LOS ANGELES, CA – For many years the world of skateboarding didn’t identify with the rap community. The sport is often associated with the grunge music of the 1990s, or the punk and indie rock of the early 2000s.
But hip-hop artists like Billie Gvtes – who is also a professional skateboarder with multiple sponsors – are bringing a sophisticated level of rap to the table that more and more within the world of professional skateboarding are beginning to embrace.
“Everything is full circle,” Gvtes said. “Ten years ago it wasn’t cool to be a skateboarder in rap music, but nowadays a lot of people in that world are influence by rap through fashion and music. Now is the perfect time to be involved in both because it seems like that’s the culture right now.”
Though he’s toured to compete in competitions both nationally and internationally, the last three years of his career have been more of a focus on his music. He’s worked long and hard on perfecting his sound, and is ready to display that unique sound to the world with a new eight-song EP he’s calling “LVTE BLOOMER.” All of the songs on the album are ones that he produced, wrote and performed. It’s a diverse album, with showcases of EDM, hip-hop, up-tempo and vocal harmonies that all surround a theme that explores what it means to come of age.
“I started recording music in my early 20s”, Gvtes said. “My parents had expectations of me going to school and doing something different than what I wanted to do, but I finally decided to do what I want to do and what makes me happy.”
Though it took him many years to eventually pursue music, it’s always been a form of expression that he’s loved. His uncle is a well-known DJ from the Los Angeles area who used to DJ for 92.3 The Beat in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and when Gvtes was young his uncle gave him his first turntables.
“If it wasn’t for him I don’t think I’d be producing music,” Gvtes said. “It got me into wanting to mix songs and sample. I’ve been doing that for so long as a hobby and my parents didn’t want me to pursue it because they thought it was a waste of time. But the more I played with it and the better I got, the more I began to take pride in not sounding like anybody. I love finding the right beat and the right hook, and writing a song always depends on what the beat tells me to do. At the end of the day I want to be an artist who is branded and who people recognize right away as soon as they hear me.”
Fans who want to sample his unique sound can visit his Soundcloud page. Fans can also follow him on Instagram and Twitter for more updates about music releases and upcoming live performances.