Gabriel, who was born and raised in East Los Angeles, takes a fun, upbeat approach to his music, which is full of flirtatious lyrics and catchy hooks. On his EP “Ride,” the west coast vibes are evident. Gabriel describes his music as “straight forward pop,” and he strives to create songs that are euphoric and exhilarating for listeners. His most recent single, “Don’t Want Me,” is a brooding club track with a frequency for the heartbroken.
The fun, upbeat pop song “1 2 Meny” is about the highs and lows of dating after a breakup. We look for our ex’s traits in others, but when we try too hard, we seem to fall short. The song’s title, a pun on the phrase “one too many,” lists some of the benefits and drawbacks of the men I’ve dated in the past. It instantly becomes catchy and enjoyable, with echoes of artists like Doja Cat and Ariana Grande. check out the song and the exclusive interview below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started?
GABRIEL MUNOZ: I’m originally from Los Angeles, CA, and I got into music when I got to college. I sang and wrote songs and little melodies here and there all my life, but I’ve met other talented people along the way who have helped me bring my music to life.
2. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
GABRIEL MUNOZ: I haven’t had any formal vocal or writing training, just a lot of room concerts and scribbling, and studio sessions where I’m writing in real time. So a lot of my vocal and writing technique is self-taught.
3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences and why the name ‘GABRIEL MUNOZ’?
GABRIEL MUNOZ: I would say late 90’s pop probably influences my sound the most, big hitters like Usher, Brian McKnight, Britney Spears, NSYNC, and many others. Then as I got older I’ve developed a love for more R&B and rock/pop. I go by ‘Gabriel Munoz’, just my name because I consider myself to be a relatable friend, partner, person, whatever it is in people’s lives first. And I just feel it’s the most genuine way to present myself as an artist. No nickname or anything. Just me.
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
GABRIEL MUNOZ: I think I tend to write very vulnerably and reflective, I only write from my personal experiences so I think that connects with listeners whether I’m talking about loneliness, unreciprocated feelings, or delusional love. It’s all there. My sound is straight-forward, catchy pop with dance and chill elements.
6. What’s your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative and entertainment?
I think music has transformed into one of the most responsible forms of ally ship and stance when it comes to political or social movements. Spiritual and cultural as well, but I think that is naturally evoked from specific artists and their beliefs and background. For me personally, this looks like being explicit in my storytelling within my lyrics, and communicating that I’m a gay man going through gay love or hardship. While my listeners may not exactly come from that background or share that identity, the message still applies to the human heart and experience, and I think that is how you begin to create shifts in our political, cultural, and social constructs. World events and social climate will always impact music-making, whether we like it or not. I get to sing about gay love and hardship because I’ve been given the right to, and there are others open about this shared experience.
7. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfillment as the amount of work you are putting into it, or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
I just shared about this recently, but I think a lot of times as an artist you can get caught up in the numbers and streaming game, and equate that to fulfillment. But truly, I’m most happy when someone is singing my song back to me because they remember it and they genuinely liked it and light up talking about it. That is where the most fulfillment has existed for me, and I think sulking in those moments is what keeps the fountain of fulfillment flowing. I do expect more listeners to experience my music, for sure. But this is with consistency and time of course.
8. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
For the most part, I have always started with the melody in my head. Just vocally, no production but more so a vision of what the song would sound like. Then, I take that to the producer, explain the vision based around the chorus, and flesh out the song from there! I think for me, starting from the chorus is how I have managed to create my strongest songs. And these choruses will just literally come to me, I’m not really pressing on it if that makes sense.
9. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
GABRIEL MUNOZ: I think finding my sound and brand has been the most difficult aspect. You’re always thinking, “how do I sell this thing? How do I sell me?” But I’ve learned to just embrace my authentic expressions, have fun visually, and let the brand just kind of be from there.
10. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
GABRIEL MUNOZ: I think my proudest moment would be the release of my most recent songs “Don’t Want Me” and “1 2 Meny”. Those songs are very personal to me, and have been in the works since late last year, and I knew those were going to mean a lot upon release. It’s my truth, but still fun. They both are leading up to my upcoming EP which is going to detail a lot more of my personal journey in healing and pain and all of that. I’m very excited to share that with listeners next.
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