Interview with Gavin Turek


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By Adam & Tera Lisicky and Tera Lisicky. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Gavin Turek over Zoom video!
Gavin Turek has been a celebrated musician for years both for her “endlessly groovy and gripping” (NME) recorded work and spirited live performances (often featuring choreography she learned from her time spent in Ghana), and today finds the much anticipated release of her debut full-length album, ‘Madame Gold’ on her own Madame Gold Records.
‘Madame Gold’, is a stunning debut album that represents Gavin’s personal alter-ego who she sought strength in to overcome her inner saboteur. After bouts of self-doubt, discouragement from the music industry, and feelings of helplessness amidst the numerous global crises of the last year, Gavin entered the studio to complete the much-anticipated project and ended up creating a true powerhouse tour de force of modern R&B.
Sonically the album trades the starlit disco vibes of her earlier work for an irresistible groove-heavy, R&B foundation. Tapping into the power that comes from vulnerability and taking inspiration from badass divas like Grace Jones and Diana Ross, 70s soul icons like Curtis Mayfield and the Isley Brothers, and modern day pioneers like Tame Impala and Raphael Saadiq, Gavin’s sound is an honorable throwback to the past while also undeniably fresh and current in the modern music world. The more contemplative moments on the album capture a completely different side of the songwriter.
"We took a more experimental route while creating the hybrid of soul and pop I'm known for, in order capture the inner transformation that was happening in me. I didn’t want to repeat what I did before,” said Gavin about the sonic direction of the album.
NY Magazine’s The Cut said the LP (produced and co-written by Childish Gambino collaborator Chris Hartz) is “sure to be a summer staple”, while BUST called Turek “not only magical but a woman with integrity and heart.” Early singles “Illusions” and “Slide” (feat. bLAck pARty) garnered praise from Stereogum who praised the former as a "blissed-out love song”, and KCRW who called the latter “a perfect fit for your weekend on the boardwalk, or late-nite cruising down the boulevard.”
Also out today is the music film accompaniment for “Hero”, which Gavin says “tells the origin story of my alter ego Madame Gold, through a cinematic lens. At the height of the pandemic, I found myself depleted and discouraged, unsure how to move forward. One fateful day, I tuned in for an "artist talk" given by one of my favorite visual artists, Renee Cox. Her work and encouraging words were exactly what I needed to be reminded of who I was: a hero. Conceptually and creatively directed by myself and brilliantly directed by Josh Sondock, the HERO music film is meant to inspire people, especially women who feel lost and out of touch with their personal strength, to become their own heroes and save themselves instead of waiting for someone else.”
Through the writing sessions for the album, Gavin exorcised deep feelings of personal pain, confusion, loss, love, moments of magic, and pressure. The result is an eclectic, pristine, and cathartic unveiling of an artist truly coming into her own -- be it on “Whisper” (a futuristic take on personal faith that includes a heartwarming interview snippet with Gavin’s mother), “Hero” (a certifiable bop about leaning into your own personal strength), or “Elevator” (which Refinery29 called the “perfect soundtrack for a fresh start”).
According to NPR, “one way or another, Gavin Turek is going to entertain you”, whether through her live performances or her music. You may have heard of Gavin in the past through her entrancing solo work, acclaimed collaborations with TOKiMONSTA, her performance on CONAN, or performing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! with Tuxedo, Mayer Hawthorne, and Cee Lo respectively. From growing up with a father who played piano and tagging alongside her mother who toured coffeeshops singing gospel, to studying dance in Ghana, to cutting her teeth as a working musician in Los Angeles, performing has been in the forefront of Gavin’s mind for her entire life, and with ‘Madame Gold’ the future is looking nothing but bright.
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