"It all started when I was just a young whipper snapper playing my plastic drums to a live recording of Youssou N'Dour in concert or singing from the toilet seat to the shower. I was a listener up until I was sixteen when I started playing the guitar. I started producing back in the summer of 2011. The summer I released my first EP, which has since been stricken from the internet lol. From there I started playing the keys, and did a little drumming on the side. Self taught, aside from the many lessons I've learned along the way and the two months of lessons i've taken spread over the past six years or so. I guess I lack patience for lessons haha."
LUCIUS: How are you doing?
GUDINA: Feeling great, exploring SoundCloud profiles right now. It's wild how there is so much amazing (and mostly unrecognized) talent out there.
LUCIUS: How has 2012 treated you thus far?
GUDINA: (laughs) Let’s just say that I learned a lot…and I’m glad it’s almost over.
LUCIUS: Explain your name to us. How did you come up with it?
GUDINA: Well, my first pseudonym was pretty wack. I knew I needed to change it but didn’t know to what. I even changed my name to a Legendary Pokemon for a cool sixteen hours. Finally I landed on Gudina, my middle name. To think, I almost went under the name Articuno. (laughs)
LUCIUS: Tell us a little about the projects you've been working on or got working.
GUDINA: Currently I'm working on two projects. Basement Therapy, which is my third EP, is set for release in early 2013. The features include Malcolm London, Martin $ky, Dally Auston, Frank Leone, and more. I’m real excited about this project, been working on it ever since Cycles II dropped. It’s more focused than my first 2 EPs, which was my biggest personal gripe with them. The second project is a collaborative effort entitled Soul Sessions: Art of Believing with Sacramento’s Rocca Varnado and Mr. Erik James. This project is also being releasing in early 2013. Production wise, I’ve been exploring new influences and sounds on this one.
LUCIUS: In regards to progress and projects, how good has 2012 been to you thus far? Is there anything you'd do differently in 2013? Conversely, anything you'd do again?
GUDINA: Let’s see, I started a band/ which didn't work out. Then I also tried to release an album with a collective that had a similar result. That fiasco left me a little jaded on the whole collaboration front so I released two instrumental EPs, Cycles I and Cycles II. What I learned most from 2012 is too never force collaborations that don’t necessarily feel right. In 2013, my first two projects are largely collaborative and they feel right. The long and the short of it, 2012’s failures taught me lessons that will (hopefully) lead to 2013’s successes.
LUCIUS: Tell us about your team and your movement.
GUDINA: (laughs a little) I’ll be honest, I don’t like calling things movements that aren’t really movements. So at this point in time there is no movement to speak of. But as far as teams go, I’ve been working with Chicago up and comer Frank Leone pretty heavily. He’s a dope lyricist with a great work ethic. and a great guy. We released our first collab last week. Expect much more from us. I’ve also been working heavily with Rocca Varnadao and Mr. Erik James out of Sacramento. Both talented artists and again, excellent work ethic. I keep mentioning work ethic because it’s, unfortunately, hard to come by. But yea, dropped a single with them as well last week for our upcoming project I mentioned a few questions back. Russell Curry, another up and coming emcee, that I’ve been working with on all my creative endeavors and vice versa. I have a lot of respect for this dude. Long story short, were each other’s right hand man. (laughs)
LUCIUS: How many people are you closely associated through your team? Tell us about a few of them.
GUDINA: (laughs) I think I answered most of this in the last question. Pretty much named them all. Not trying to pull a G-Unit and add people left and right. After 2012's misadventures, I just let the collaborations happen gradually and/or naturally.
LUCIUS: What or who specifically inspired you to start on your musical path? Tell us a bit about it.
GUDINA: I’ve always been a musical kid since as far as I could remember. It all really started though when I was sixteen and my friend brought over his guitar (after I told him to leave it at home, mind you). From there it was history. I literally became obsessed with it. It wasn’t until the summer of 2011 that I started producing. I released my first EP at the end of that summer (which has since been stricken from the Internet).
LUCIUS: Do you have a favorite verse you've written and/or a particular production that is especially amazing in your eyes?
GUDINA: In my eyes, my latest is my greatest.
LUCIUS: So what's the focus? I mean, what's the apex for you as an artist?
GUDINA: The focus is to get better and reach more ears. I definitely want to be able to live off of music in the future but at the same time I don’t want to become one of those 'businessman first' type of producers. It's a fine line to walk indeed.
LUCIUS: Describe your style musically. Are you similar to anyone in your opinion?
GUDINA: I love that organic sound mixed with inorganic elements. There's so much you can do with real instruments and a computer. I don’t know who I sound like, but I would say I am heavily influenced by The Roots, Dwele, The Foreign Exchange, Flying Lotus, Shigeto, Freddie Joachim, etc. I'm going to keep that list short out of the interest of time. (laughs)
LUCIUS: If you could produce a beat for the BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher, what six people would you like rapping over your beat?
GUDINA: (laughs) That cypher is the only good thing to come out of that network. I would choose Yassin Bay, MF Doom, Frank Leone, Captain Murphey (once we figure out who he/they are), Earl (who might be a part of Captain Murphey). I can't think of a sixth so we’ll keep the list short.
LUCIUS: Is there anything you'd change about hip-hop as a genre and an art form?
GUDINA: An end to all ignorance. I don’t want to be that preachy dude but there is too much wackness. From the hip-hop that is most represented, it's often impossible to decipher the businessman from the artist.
LUCIUS: Who inspired (or inspires) you most as an artist? As a producer?
GUDINA: Odd Future, specifically for their do it yourself attitude, their diversity and their “I don’t give a fuckness” attitude. Flying Lotus not only an amazing producer (probably my favorite) he pays great attention to visual details. From Mmmhm to Kill your co-workers – all incredible.
Also Dwele for his amazing musicianship – makes me want to step my game up.
LUCIUS: Any last shout outs or information you want to give us?
GUDINA: Watch out for Basement Therapy and Soul Sessions. Both are set to drop in early 2013. For all the latest singles, news, developments and realness, check out my SoundCloud and follow me @GudinaMusic on Twitter.
LUCIUS: How can we keep up with your music?
Lucius Black for Royalty Magazine
Lucius Black for Royalty Magazine