” he said. “I’m not really from that environment, and so I wanted to take that sound and put some deep-thinker type of lyricism paired with the more upbeat, modern, hip-hop sound.”
His first single off the EP is a perfect example. “Wake Up (Why You Sleepin?)” is an anthem song he said that not only speaks to a generation but also is a personal challenge to take the opportunities put before him and make the most out of them.
“When I was a kid I used to oversleep all the time,” he said. “This is me saying to myself that it’s time to get up and get out there. It’s time to grow up and make things happen for myself. That’s the vibe behind the hook, and the verses then talk about what it takes to be the best. And when people hear my music, I want them to be inspired to believe in themselves. When they listen to my music, I think it can help them to get through whatever they’re going through. That’s what music did for me. It got me through the tough things I dealt with as a teenager. And I hope my music can help others feel like they can do whatever they want and give them some confidence.”
To learn more about GSG’s music and his record label, visit NoEstablishedCulture.com or check out his music videos on YouTube. Fans can also follow him on social media on Soundcloud and Twitter.