[CV] Hi Gaby. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer some of my questions and I’m looking forward to reading your reply. For those of us unfamiliar with you and your platform, please introduce yourself.
[GM] I am Gaby aka 7 Octoberz aka Spooky Mistress. I am just a movie and music lover! San Diego native and a creative individual.
[CV] How are you doing and how have you been occupying your time in quarantine?
[GM] I’m still working from home luckily doing my 9 to 5, so blessed for that. I am also trying to stay creative by working on my music and my blog. I am also keeping up with new music and catching up on shows lol. I finally finished Castle Rock and The Handmaid’s Tale.
[CV] Speaking of social distancing, is there anything you’ve learned about yourself given current circumstance?
[GM] I guess that we are all slaves to our minds. Being in quarantine or “isolation” got me in a lazy groove which I had to pull myself out of. And also a bit of writer’s block. Luckily I am self-motivated and got friends that are dope beatmakers to keep my mind active and creative.
[CV] What’s something people seem to misunderstand about you?
[GM] I would say people think that because I am a hip hop and horror fan that I am boxed into those genres. Which is false! I love music and movies, in general, those just happen to be my favorite. I love reggaeton, bachata, banda, mariachi, r&b, latin trap, rock and etc. Same for movies, love thrillers, comedies, action, and drama. I also write music outside of horror, I write about my life, love, etc.
[CV] What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in pursuit of a creative career?
[GM] My biggest accomplishment has been growing my following organically. Meeting a lot of individuals in San Diego’s hip hop community that have become friends or family. I went in not knowing anyone, which is a big deal for me. Being part of the almighty Spookygang collective. Also becoming a staff member for Platform Collection, glad that KillcRey and Eddie saw my potential and gave me the opportunity to be part of their entertainment company. I am Head of Management for Platform Collection which I am excited about and will open more doors for my creative career!
[CV] In your own words, what similarities and overlaps does Hip-Hop have with Horror Films?
[GM] I believe hip hop and horror have more in common than different. I wrote an article about this on my website. They are both genres that are often misunderstood. They are seen as violent, sexist, having vulgarity. In reality they both show the reality of our society and aren’t afraid to speak on it. For example Tupac would talk about poverty and police brutality. Get Out talked about racism being seen as taboo in America. I can name to many, but that’s just an example.
[CV] What is the meaning behind the name of your platform 7octoberz?
[GM] Thanks for asking a lot of people assume that is my birthday which is false lol. One day I was thinking about a name for a brand in case I started a clothing company and 7 Octoberz came to mind. It was short and catchy. The reason behind it has a double meaning. It is the day my abuelita passed away Oct. 7, 2014 rest in peace Rafaela Ojeda! It was a way to pay homage to her and keep her legacy alive. She was also the reason I fell in love with films and music. I would watch Mexican horror movies with her as a kid. I also fell in love with Pedrito Fernandez and Pedro Infante’s music because of her. So what better way to keep her memory alive! The second meaning is 7 is my favorite number and October is my favorite month due to Halloween. Little did I know it would also become my artist alias too haha. I have gone thru many artist names from Poetic Serenity, GLyric to G Musik lol.
[CV] In support of local San Diego artists, what is one (or several) thing(s) that your platform 7octoberz has been able to achieve?
[GM] I believe I have been able to shine light on SD artists that might not have other platforms to share their music or project. Given there are platforms that charge for reviews. I don’t, I do this for the culture!
[CV] How have you been able to manage your creative mediums [7octoberz, music, event hosting, etc.] and your personal life?
[GM] I guess it has to do with my organizational skills. I’ve always been organized by nature and try to plan things ahead so that has helped me to juggle my blog, podcast, music etc. Idk what I would do without my calendar and to do lists lol.
[CV] Having to juggle all of the above, has it affected your personal relationships?
[GM] That is a good question. I don’t believe so since a lot of my friends are in the same creative arena so it has actually helped me build strong relationships and friendships. As for my love life I don’t got time for that lol I am completely focused on my creative career unless I meet someone who is invested as I am whether it is in the creative field or something else.
[CV] Who or what is your daily, must-watch or must-listen-to content outlet (i.e. favorite blog or favorite podcast, playlist, forum, etc.)?
[GM] I would say State of the Culture, love watching interviews by Zane Lowe, Rob Markman interviews on Genius, Pull Up Joe Budden interviews, El Guru Reggaeton interviews. Just love soaking in knowledge from artists so love watching interviews. As for music I just browse on Spotify.
[CV] Your blog is very popular for album reviews, which I could imagine takes up a lot of your time in listening to music and analyzing a particular album. Props to you for that. But how do you go about saying “no” to a request for an album review by an artist whose music you’re not a fan of?
[GM] I actually only said no a few times, I’ve been fortunate enough to only review music I fuck with. I’m sure as I grow I will have more reviews I will have to say no to.
[CV] What is your ultimate goal with 7octoberz?
[GM] Well my blog and podcast Nightmare on Sedgwick Avenue fall under my brand 7 Octoberz. As for 7 Octoberz I want to grow it as a brand. From clothing, sneakers, entertainment company, just to name a few.
[CV] A lot of artists are not too keen on sharing their failures in their pursuit of career success. However, in my humble opinion, failures are essential in lesson-learning, building perseverance, becoming better and serve as an ego check. Not to mention, speaking about personal failures could potentially help and inspiring artists to make the same mistakes you’ve made. With that being said, what has been your biggest challenge so far in the pursuit of your music career and what have you learned along the path of building your platform?
[GM] Biggest challenge right now is getting listeners to support and listen to my music. Being an artist this day in age is tough. You are competing with millions of artists and music being released daily. You have to find a way to set yourself apart. I am still learning how to get listeners to listen to my music. Work in progress for sure!
[CV] Tell us about your latest single “Love Sick”, what inspired you to write it?
[GM] My love life inspired this track. It is very personal to me. I am not the type of person to share my feelings or be emotional so my music is my outlet to express myself.
[CV] When did you begin taking interest in recording arts?
[GM] I started recording myself when I was like 13 with cassettes back in the day but didn’t think anything of it. Then in 2014 I decided to start recording myself and started using SoundCloud.
[CV] When did you become interested in hip-hop?
[GM] When I heard Tupac and Biggie for the first time fell in love with the sound and message.
[CV] What are your biggest music influencers?
[GM] I have a lot from many genres to name a few: Biggie, 2pac, Big L, Vinnie Paz, Canibus, Eminem, Immortal Technique, MC Late, Pedro Fernandez, Arcangel, Common etc.
[CV] Do you plan to perform live?
[GM] I don’t know yet; been debating that. I have a huge fear of public speaking ironically. Might have to build the courage to do so. I’ve only performed my poems/somgs in Spoken Word format at Black Expression. I like doing that because it allows people to listen to my lyrics. I am a huge fan of lyrics. Haven’t performed in a minute tho.
[CV] What aspect of music industry interests you the most and why?
[GM] I like the behind the scenes and journalism. From learning about touring, stage production, making of the music, songwriting and interviewing.
[CV] Having been acclimated to San Diego’s hip-hop scene, have you learned any valuable lessons that you’d like to share especially pertaining to building personal relationships with artists and maintaining integrity as a journalist, importance of intellectual property, maneuvering through politics of the hip-hop community and music business?
[GM] I would say just be yourself, don’t try to be someone you are not. Being genuine is not that common nowadays a lot of people doing things to get something back, asking for handouts not willing to put in the work. I keep my circle small. I also am respectful keep to myself, but outgoing when I need to. Like I say I do this for the love of the culture. If you want to be part of anything you gotta do it for the love and nothing else.
[CV] Do you have any predictions for the evolution of the music industry post-COVID-19 apocalypse?
[GM] Well, as we’ve seen a lot of IG live/Zoom concerts and interviews. This definitely took the music industry by surprise. I definitely seen more interactions between artists and fans which is good.
[CV] Are you working on any projects that we should anticipate? Feel free to plug.
[GM] Right now I am just dropping singles. I like what Russ said that if you are an upcoming artist it is good to have a huge catalog so when you do drop an EP or album you have songs fans can go back and listen to. Also, it is pointless investing your time and money on an album if you don’t have the fan base yet. I might drop an EP in June still debating.
Check out Gaby’s latest single Love Sick, available for your listening pleasure across all major streaming platforms.