You started off by writing cheers for cheerleading. Can you expand onhow you channeled that talent and transitioned into becoming asinger/songwriter?
Totally. So to make a very long story short. I was a competitive cheerleader from about2002-2014. During that time I became pretty obsessed with the mashup mixes we'dcompete to. So I taught myself how to make it using basic music production software andstudied my ass off to get better and better at being a producer. I turned it into a businesswhile continuing to study. After years of that i used the knowledge to expand into makingbeats for myself and from there I just started writing my own songs. I've always been aninquisitive person and I love to learn.
You're quite into drag culture. Tell us how the boundless world ofdrag inspires you.
Drag inspires me because it kind of breaks down all social structures and allows you torebuild it in your own vision. You can be any or no gender. You can be gorgeous or comical.I love self expression and drag is that in its purest form.
Recently moving from San Fransisco to LA; in a city so competitve with so many talented people, how do you compete and make yourself relevant?
I focus on being better than the person I was yesterday. I don't really focus on beingrelevant. I just try to create work that I love and that i think is interesting and honest.
Tell us more about your work with Rupaul Drag Race and your recent collaborations
Shea Coulee just released her newest single Gasoline that Im so honored to have co-written and produced. It was such a fun experience! Especially with it being a new directionfor Shea's music.I have another project with Shea and some other projects with queens the fandom loves. Sothat will be fun to watch the reactions whenever they come out.
You are unapologetically and openly queer so does that add a bit more pressure to represent in the industry?
I don't think it adds pressure in the sense of needing to represent for others (becausetbh I present queer even if I'm not trying lol). But i do sometimes have to fight personalpressure to present/write/sing less "queer" because of the magnitude of waves I hope tomake in the music industry. I usually catch those thoughts before they actually effect anyof my creative decisions, but id be lying if i said the thought wasn't there at times.
What is the dream?
My dream is to have a successful solo career touring the world. And a successfulsongwriting career on the side writing for top acts in the world.
What's your Guilty Pleasure?
Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I'm *obsessed* and to be honest watching them is alesson in entrepreneurship and marketing.
What can we expect next from Gess?
In 2019 you can expect more honesty and vulnerability. More visuals. And more music.
© Akeem Pina for Guilty Pleasure