Jacket ERL Sunglasses Bottega Veneta Jewerly Eliantte & Co Pants Emporio Armani Boxers Balenciaga Pants Junya Watanabe Shoes 424 Sunglassses Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello Jewelry Eliantte & Co Watch Audemars Piguet
Jacket Sami Miro Vintage Kilt Ashton Michael Pants Rick Owens Sunglasses Gentlemonster Bracelet Eliantte & Co
Shrug Ashton Michael Long sleeve shirt Balenciaga Sunglasses Dior Men
Vest MM6 Maison Margiela Pants Givenchy Sunglasses Balenciaga Tie Sami Miro Vintage Harness & Gloves Xander Zhou Jewelry Talent’s Own
Vest MM6 Maison Margiela Tie Sami Miro Vintage Jewerly Talent’s Own
Pants Junya Watanabe Shoes 424 Sunglassses Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello Jewelry Eliantte & Co Watch Audemars Piguet
Jacket Sami Miro Vintage Kilt Ashton Michael Pants Rick Owens Sunglasses Gentlemonster Bracelet Eliantte & Co
Jacket Sami Miro Vintage Kilt Ashton Michael Pants Rick Owens Sunglasses Gentlemonster Bracelet Eliantte & Co
Jacket Balenciaga Tank top Louis Vuitton Necklaces Apartment 1007 Gloves Xander Zhou
Jacket ERL Sunglasses Bottega Veneta Jewerly Eliantte & Co Pants Emporio Armani Boxers Balenciaga
Shrug with metal chains Ashton Michael Long sleeve shirt Balenciaga Sunglasses Dior Men
Sunglasses Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello
Shrug with metal chains Ashton Michael Long sleeve shirt Balenciaga
Shrug Ashton Michael Longsleeve Balenciaga Shorts Y-3 Sunglasses Dior Men Boots 424
Jacket Sami Miro Vintage Kilt Ashton Michael Pants Rick Owens Sunglasses Gentlemonster Bracelet Eliantte & Co
Jacket Balenciaga Tank top Louis Vuitton Pants Milli Point Two Necklaces Apartment 1007 Sunglasses Gucci Gloves Xander Zhou
Shirt Givenchy Chest piece Extended Identity Pants Junya Watanabe Shoes 424 Sunglasses Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello Earrings Talent’s Own
Vest MM6 Maison Margiela Tie Sami Miro Vintage Jewerly Talent’s Own
Jacket Balenciaga Tank top Louis Vuitton Pants Milli Point Two Shoes Rick Owens Necklaces Apartment 1007 Sunglasses Gucci Gloves Xander Zhou
Jacket Sami Miro Vintage Kilt Ashton Michael Pants Rick Owens Bracelet Eliantte & Co
Vest MM6 Maison Margiela Tie Sami Miro Vintage Sunglasses Balenciaga Jewerly Talent’s Own
Sunglasses Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello
Jacket Sami Miro Vintage Kilt Ashton Michael Pants Rick Owens Sunglasses Gentlemonster Bracelet Eliantte & Co
Shrug with metal chains Ashton Michael Long sleeve shirt Balenciaga Sunglasses Dior Men
Jacket Sami Miro Vintage Sunglasses Gentlemonster

#PASSION: “LIFE IS BITTERSWEET” – IN CONVERSATION WITH GUNNA

Gunna has crossed over many times. After signing to Young Thug’s YSL Records, he became a central figure in a new generation of Atlanta rappers that stepped up the game. His single ‘Drip Too Hard’ put him on a global hip hop matrix and landed him high in the US Charts. Gunna, an admitted Gemini, constantly expands his style with alter egos and an evolving sense of fashion. Now, Gunna is back – reinventing himself once again. At this point, he is ready to move beyond the city that made him, evolving into a cultural powerhouse on a global scale. Last year, he released a song with German trap king Ufo361. His new single, “Bittersweet,” looks back on his past full of love, regrets, and the inner pain that comes with living life to the fullest. Backed by a strong string of tracks, he is now back with his own sound and will soon embark on a tour through North America. The Atlanta rapper on his evolving sense of style and his brooding look at life, including moments of regrets, deep contemplation, and moments that last forever.

Hendrik Lakeberg: Do you remember when you first felt that music is important to you?

Gunna: Thinking back, my brother – God bless the dead, Anthony – used to have these loud speakers mounted on his truck. When I was a kid, I remember they used to just quake. I didn’t understand the music yet, but I loved it. And I remember the sound, the bass! The word I would use is quaking. I liked speakers, that had a good sound. And from then on music has played a valuable role in my life .

You started to listen to hip hop?

Yes, hip hop and R&B, too. Those two first.

Do you remember a song from that time that you were listening to?
I remember 8Ball & MJG. They had this one song called “9mm.” I remember that.
You also always had a strong sense of style. Do you remember what sparked your interest in fashion and culture?

When I was a kid, sometimes, I used to change clothes like three times a day. And I wasn’t even going nowhere. These clothes might have been cool, or they might have been OK. But I always felt like I had a style. I just liked the clothes even when I couldn’t afford to move a ton of Gucci or Louis Vuitton. I used to go to consignment stores and get stuff the best way I could.

“It’s sweet to be famous and it’s bitter to be famous, too.”
Was there also an artist that you admired or who was a role model to you?

Not specifically, but Atlanta was important to me. Because in Atlanta, we came up with word play, with style, we came up with lingo. All the specifics. It would all go together. So, Atlanta as place and culture helped me develop my style of life.

Where did the ambition and energy come from to start to make music yourself?

I remember one time, I went to this club called Club Crucial with a group of friends and we performed one song; I was on the hook and the song wasn’t even a very popular song. We didn’t really push the songs or nothing, but when we performed this song, the crowd really went crazy, throwing money. It was just a moment where I felt like I could do this again. I really like performing and being on stage.

Was it being on stage? Or also saying something to people that energized you?

It was expressing myself, in the beginning. I feel back then, it was more about finding my style. My style was only coming together; I was still finding out what I really like and what I don’t like. Now, I feel my music today is more about telling stories I have been through, what I am going through.

Do you remember the first track you noticed you were onto something?

Hmm, I would say it was the mixtape Drip Season 3. Because of the reaction of fans and the overall response. That’s when I kind of started feeling this is working. I could see that I created  a signature sound.  Working and continuously being in the studio helped me to discover and claim the pockets of styles that I like.

“I pay more attention to cuts than the name of a brand. When you’re learning more about fashion than just the cool name of the day, it starts to be more about fabrics, about textures, about the creativeness of a brand and the clothes.”
In an interview, you said that you invented yourself three times within your career. Who were these three personas?

To me, it’s about coming with a new edge or a new wave, a new style, a new acceptance. I’ve done that with different albums. Like Wunna. For it, I tapped into my alter ego for the first time. At that point in my career, I had to tap more into me than just giving the people another album that is another Drip or Drown. But Drip or Down is part of a reinvention, too. I wanted to cross over, evolve. Every time I’m putting out new albums, I’m kind of trying to reinvent myself on purpose.

But you’re still authentic, in a way, right?

It’s an evolution, you know. When you evolve, you are not the same. You are changing. If you want the same reaction or a stronger reaction from fans, you need to reinvent. But, in a way, they look at me as Gunna. I just want everybody to look at me as a new and improved Gunna.

“When I was a kid, sometimes, I used to change clothes like three times a day. And I wasn’t even going nowhere.”
Looking back, is there something you would like to do different now? Or do you still feel closely connected to your past versions of Gunna?

I’m a Gemini – that’s what makes it real. Because as Geminis, we have two different sides, or a few different sides. Still, I know myself and I know this type of space right now and I feel like that’s the Gunna space right now. But, still: To me, it’s all still there.

How did you change your style with each new persona?

The style sense, and when I started dressing more for me. Especially now that I work out and I’m more fit, I pay more attention to cuts than the name of a brand. I feel like when you’re learning more about fashion than just the cool name of the day, it starts to be more about fabrics, about textures, about the creativeness of a brand and the clothes. When you step into that, you’re evolving through clothes and fashion. That’s what I’m doing right now! I’m paying more attention to doing customs and my merchandise. I’m tapped in way more than I used to be because I’ve cared about clothes, but it was also just my sense of fashion. When I first got out of jail, I was looking at clothes and going shopping, but I didn’t find a lot of stuff that I really loved through my old perspective of wearing name brands. But then I started looking at a ton of new designers and started to really like this hoodie or this shirt, and I would just buy it after that.

Fashion is like a universe once you really step into it…

For sure! And it changes. You know, style changes different ways. With fashion, you have to – not adapt – but you change your style, too. Evolving your vision…

“It’s just something to stick with me, you know, when you’re going through something that you might just need to sit down and tap in and read the Bible. You got to be connected to something spiritual…”
Do you build a wardrobe? Buy things that fill a gap or expand your range of styles and designers?

Yeah, just over time, you collect pieces. Especially now, I buy pieces where I believe this is going to be fire in 10 years! Buying those pieces makes the wardrobe come together. Like vintage pieces or pieces that might be rare and that in 10 years from now, you’re still going to want them. Buying those things is developing the wardrobe and the closet that I really, really love right now.

In how far do you still feel connected to the Atlanta style? Or did that evolve and you feel like your own now?

My style has grown so much. It’s not just about adding anymore. It’s more about global fashion. I am tapped into many different things. Atlanta is only but so big. I will always like the clothes; I am from Atlanta – but I am also past it as well. I’m always looking for that new, that up and coming. Or something that’s just different from everybody else.

You own a customized Bible. What is the story behind that?

Yeah, it was a gift. One of my best friends’ mom bought it for me. It’s just something to stick with me, you know, when you’re going through something that you might just need to sit down and tap in and read the Bible. You got to be connected to something spiritual…

So, is it almost like meditation for you, to spend time with the Bible?

It’s kind of like for spiritual emergencies. If you want to get some word from the Lord or you are feeling like you need to hear something that grounds you. My mom might also tell me: If you are feeling this way, you need to read Psalm 23. Psalm 23 will tell me exactly what I need to know.

“I buy pieces where I believe this is going to be fire in 10 years!”
How do you feel at this time in your career and life? Are you optimistic?

I’m blessed. I mean, overall, I’m just blessed. No other word that I can think of. I’m overly blessed. I got healthy. I’m pushing through. With “Bittersweet,” I just dropped a single that’s doing good. Just overly blessed, to this day. I’m pushing forward.

Can you name moments of triumph during your career that you will always remember and that stick with you?

There are a lot of different moments like that, man. One I would say is when I did Saturday Night Live. That was a time that I just really liked to perform. Being on TV. Creating in the studio, doing certain songs. Memories from recording sessions in which we accomplished something great. Man… Even when “Pushin P” came out. The world in movement…

Do you think about these moments sometimes? Like the Bible, do they provide you with a space in your head that makes you feel good?

It’s part of my catalog. It’s part of me. It’s definitely a spot where I go back and am like, “I’m proud of this moment.” It’s accomplishments, you know. Reassuring myself, thinking about the good accomplishments and times in my life that I will always remember.

Is fame something that you enjoy, or does it just come with artistic success?

It’s bittersweet to me. And that sums it up to the tee : It’s sweet to be famous and it’s bitter to be famous, too.

Bittersweet as life itself.

Yes, man. Exactly. It’s bittersweet. We live, but we don’t get to live here forever. That is the bitter part about it.

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