OCEAN MEETS GREG GREASe
BY : WILLIAM JUNGBAUER III
OCEAN – Where are you from? How long have you been making music?
Greg – I consider myself from Minneapolis, even though we moved a lot when I was young; Minneapolis, Atlanta, Charlotte. I’ve been making music for about 17/18 years, in which I started with percussion in elementary school and eventually got a drum set in 10th grade. When I was about 16 I started making beats and around 22/23 I started rapping. About 7 years ago I started sewing as well. I’m 31 now.
OCEAN – What influenced you to start creating? Does your family make music?
GREG – I’ve always been drawn to creating with my hands, so drumming and making beats was natural. I also grew up in a family that loved and listened to music. Even though my parents didn’t make music (my mom was an educator from a long line of educators and my dad was a poet and shit talker) they encouraged me in every way. He would freestyle with me and my siblings, and honestly, I think my older sister is better at freestyling then me.
OCEAN – Growing up, what emcees or producers influenced you?
GREG – I listened to so much of everything growing up but mostly Dilla, anything Dre and Outkast, I don’t know, I could list names forever. I also was into Jazz because my dad was, and Rock, my favorite being Black Rock like Band of Gypsies.
OCEAN – It sounds like you had an amazing childhood with a very cool family. You mentioned sewing earlier, do you make your own clothes?
GREG – Yes, like I said, I’ve been sewing for about 7 years now. My clothes are made to order which means I make custom items for people depending on what they are looking for. I also teach at an art center in North Minneapolis as well running my own business selling my clothes and music.
OCEAN - Have any particular designers influenced you?
Greg – The Harlem Renaissance is a huge influence fashion wise as well as Dapper Dan and how he was making custom fits for artists before Gucci and Louis were for our community (which they ended up taking his styles).
OCEAN – While we are on the subject of influence, do any emcees/ producers from this generation influence you? Also, many people have made the statement that “Hip Hop is dead”, what do you think of the current state of music?
GREG- I don’t really listen to too much music because I don’t want it to rub off on me but working with youth they play the stuff all the time, and theres stuff I like and I don’t like it, but I don’t think Hip Hop is dead at all. With the internet I think its more alive than ever. Of course, with more information comes more misinformation so you just have to be into mining. I like Smino, hes dope, Nipsey, Dave East, to name a few. I like new artists that have the new feel but have some substance to it as well, you know what I mean? I listen to a lot of producers, Knxledge is fire, a lot of Nigerian music like Mr.Eazi, Tekno, Davido, Lyanya, and New Jazz music like Kamasi Washington, Ryan Porter, Yusuf Kamall, I could go on forever. Some Reggae with The Frightnrs, some Indie Rock with Tame Impala and Homeshake. I just love music. Also, Spencer and Nazeem are some young cats I listen to. They’re dope.
OCEAN – Bout to peep all of those artists after we wrap this up, so last question Greg. What is your goal with music?
GREG – My goal is to be the best artist I can be, make timeless music and be happy along the way. I want to create something that someone can find a long time after my existence and be able to relate through the sonics.
With that being said Greg is currently working an album for his band astralblak (fka ZULUZULUU) and on record store day his new album will be released on vinyl. I'd also like to say that it was an honor to interview Greg as I have always loved his music. He is someone I have always paid attention to and looked up to in the Twin Cities music scene. He is a real emcee and I suggest you check out his music and creations by following the links below. I hope you enjoyed this edition of Ocean Meets Artist. Much love and good vibes sent to everyone. <3
Twitter - https://twitter.com/greazygreg
Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/greg-grease
Bandcamp - https://greazygreg.bandcamp.com/