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GGK discusses mental health issues, hope and human resilience.

An amazing interview with GGK about music and life

Crystal: Hey guys, what’s up. It’s Crystallized Beats and I’m Crystal Amar. Tonight’s featured guest is GGK out of Manchester in the UK. Thanks so much for being on the show.

GGK: The pleasure is all mine. Thank you for having me

Crystal: Definitely. So why don’t you take a moment and describe your music style for us,

GGK

GGK: Huh? No, that would be a very hard thing to do. I’d say, um, the thing is when my music is, um, I’m probably a record labels, worst nightmare when it comes down to, uh, music in the sense that every single one of my tracks would be different. So my last release tropical, um, that was a tropical trap amp, more the summer vibe. The track before that was more of an emotionally driven ballot, liberal ballot. And that was based around suicide prevention. Um, and then my next track that I did, since the grime track, it’s a 140 BPM upbeat, you know, hard hit in grime track, you know, proper UK grime. So to describe my music would be a very difficult thing in one, you know, it’s not, it’s not a genre specific.Β 

Positivity through the music

I think the thing that my music, the one thing that is, you know, carries on for all my music that is similar is to my persona and my energy and my vibe. And, um, the message I like to push off, which is, being, you know, positivity, being morally accountable, being able to, you know, be resilient. That’s what I saw. I think my name, my number one thing about my music is it isn’t a specific genre as such. It’s more, um, the essence of me as, as weird as that seems.

Crystal: No, it’s not at all. And when you see the article that I wrote about you, you literally just, I’ve touched on every point that I have put in that article about you about

Crystal: Yeah, that’s pretty sweet. I definitely, you know, that’s how I described your music as well. So, yeah, that’s definite, so let’s see. So what’s the latest project that you did release that was the single tropical right?

GGK: It was yeah. With LCD alchemist. Yeah.

Crystal: Okay. And that’s available on all the streaming platforms?

GGK: That is yes. Available on all streaming services with a 4k music video on my YouTube 

My intro to GGK

Crystal: Okay, excellent. So,Β  before we get too into the music, there is some things that I would like to talk to you about. One of them being, um, you know, a few years ago, well first let me start off with this guys. I found GGK on Instagram,through his videos of him somewhat recuperating and bouncing back from an accident that he had that kind of just caught my heart and got my attention. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about the motorcycle accident?

The accident

GGK: Okay. So I’m going to start a bit of the backstory here. So prior to 2015, I was a mechanic. I used to be a mechanic every day, even on the weekends, I used to love it. And I used to ride a nice motor bike and I used to fix it myself, do all that. And, um, yeah, I used to use both my arms very well and I was, uh, yeah, I was quite good at my job. 

On the way to work one day I, uh, cobbled out and I ended up waking up in hospital about a week later with no recollection of what happened. What I remember is eating some cereal and then waking up. And it turns out that, um, I was involved in a road traffic accident, a motorcycle crash, and, uh, basically to put it, frankly, the, my left arm is now completely dead.

It has been dead since 2015, has no use at all. Um, and that was the nerve that controls my left arm, ripped out my spinal cord. I had four broken ribs, fractured neck, fractured skull, internal bleeding in the spleen. It was a very, very severe accident and I’m very lucky to be alive. Um, wow.

18 with a new shot

So, yeah, it was, it was crazy to be honest with you. And then obviously, as you can imagine, you know, I was 18 at the time it happened as well.

So I was young. I mean like 18, you don’t, you don’t even know the world is like not to mention yourself. So having to completely, you know, hit the restart button was a challenge, but it did give me a new lease on life. It gave me the ability not many people get to restart and do what they actually aspire to do in life.

We get pigeonholed into a lot of things. We get pushed into a lot of things and like, you know, you kind of get trapped in it when you get to a certain age, whereas I got the chance to actually restart. It was nice for me. What I did was I decided I want to go into psychology and music. And then I, you know, I, uh, I went to college, did really well at college in psychology, got accepted into university. In 2018 I went to university.Β 

The surgery

Unfortunately, however, after being at university for two weeks, I got a call from my consultant, who did a few MRIs on my spine cause I was starting to lose mobility in my legs. And, um, he said that I needed to leave. I needed urgent spinal surgery, so I needed to drop out of university.

So, you know, under doctor’s orders, I dropped out of university after just getting there. And, uh, I had this spinal operation to de herniate my spinal cord and, you know, hopefully relieve the pressure in that to stop the issues with my legs. And I woke up in 2018 on, yeah, well, fully paralyzed from the neck down. I, uh, for a week I’d had completely no use from the neck down, which was, as you can imagine. Absolutely terrifying. Um, yeah. And so I managed to regain mobility. Well, I’ve managed to regain use after about a week or so of my upper half, however, below the waist down, completely just there was nothing there. So I had to completely start fresh. 

I managed to get back on my feet, had a year of just getting used to things and get my mobility again, and then got back to university.

I managed to do in a year university my first year, even. And then once again, unfortunately, due to, um, scar tissue that developed from where they did the surgery, the same issue was occurring. And I basically, I was enduring chronic pain, you know, for a good year, I was under severe chronic pain. 

The second surgery

I was just completely, I was out of use completely. It was horrendous. So although I didn’t have good experiences with hospitals due to the first one, you know, I become painfully paralyzed. I have no choice, but to go back to the other surgery. So I’m in on the 23rd of December, 2020.

Then I went in for another spinal operation and unfortunately I had the exact same situation happened. I woke up and although I wasn’t fully paralyzed this time, my legs, uh, lost their use again. So at the moment, yeah. So as you can imagine, it’s been a bit of an ordeal, but, um, so you know, at the moment I’m still rehabilitating. I’ve only just in literally the last week started the process of actually walking with a, with a, uh, a crutch. Um, so that’s been, that’s been challenging

But I’m proud of myself to be honest with you because not many people can go through such battles and still carry on, still be doing the music, the academics still, you know, pushing up then it’s just, I, you know, I want to push on, you know. I’m still doing well, considering my situation. I’m still releasing music. And, um, yeah, I’m doing me to be honest with you. 

So although it’s been a bit of a messy one, and the story is one, that’s definitely going to be told many, many times more because it’s interesting. Not many people go through these experiences, but it’s taught me a lot. It’s given me a lot of resilience. It’s about a suit. Yeah. It’s, uh, it’s made me who I am today, so I can’t really fault it in a weird way.

Overwhelming love and support

Crystal: Right on, I honestly, I have to say that, I’m not a very sentimental person. And for some reason there’s something about you and the videos that I saw on Instagram that just really, you know, grabbed me and, you know, got my attention. And I was like, rooting. I found myself rooting for you, even though I don’t know you, which is a strange experience for me. And then to see that you make music, I was like, oh, perfect. Okay.

GGK: Yeah. To be honest with you, the one thing that’s been severely overwhelming in this considering my situation, I would imagine quite quite a lot of it has been overwhelming, but the most overwhelming thing about this whole situation has been the love I’ve received. It’s incredible how such a huge amount of just an abundance of strangers will see you going through these battles. And will just message you so much love and be like, yo man, you can get through this. And just, and it’s been one thing that’s really something that my music as well, because it means that, you know, my support networks are already there. 

I already have a huge amount of people who are rooting for me, not just physically, but with, you know, with my mental health, but with my music, with my creativity, that just, you know, they’re pushing me to be the person that they know I can be.

Life can be a lot worse

So, it’s definitely been, it’s been a lifesaver, to be honest with you, the people that have been supporting me and I couldn’t appreciate, you know, them enough, to be honest with you, that’s why I’m like, I’ve got a lot of gratitude for these people, because I think that’s one thing that the world needs a bit more of, people need to realize that you, I mean, life can be a hell of a lot worse. And the, um, the people around you shine in this love and sharing your music, supporting your music, just supporting you in general, they can, they can really help people out of the biggest holes and they have everybody has.

Crystal: Absolutely. And you know, that’s, it’s just, it’s so nice to hear so many people have been, you know, supporting you and I can see it, you know, on your Instagram as well, with all the likes and everything and the comments and stuff. So it’s pretty sweet.

GGK: It definitely is. Yes. I think there’s a lot of hate towards social media at the moment with, you know, towards, you know, with everyone saying that they’re on their phones too much and stuff like that. But given I was in a hospital during a pandemic without that phone, without that support, you know, social media has been a lifesaver. So, you know, I think, uh, shout outs where shout outs, do you know what I mean? Social media, Instagram, Facebook, all these things that they can be used in a negative way, but when they used positively, they can have an incredible influence on people’s lives.

The positive side of social media

Crystal: Definitely. I operate solely through social media and email, you know, I work with people, you know, like you, you’re in the UK. I work with people all over the world and I, you know, feature undiscovered, indie, hip hop artists, uh, otherwise, you know, most people would never find out about, and it’s all through social media, you know.

GGK: It’s, it’s been, uh, I can’t imagine a world without it, to be honest with you, especially for my music. Cause you know, just like your, you know, your, your music blogs and stuff like that. I, the whole way I’ve got my music out. It’s social media.

I mean, before getting to Manchester, I was in a little village, in a little rural village in the Midlands. And I managed to get on BBC introducing, which is like one of the leading stations in Manchester, in England, even. I managed to get on all these incredible blogs later. So all these things and, from being a little village and then when I went to Manchester, more doors opened, but social media has been the, uh, has been the main way. I’ve gotten my music out there. So you want to credit where credit’s due.

Getting back on track with school and music

Crystal: Definitely. So what’s going on with university, Will you be attending, you know, cause it looks like you’re walking with the Walker and everything and I have full faith that you’re going to pull through. So have you, you know, got that in your sights

GGK: Sure. I’ve already got my house in Manchester. You see, I’m, I’m currently in admissions at the moment as I’m on the care of my parents due to my situation, but I have been back a few times to see my boys and you know what I mean? Like, um, has been good, but yeah, I’m ready to start psychology again too. I really want to get my degree to be honest with you because although I really love the music. Psychology goes hand in hand, you know, the understanding of people, the understanding of self, music’s very mental health orientated. 

I’m really excited to start university. And I think that with this clarity and with the resilience I’ve gained going through this, I’d definitely be able to do well. I can see it. And I’ve been studying already through an essay. I’m really enjoy psychology. I, as much as I enjoy my music, I also enjoy academics. So it’s kind of like, you know, I never, I’m never bored. I know that much.

The Psychology of life

Crystal: I actually was a psych major as well. And I do spend quite a bit of time on the show and the blog talking about mental health issues and that sort of thing, because I have my own issues that I have been dealing with for a long time. And I’m also, you know, a psych major. So whenever I get the chance to talk to somebody about it, I definitely do, because I feel like it’s my responsibility with this platform to shine some light on it.

GGK: A hundred percent and you’re doing a, you’re doing a great service there because I think the world is lightening up and people are realizing that, you know, mental health is a big deal. People always show me love and sympathy because they see my situation and my physical disabilities. But I can tell you one thing, my physical disabilities are no where near as much as a hindrance on my life as my PTSD and my depression. I mean like mental health is serious, man, and people need to take it more serious. And I think because it’s not this tangible thing we can hold on to and we can see people tend to think it’s less worthy of that attention. So it’s a weird one. 

So inspiring

I think in the modern days as well, people see it as attention seeking when you go online and you’d be like, hey I’m depressed and all this stuff. It’s like, no, we’re living in a world where people have been in, you know, isolated in a pandemic, people are struggling and we need to have sympathy, empathy, and compassion for these people like for everyone. So yeah. So a hundred percent it’s needed. 

Crystal: Definitely. So, I’m so glad that we got the chance to talk about that and thank you so much for opening up about the accident and everything, because, your story is just so inspiring and you’re getting back into your music and you’re getting back to school and people need to see and hear that sort of thing, because it is hopeful.

GGK: I think people do not realize how strong they really are genuinely as humans. We are, as, you know, being a psych major, we are incredibly resilient. We have the ability to overcome some of the most horrendous, horrendous acts and tasks. We have the ability to prevail and, you know, not just live but strive.Β 

I think that we can do it , if I can do it, anyone can do it. And that’s the thing it just takes love and support from everyone around you as hippy and cliche, as it sounds. It’s true. If you’ve got a good enough support network. You can genuinely take over the world. I genuinely believe that.

Crystal: I agree. And if you look at the people, you know, especially in the music industry that are taking over, have taken over, their support systems are there, you can see that they’re there.

GGK Green and piff

New release

All right. So you briefly touched on your new single that you’re working on. Why don’t you tell us a little bit, I mean, as much as you want to tell us anyway about that,

GGK: Is this a, you want to talk about my next release? Um, my grime release is coming out on August 6th. That will be that it’s called green and Piff. Now I was born and raised for the first 10, 11 years of my life in east London and, uh, you know, in the capital of England. So I’m an east Londoner.

London is renowned for their genre of music grind, um, which is like a 140 BPM almost like I almost have like a dubstep type vibe to it. It’s, you know, like really heavy bar for bar rap and it’s proper tight, you know, it’s running around and being like, you know, you know, the urban, rapid England outside and, you know, it’s gone global with Skepta’s album and, you know, you know, it’s, it’s become like a world-renowned thing now. And I was brought up around that.

So I wanted to go back to my roots and I decided to write a grime track called green and Piff, as you can, uh, Piff, I don’t know if you know this it’s a UK slang for basically like, um, dank, nice, sexy, all that, all that good stuff. So, you know, being greenback high, for idea, you know, putting my vanity out there a bit and release track with green and Piff and it’s, um, it’s going to serve you. 

It’s my most lyrically superior track I’ve ever written. The lyricism that’s gone into it, I’m proud of it. Like, and if you really analyze the track, I’ve done a lyric video for it, as opposed to a music video, because I think the music video wouldn’t do it justice.

If the lyric video really puts emphasis on certain bars that I think a lot of people would miss. So, I’m really excited for this release, to be honest with you not to, just because it brings me back to my original where I started, cause it’s showing a bit more of my diversity. 

Always diverse with the music

I like, I like trying out different genres, be it emo rap, or be it more indie stuff, a bit chill, hip hop. Now I’m doing a bit more upbeat stuff in the last release, tropical that’s really upbeat summer tropical trap from that I’m on some really upbeat grind. 

I’m just trying to just, you know, test the waters and see, you know, see where I go and just kind of put myself out there because yeah, I’m not, I’m not in this music game to get signed. I’m not in this music game to become the biggest musician in the world.

No, I’m in this music gameΒ  cause I love music. It’s the same reason. I’m in a psychology game. When people stream on music and the fact that it’s done well, and I’ve gone on radio and I’ve done fricking, you know, I’ve done festivals and I’ve done huge gigs. I’ve done sold out headline shows That for me, has been just the icing on the cake because it’s like, it’s incredible. I can do something I love and do well at it. And I’m like, yo, this is dust.Β 

Crystal: Yeah. That’s so awesome. Definitely. And I actually can’t wait to hear it because I think that already everything I’ve heard from you has been so lyrically on point. So if you are saying that this next track is going to be just lyrically genius, then I can’t wait to hear it. 

GGK: My live shows are like roller coaster rides. Watching the crowd is brilliant because one minute they’re shouting my name and bouncing around and the next minute everyone is still just staring at me just in like this meditative state and it, um, and it’s genuinely because, you know, I have a lot of really deep songs. You know, a lot of them are close to home. A lot of them, you know, are quite powerful. 

Crystal: Excellent. And it’s so nice to hear the positivity and the optimism and everything. It’s great. I love it. So, is there anything else that you want to add? Anything you’d like us to know about that we didn’t touch on already?

Make sure you check out his new music

GGK: I think one of my most important tracks and my most successful track suicide hope, um, that is one that I think if you know, any person listening right now, hasn’t listened to, I think that’d be a recommendation. I would definitely throw that one there just cause it’s a really powerful track. It means the hell of a lot to me. 

I know that a lot of people are struggling at the moment. I know that everything, most people in their lives will experience suicidal thoughts. That’s just the reality of life, unfortunately. And um, I know that if it’s not yourself personally experiencing them, a friend, family member, someone around you will be going through some sort of a mental health crisis.

If not now, whenever, cause I mean now is a really traumatic time for most people that the pandemic and stuff.  Also, the Alchemist who I did the feature with on tropical, and just stay tuned because I’ve got so much coming. 

I haven’t even started, that’s the beauty of this I haven’t even started. This is not even the tip of the iceberg from me. I’m going to be releasing so much more music. I’ve been working on some just indie tracks. I’ve got a band that I do live shows with, who do like psychedelic trance, rap. It’s really, really just out there. 

Just keep an eye out. I hope to see more from yourself, Crystal, with you, with your music. And I hope, you know, you guys will be seeing more from me, which I know you will be, but yeah, thank you for having me is all I can say really

Crystal: Awesome. Thank you so much. It was excellent to talk to you and I’ll be talking to you soon

GGK: A hundred percent. Thank you very much and have a lovely evening.

CHECK OUT GGK’S ARTIST PROFILE ON NEVERNAIRE BLOG

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