Gothie Interview 

In this Music Mondays Exclusive Interview, Rei Low had the chance to sit down with the underground independent artist know as Gothie Couture. Take a dive into this in depth discussion detailing Gothie's early roots, musical influences, fashion, recording music and much more.


Rei: How has the proliferation of home recording equipment affected your ability to make art? What I’m trying to say is there's been a gatekeeping aspect with respect to studios, since the music industry’s inception if you look at the history. Only within the last ten years have we seen the democratization of home recording. How has that affected your ability to make art?

Gothie: To be honest that’s been the struggle for like the last eight years or so up until I got my first mic interface and laptop. I had like a $20 performance mic with an XLR, but at the time I didn’t really know what that was, so I just used the USB input into Audacity. But at the same time, I realized what I’m making isn’t going to be able to compete with what I’m hearing. If I’m going to get to those levels.

Rei: I feel like there's a certain aspect to recording, that you either make do with what you have, or you have the ability to use what others have. Whenever I think about your creative output, I think you’ve been able to make do with what you have in a way not a lot of other people can.

Gothie: I mean thank you man, that's a huge compliment to me. It’s really been a driving factor in the way I think around some of the problems I’ve run into as an independent artist who, you know, doesn’t have a budget, doesn’t you know.

Rei: Yea! We’re funding this with our own work! So, I wanted to talk about where, when and how you did your initial learning and grinding. I know a large part of your story is working in LA studios learning the trade by hand.

Gothie: This is a funny story. Right when I graduated high school there was a local community college right in my hometown: Glendale community college. I didn’t really feel like I wanted to see my peers from highschool, so I went to PCC: Pasadena community college. Their music program is more focused on technical aspects I wasn’t concerned with learning, like what an EQ is and what a compressor does. Stuff that I could watch a youtube video and figure out. What I wanted was experience. So I was a very adventurous kid growing up, and my dad was a bus driver. I got a bus pass that let me get on the bus and trains for free, and I figured I would go explore LA because I didn’t grow up there either. Everything was new. It was really fun. It was a great experience, but anyways I found a studio in Hollywood called Hitway Recordings right across from Hollywood Highschool. It’s a skate spot; there’s like a ten stair there. It’s famous for skaters. Somebody just told me to show up there [Hitway Recordings]. I am very open on my social media, and I asked my followers if they could help, “What resources could we put together?” Ya know? I’m trying to be an engineer if anyone knows a studio. One of my people said, “Hitway Recordings: I let the guy know you were showing up.” Well he didn’t. I just showed up, it was so random! Well I showed up and told the guy, “I’m a producer, and I can engineer if you want,” and the dude was just like for sure, do you want to be an intern. And from that day in 2015, I worked there for like two years. 

Rei: Just looking at your soundcloud I saw you worked with smokepurpp how’d that go?

Gothie: I mean that was through hitway. Bro was cool. I met Warhol, Lil rich pablo juan. 

Rei: So you met Warhol? 

Gothie: Yea it was right after he dropped boofboy. I was like bro these dudes are right next to me. For me, it's more important to see someone who looks like you and is a normal human being. It’s like, I can do this, so that was important to keep that hope you know what I mean? A human can do this. That was a huge thing for me to like, keep that focus.

Rei: It’s a prayer sometimes you know what I mean? I feel like there’s this misconception about blowing up this and blowing up that. In most of my research on artists, there is like a six to seven year process before they’ve “blown up out of nowhere.” I feel like there's a misconception about how long and how much commitment something like this takes. 

Gothie: That’s crazy, I guess I’ve got some time to go…

Rei: No! If you started in 2015 you’re right on track.

Gothie: Yea it's beautiful to see something like this even have an opportunity. 

Rei: Another question, what's your opinion on things like black kray and sickboyrari?

Gothie: I know that side of the soundcloud scene. 

Rei: So do you think soundcloud emo cloud rap has a place in your aesthetic or not really?

Gothie: I just make what I want. I’m very everywhere. I don’t try to lock myself into a certain sound. I don’t really think about subgenres, I’m more about pluggnb, and if I have a bunch of songs with like rage type beats, then I’ll put them together. 

Rei: Yea I know what you mean: recently I saw a video where this guy was talking about a producer who’s very important to me, Sophie, and what they were talking about is that it’s more important to focus on the sounds first, and then whenever you have those sounds, people will come up with a genre for you

Gothie: Exactly. I don’t know what people will call what I make, maybe rap trap and punk mixed together. I think it comes from being in the studio with all those underground 2015 rappers. It’s interesting, once you see how it's made, it's like an era you can go back to.

Rei: How has your sound changed over the years?

Gothie: I stopped trying to self produce everything. Once I had a solid group of producers I could depend on where the sound quality was there, I can get a pack from them and know that at least like three will be the beats I like. It makes it easier for me to just keep flowing. The way I write songs is weird too; I really don't freestyle. I like to write and sit with my thoughts and figure it out. 

Rei: Do you do it with a cadence in mind or something thematic or both?

Gothie: Sometimes when I hear a beat, I try to picture what the visual already looks like. Then find a topic where this is that world. Making a world of that beat.

Rei: The way I’ve perceived music is we have the ability to change the space people live in for like three minutes. 

Gothie: It transforms; it’s literally magic.

Rei: It is. So speaking of production, what does a Gothie type beat sound like today?

Gothie: Honestly, to be technical, it is something melodically correct regardless of a genre because I have a musical background as well.

Rei: Oh, what do you play?

Gothie: I play violin, and I can’t really say I play bass. But I can play bass. I played violin for like four years when I was a kid, and I always kept the music theory part of it as far as making sure things are in key. And like the tone of it [the music] is there. So technically I like everything to be in key, but as far as aesthetically, I think I want stuff to be unique, something I don’t really hear often. Not your average beat.

Rei: Something that stands out maybe?

Gothie: I just don’t like stuff that sounds like other people’s beats. I could get a Curtains beat. 

Rei: Yea! I could get a rage beat from a 16 year old out in the middle of nowhere. What do you go back to whenever you’re listening just for fun? Like foundational albums. 

Gothie: From other artists? Lords Never Worry from A$AP Mob. That album snapped something in my head. It was like a thematic experience.

Rei: So that is an A$AP Mob album? I’ve only ever listened to the Rocky mixtapes.

Gothie: It’s an A$AP Mob album, but I love A$AP Rocky. 100%

Rei: Yea! The cloud rap stuff was so good, I still listen to Lil B and Rocky to this day.

Gothie: Yea stuff like Fashion Killa, like stuff like that. Gothie Couture ya know.

Rei: Let’s talk about fashion. You’re in LA right now, which outside of NY is probably the fashion capital of the United States. How do you style your fits? Where do you go to get clothes? To be honest I didn’t prepare any questions about fashion but lets run with it. 

Gothie: Honestly, I never really had money for designer clothes, until maybe like last year. I got a little bit of money from the studio and music, and I was able to sit back a little and focus on that. I got some jeans for the first time, like some nice designer jeans. I really liked the Ksubi jeans, and I got a pair of those. I got some True Religion jeans! You know I love Chief Keef and I got to get some True Religion jeans.

Rei: You have to! They’re iconic.

Gothie: True Religions dude. For me, I gotta treat myself since I did this ya know.

Rei: Yea, I just redid my wardrobe because I lost a bunch of weight, and I had a bunch of random stuff in my closet. What I did was like thrifting, but thrifting in Atlanta doesn’t really mean thrifting. It’s a little different, and I assume it is the same in LA too. 

Gothie: It kinda is not gonna lie. I did the same thing over the years. I have a weird style, not gonna lie, but that’s what made me want to start Gothie Gear: I wanted to have something liek designer too.

Rei: Also, I meant just designers in general. It doesn’t have to be Louis Vuitton. You know what I mean.

Gothie: With Gothie Couture, it’s gotta be high fashion. I rock Air Forces, a Gothie shirt, a 1 of 1, and so I like to be associated with high fashion.

Rei: So speaking of, as a concept, is a Gothie Couture a brand, an alter ego, or your most authentic self. Where does it lie on that spectrum?

Gothie: Gothie is a character I can use to paint canvases. 

Rei: That’s cool, I like that. I don’t know if you follow the weird gooey sound production that’s going on today: sv1, Kai Whiston, S280F. You know what I’m talking about?

Gothie: Never heard of that. Send me some links

Rei: I’ll send you some links. sv1 or Kai is probably the one who coined it, but they refer to their type of production as synth painting. I can understand that. With your vocal styles, with the beats, when you’re playing with aesthetics and motifs this developed, it is a type of painting to a certain extent. 

Gothie: I didn’t even plan it, I looked up, and it was something that I could do something with.

Rei: So transitioning, from Ohio to LA, actually wait isn’t Cudi from Cleveland! Do you like him?

Gothie: Of course!

Rei: The boy!

Gothie: You can definitely tell he’s in my music.

Rei: So the current narrative in rap is that Kid Cudi opened the world of emotion. Many masculine type people had trouble singing about emotions before him.

Gothie: I definitely agree with you. 

Rei: He’s a big guy for me. So a couple odds and ends and I’d like to wrap up. Who are some of your favorite music video directors, film directors, or photographers in general because I love the visual aspect of your projects as well. 

Gothie: As far as movie dudes, I like Wes Anderson. He has a really weird parallel as far as colors and shit. I tried to do it on Diamonds and Pearls. It was produced by NAAWOJ, and I always want to make sure producers always get their shine. 

Rei: That's one thing I feel like will be a reckoning at some point. Do you know the history of how Internet Money came about? 

Gothie: It was cool to see them pop out of nowhere, but no.

Rei: So Nick Mira… well Internet Money was like a clique of producers who made beats. They were tired of not getting credit and like 3% cuts on songs they basically wrote, and they made their own artist label. The vocalists basically come in, and the songs are under the Internet Money label. And I don’t know what the splits are actually, but the songs by Internet Money. 

Gothie: Very smart too. Smart dudes.

Rei: I wanted to touch on your philanthropy as well. Explain your history of philanthropy to the readers.

Gothie: Honestly, I don’t want to call it philanthropy as much as humanitarianism. The whole goal behind the food drives was to look back to where I came from and it’s very spiritual to give back. Like I’m grateful to God and I look how far I’ve come, and I’m like, “Damn.” I was able to feed like 50 people most recently. My girl was at work, sometimes she helps me, so I just bagged the sandwiches and fed 50 people. 

Rei: That’s fire, that's a basic human right. Being able to be on the other side of helping people, that's a basic human thing. 

Gothie: And some people haven’t been treated right in so long. It warms my heart to talk to them and see people smile. I say hello, ask what your name is, how you’re doing. 

Rei: People are people. That’s real. So I’m not sure what I was getting at with this question I wrote and I think you kind of answered it. But how have you impacted your community through this humanitarianism and how has it impacted you? I think what I’m asking is,  how has it impacted you?

Gothie: Honestly, It’s made me think a little bigger with the music. If I can do that with my streams and EBT, then what can I do with 100000 streams? 

Rei: That’s all I have. Wait! You posted a flier on twitter, wanna explain to the readers what that is? Are you throwing a show? 

Gothie: Yea I’ll explain it. I’m putting all my money into this, sound equipment, mics, and Autotune for the live vocals.


Rei: Are you using Pro Tools for that? I did a little research. This is kind of an aside. 

Gothie: I did it [live Autotune] in Ableton. I'll explain it.

Rei: Please!

Gothie: Bro! I connect it through the focusrite. 

Rei: I’m doing a show in Atlanta you gotta show me later. 

Gothie: For sure! I want to try to do a show once a month. Or honestly festivals. Go to smaller towns, and get locals into the festival setting. Get them connected and used to the festival setting. It’d be so powerful. Nowadays you gotta be on Billboard or some shit. My goal is to go back to Cleveland and be able to throw a show there. Bring some Cleveland talent out. And Trippy Red or someone. 

Rei: I heard about you, or got in contact with you through the, Apt. 9, yeahok!,  seraphim gang and I’m glad I did. I usually hate being online, but sometimes it is really worth it. 

Gothie: And thank you for finding me bro. There's something I wanted to do with the Gothie Gang Showcare, and that is provide a space for LGBT, black, and POC people because there aren't a lot of spaces for them to perform. And get paid for their work. I saw the opportunity and it was the right thing to do, so I did it.

Rei: That's dope. I’m trying to do that with my show as well. It’s kinda complicated how this came about but I was in a discord chat with people with that kind of vibe, and we all made electronic music. Not everyone's POC or LGBT, but it's that kind of space. Turns out some live in Atlanta for some reason, and we’re bringing out some of hyperpop acts from Florida. We’re on the same wave with that. It’s gonna be a POCLGBT space. 

Gothie: I want it to be like a community: You’re a part of the Gothie Gang, and I don’t want to separate it into groups. That's my whole thing. Growing up I felt very isolated, and I don’t want other people to feel like they don’t have a friend. That’s why I vet who I follow and who’s following. It’s because I want to promise that you will have a friend [in the Gothie Gang].

Rei: We’re all trying to connect. That’s what life’s about, that's what music is about, and not in a hippy dippy way. We experience art as a community and discounting that and  turning it into a commodity because that's what people say. 

Gothie: Yea, you know how hard it was to find a venue in LA?

Rei: I know it was so hard to do it in Atlanta too. I had to start showing up and going out. 

Gothie: I was lucky. I’m just following God and listening to what he tells me to do.

Rei: Yea I feel that. Hell yea. I’m gonna start typing this up. Anything you want to say or plug before I turn off the recording?

Gothie: Block Bible video is out. It just came out. It’s crazy and inspired by New Jack City, films I grew up with. Also, it’s reminiscent of 90s stuff, but I updated it. It’s gonna go crazy. 

Rei: Alright Gothie thank you so much! I had a great time chatting.

Gothie: Thank you! I loved talking to too. Take care. 

Follow Gothie: 

Gothie Gang Showcase 4/30/2022: 

Written By Rei Low: