Interview | Gab Ferreira
When we speak about Bedroom Pop or even alternative types of Indie music, much of the spotlight tends to be placed on artists from the U.S. or even Europe. But what if I told that the scene in Sao Paolo Brazil is alive and well, giving audiences a garden-fresh viewpoint on styles associated with Bedroom Pop. This time we had the privilege of speaking to a young woman who’s among one of the flag carriers of the scene in Brazil – Gab Ferreira. In 2016 she was a contestant in the Brazilian edition of ‘The Voice,’ but in 2018 we learned that her own works potentially conveys a lot more depth than the tracks she’s covered after the release of her debut EP Lemon Squeeze. The lyrics in the project are so emotionally candid that it’s like she eavesdropped into the inner dialogue of lovesick teenagers to craft each and every word. In our conversation, we cover topics ranging from love, her journey in music, and so much more.
For those who don’t know your background, Gab, how did you start off your journey making music? Was music something you always pursued since childhood or did the inception of a career happen later in life?
Music was something I loved since I was born. I always knew I wanted to be a singer, but I think the desire to be a songwriter started about 2 years ago. I wrote my first real song, “Teen Love,” and from there I have been experimenting more and more with writing and it’s been very good to be honest and open with myself and to talk about my feelings in this new way.
Around the time you released your debut Lemon Squeeze, there was an internet craze over the sound of “Bedroom Pop.” Artist like Still Woozy, Role Model, and Gus Dapperton tend to be associated with this genre and in many ways, Lemon Squeeze could be considered Bedroom Pop too. In which ways do you think the popularity of Bedroom Pop aided in the success of the Lemon Squeeze? And is this a genre you’d like to be associated with?
I base a lot of my sound in what I love to hear at the moment, so bedroom pop has definitely been an obsession for the last couple of years and it was a big inspiration for my music. I do like to be associated with the bedroom pop genre, but I don’t think I want to define myself so early in my career, I change my music taste a lot, maybe in 10 years I’ll want to do something completely different.
In 2016, you participated on the show “The Voice Brasil.” Can you share with us some of the lessons you learned during the time you spent as a contestant?
Being in the show really taught me a lot and pushed me into making my own music. I didn’t want to be recognized just for doing covers, I wanted to have my own songs and be able to show my vision. That is why I decided to start writing, I wanted to sing something that meant [something] to me.
Your favorite song on Lemon Squeeze and why?
I think it has to be “Stay Inside.” It’s is the only song from the mixtape that I actually played it by myself on my keyboard.
The themes in your lyrics seem to center around loneliness, with what you *can’t* have and toying with different fantasies of being with the one you love. You even go on to say, “I’m just a fool in love.” Why do you think in this generation it’s seen as such a bad thing to ‘catch feelings’ and fall for someone? In the past, if one was in love, it’s like they’re on cloud 9. But now, it’s almost as if one is — as you say — foolish.
Well, when it comes to relationships, I always put myself in the spot of being vulnerable and really open up about my feelings, and I feel like our generation is scared to be the “weak” one, the one who falls in love first. We are always so concerned with being cool about everything and acting blasé for no reason. I think it takes great courage to be honest and vulnerable and to not care if you will get hurt. The idea of [a] fool in love is when you are so into someone you know at some point you will end up getting screwed by them, but you don’t even care.
So who are you actually making music for and what kind of experience are you trying to create for the audience when they are listening to your works?
I just want people to feel like they have a safe place. So many times I use music to get away from what I’m feeling, to put myself in a new atmosphere, to sometimes just stop thinking for a couple of minutes and enjoy myself, I feel like it is a self-care act for me, and I want to give that to other people.
Brasil is not really known for its Indie scene. What are the pros and cons of making the kind of music you make in a country which seems to cherish acts associated with Baile Funk, Pop, House, and ‘Riddim’?
Brazil has so many talented people in the indie scene, they come from various places around the country, but today the main focus is São Paulo. I think the cool part about the scene is that there is so much space to grow still and people from Brazil really cheer for local artists. But the down side is because the mainstream doesn’t have a lot of space for different music, so you know that you will not get big unless you change your sound to something more commercial.
Okay so, 1) An artist/band you’d love to have a D.M.C (deep meaningful conversion) 2) An artist you think would be rad to party with 3) An artist you would love to spend a week with in the studio. You’re welcome to select from artists who are dead/retired too.
Okay hahaha, would love to have a DMC with Kendrick Lamar, because he is such an incredible artist, I would party with Tyler the Creator and A$AP rocky because they seem fun to hang out with, and would spend a week at the studio with Homeshake, because I love his music.