Fizicss Interviews GB Collective
Recently compared to the likes of RJ Benjamin, not because he’s white, silly…but because he’s an extremely talented and passionate singer/songwriter and producer who’s making his mark in the music scene. He’s known to many as GB Collective and he kindly let me in on his music career and more.
Here’s how it all went down.
Let’s start off with an ice breaker: How often do you read Just Curious?
GBC: I gotta be honest. I’m a muso, I don’t really read anything. Not even sheet music but I obviously know all about Just Curious and how this is probably the one interview where I won’t have to hold back…
How important is it, if at all, for artists to keep themselves updated with entertainment news?
GBC: Contradictory answer from above: very! If you’re an artist, the last thing you want is to ask a fellow artist at a cocktail party what they do for a living! So you gotta know who’s who and take your career seriously, even though you gotta be thick skinned and be prepared for what the entertainment news might say about you too haha!
In actual fact, you’re not only an artist, but a songwriter and a producer as well. When did the music bug get a hold of you?
GBC: When I was 3, I would play a killa “air guitar” to my dad’s vinyl records, and I started piano lessons when I was 5, so by high school I was already harmonising to the school bell and completely hooked. #TrueStory
Care to name drop any big artists that you’ve produced or written songs for?
GBC: I started out producing for David Gresham artists 6 years ago, which was quite a mix, from Bantusoul to Prime Circle to Lady Lea. My debut producer artist album coming out now features Kabomo, Nothende, Clint Brink, Chad Saaiman, Keeno Lee, Mabongi Mabaso and a few other up and coming amazing talents.
Giving up a career in Chartered Accountancy was a pretty risky move. Knowing how fickle the music industry is, do you think you’ll ever go back to Accountancy?
GBC: I would rather commit a crime and go to jail! (Not a serious crime like murder, but a small one, like bank robbery or something cool). I signed my first deal with Gresham Records just as I passed my final board exams actually, so I knew I would be making the change immediately and hopefully never look back…
Greg Borowsky is your real name. Now how did ”GB Collective” come about?
GBC: RJ Benjamin was listening to my tracks and said I needed a “collective pronoun” for this producer artist, because every song features a different singer. Some male some female, and people would get confused with identifying who the artist is. So, being a simple guy, I took my initials GB as the “pronoun”, added the word “Collective” and boom. (I could give you some poetic meaningful metaphor, but I’d be lying).
Speaking of your singles. Sunlight featuring Kabomo. How well is it doing? Are people liking it?
GBC: The response has been amazing and so heartfelt. I’ve noticed a great reception ever since the music video played on Live and on Channel O. Video’s are just as important as radio singles these days, especially for a producer artist like myself where I’m not the singer on the track, but still the artist.
And when can we expect your album?
GBC: As soon as it’s printed, in the next 2 months hopefully!
I believe you are signed with Thatch Music right?
GBC: I use Thatch Music for my live shows (they handle the live shows of many artists like AKA, Loyiso, Danny K, Jamali and more) which is an amazing experience for me as I love performing with a full band and singers. Nothing like it! Well, you know..
How would you describe your genre?
GBC: Well, the album I’m releasing “Collective Conscience” is a mix of styles but mainly soul, rnb with a bit of dance, funk, jazz and a touch of soft rock haha. I guess that’s the beauty of being a producer artist, where I’m not confined to one genre with one vocalist. I can hopefully mix it up slightly and bring different music lovers together. #OneLove
Looking into the future. What will GB Collective be up to in 5 years time?
GBC: Hopefully still working with incredible artists both locally and abroad as well as working in musical theatre and film scoring. I think those are the ultimate challenges for any composer. But most importantly, making a difference and touching lives through music and connecting people.
And in other news, are you dating anyone?
GBC: Put it this way, I’m living life… and loving it
What do you do when you’re not in studio, or performing?
GBC: How much do you wanna know? Na, I have a cellular business which gets me up in the morning (and kills my creativity for a few hours) as well as play soccer as much as I can to keep fit (I’m way too lazy for gym).
Do you consider yourself as a celebrity?
GBC: I think it’s tough to consider yourself a celebrity when you have more family members than twitter followers!
Local celebrity crush?
GBC: Hmmm, would Claire Mawisa be too cliche’d??
Your favourite artist at the moment?
GBC: Locally, Micasa are killin it. Overseas, Frank Ocean and Robert Glasper are pushing fresh boundaries…
Oh and how can I forget? Your favourite Just Curious blogger?
GBC: I gotta say Lelo just because I don’t want her writing any saucy articles about me!
That time I thought he’d say I’m his favourite JC blogger. Hehehe. Nonetheless, he’s undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with.
Show him love on twitter: @GBCollective
Sefiso Fizicss Hlongwane