Written by Ella Audrey Rae
Photography by Jake Wangner
Music can be life-changing for a listener when the sound is right. I heard that sound the first time I listened to Galimatias. Many producers can tell a story without saying a single word. They can transport you into a lush atmospheric dream world where you lose all sense of time with just sound. They can send chills down your spine with the right timing of a chord during one particular moment of an instrumental. You then hear that producer sing on that same instrumental. If you pair those velvety vocals with addictive ambient samples and captivating sonic elements, you create the artist, Galimatias.
It’s August 25th, 2020, midnight PST, where we find Danish born artist/producer Galimatias an hour after releasing the second batch of vinyls for his debut album “Renaissance Boy”. The first batch sold out in under 30 minutes on Aug 7. The decision to release vinyl copies stemmed from the nostalgic feeling that comes from holding the physical copy of your favorite album. A feeling that is truly unexplainable.
He’s sitting there in a dark gray hoodie with his signature headphones on both ears. They are signature headphones because he wears them in all of his Behind the Scenes videos on social media. The sun shines through his window as he greets me with a smile. The interview then starts.
“When we share our emotions with peers, ego can be a veil over truth. To various degrees, I guess. It’s important that everyone has someone in their life that they can be completely honest with. But even then, you will probably never be as unrestrained as you are within the frame of your own mind.”Galimatias
In doing my research I didn’t find many interviews of him after the release of his critically acclaimed collaborative project with Alina Baraz titled, Urban Flora, which debuted six years ago. The vinyl sits on the wall next to his desk. He values that era as he should. It went Gold and has become a classic. A little time after it’s release though, he disappeared from the spotlight. “I think there was a while that I felt uninspired because I just walked the same lane back and forth. I had put myself in a situation where I wasn’t challenging myself. As creatives, I think it’s important to always chase the fun, and oftentimes challenge is what makes something fun. I’d always been writing and doing little vocal things here and there, but it wasn’t until I fully embraced that aspect of music, that I opened the door to a whole new world of exploration.”
After two years, he resurfaced with his first official single, ‘Blowback’ in 2017. Yes, I know he released ‘Let Me Know’ before that but it’s his least favorite song so we aren’t counting it here. Haha. He was ready to dabble in not only his production abilities but also his vocal abilities this time. With this newfound sound, he left his audience captivated and wanting more. He released about five official singles in that time and each had its own sound that would get him to where he wanted to be. ‘South’ was the last single he released before announcing his debut album. With this last loose single, he had finally found what he was looking for. ‘South’ was a wonderland full of spellbinding melodies, sensual lyricism, and whispery, soul-infused vocals that really brought his abilities to the forefront. I remember hearing it for the first time and being in awe of the detail you could hear in each chord. It was like you could hear him finally finding his sound and you wanted more. He was ready to debut and so were we.
He started making his debut album in 2018 after letting fans know that he actually was not dead, he was just busy making a masterpiece. We just had to wait for a little, like a year. Fans had no idea what was coming but whatever it was, we were tired of waiting because ‘South’ just did it for us. The new year comes around and so does a picture of his iTunes where a playlist tiled RB Gali appears. He says in the caption, ‘Final Touches’. It’s time.
I was ready for whatever story he was ready to tell. I was hoping for vocals. Praying for vocals but anything would be fine by me. According to Gali, he has thousands of unreleased tracks on his computer and about 2% gets released. I was ready for that two percent and he was ready to give it to us.
With one tweet, the countdown began. June 2020, “Album done, First, single coming this week” His fanbase was set on fire as everyone prepared for the day Galimatias finally returned. He’s always surprised at his fan’s reactions to his releases. I’m not surprised though, every artist feels that way and doubts their music sometimes. “I always doubt my own music. While I make it, it’ll feel like the best thing I’ve ever made. If it’s not, then I won’t finish it. Once it’s finished and that honeymoon phase is over, that’s when I can start to look at it more objectively. So, in short: I doubt everything I’ve ever made, except what I’m working on right now.”, he explained.
‘Redeye’, the first single from the debut was released and instantly made me realize why I was waiting so long for this to happen. Why I stayed up until midnight to hear it. The track was like something I’ve never heard before. It felt like it was a wonderland I waited to visit my whole life. Every aspect of the track was so smooth and detailed like he set there and put the track together piece by piece with every piece fitting perfectly. The layered vocals that weave in and out of the chorus along with the running pianos and smooth drums were just insane. This sound, these vocals, an album worth? I might faint, I Thought.
On August 28 after the two singles were released, we got the full project,’Renaissance Boy’. It was a gapless work of art where he brings his vulnerability to the forefront in ways only Gali could create. He finds it easier to be that way in his music. ‘I do think it’s easier being open in music. You have no inhibition as a result of social cues because the conversation when you are writing, is with yourself. In so far as any judgment befalls you, it isn’t presented until after you’ve had a chance to express yourself entirely. When we share our emotions with peers, ego can be a veil over truth. To various degrees, I guess. It’s important that everyone has someone in their life that they can be completely honest with. But even then, you will probably never be as unrestrained as you are within the frame of your own mind.”
Alongside his ability to put all of his emotions into his work, the transitions alone create such an escape for so many. You put your headphones on and close your eyes. Gali then somehow takes you on a journey where you are left in disbelief that a man can create such a body of work from head to toe in his apartment. You don’t even realize you just set through eleven-tracks because the album is gapless with every song flowing into one another perfectly. This is just a debut. I can’t wait to see where he takes us next. Where ever it is, I’m going.
Be sure to read Issue 43 of Reignland Magazine out now in digital and print only on https://reignland.co/galimatias
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Get the album: https://orcd.co/renaissanceboy