We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabriel Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gabriel, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Balance, in my mind, is key to everything. As they say, too much of a good thing. My life’s balance has been consistently shifting since I can remember. Family dynamics, work, relationships and school used to be everything on my plate. After some time with a set way of doing things and reasonable expectations, one comes to a point of feeling content and may even become complacent. Once I went to college and met the woman who would become my wife, everything changed. We began to move around the country in any direction we could. I believe that in doing so for around 4 years, it really helped me find out how to balance my priorities and find what worked all over again. After we got comfortable, that’s when my wife and I decide to expand our family. We now have a beautiful 2 year old son, Elliott. This child then brought on a whole new set of challenges and changes that left me scrambling to find balance in any way I could. After trying several things out including working 3 jobs, working part time, skateboarding and even becoming stay at home father. The thing that has finally gotten me to a point of balance once again is being a stay at home dad, weight training and producing/composing music. i feel a deep connection with my family. I believe my mental health is as good as it has been in many years. Having the ability to exercise creative freedom and self expression has, ultimately, made me a happier person. Balance is situational and subjective, and I feel I have found mine.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started writing songs from the time I learned how to play guitar. I had a knack for lyricism and a passion for music. Honestly, the thing I find most unique about my music is my ability to convey stories and paint pictures through lyrics. I’ve always enjoyed having a special relationship with words and meaning as well as arranging them in interesting ways. I’m most proud of what I’ve been achieving recently with my new project GRIMMLY and the amazing opportunity I’ve had to work with Atlas Eleven. I’ve come a long way as a producer and I think my new works, in comparison to Demons and Daffodils, absolutely soars. I’ve gotten to the point I am now with music all thanks to my patient wife who has given me the freedom to explore and expand on my music. It has never been easy to put myself out there in this way, but really when it comes to the actual process of creating it seems to come from a place in my brain that is hidden from my active consciousness Everything I create typically is complete in structure and composition within an hour. Then, it comes to adding my own creative flavor and really experiment with new sounds. I’ve learned to take my time and really try everything I can think of without being self conscious. When it comes to my story. I had a typical upbringing in a broken home filled with physical and mental abuse, as well as neglect, on behalf of my mother’s ex husbands. I have dealt with mental illness in the forms of depression, anxiety and PTSD, which comes out in my music in the form of darker more estranged concepts.. This also caused me to start drug use at a young age. Mainly heavy, unwarranted experiences with psychedelics and research chemicals. My experiences with these substances has influenced my sound significantly. I love finding tones and rhythms that remind me of the dimensions that overlap our own. I find solace writing about my psychedelic experiences and the things I’ve learned from them.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I moved to Colorado with my family about 2 weeks prior to COVID-19 becoming a very real thing. So when it comes to experiences in Colorado for things to do and see it mainly comes down to scenic drives, awesome hikes, trying the best craft brews in the country and of course, visiting dispensaries.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Corben Wilkins of Atlas Eleven Jermaine Mohammed Juliya Smith a.k.a Wilder