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Gonix: “I love the allegory between the music studio and the chemical laboratory”

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A rapper, songwriter, producer and singer, Gonix comes from Gorzów Wielkopolski, in Western Poland, and is now based in Warsaw. The self-taught artist told us about her latest single “Trzęś”, her feminism and the queer hip hop scene in her country.

How did you learn music? Did you receive any training or musical education?

I am a self-taught musician, a DIY artist, if you like. On my journey, I had a guitar teacher, and I participated in a summer crush-course on songwriting in London. Does it make me professionally trained? Haha – probably not. I am a huge music enthusiast and I absorb, evolve, and study every day. Learning never ends.

How and when did you start rapping? 

I do not recall when exactly it happened. My father was a poet, so I was always inclined to rhyming. Although he didn’t live with us, I was influenced by him and resonated with what was in my bloodline.

My first hip hop memory is watching a video of Salt-N-Pepa on a Polish national TV channel in the 90’s. It was the video of a song entitled “Champagne”. I remember the emotions that accompanied me at that moment. I wanted to be so careless and emancipated just like them even though I was a kid at that time.

In the early 2000’s, I made my first beats, then I started rapping. I was a devoted fan of Missy Elliott and a huge fan of Rawkus Records catalogue.

How would you present your music and artistic identity to people who don’t know you?

I labeled my music as “rap dziewczyński”, which in Polish means “girly rap”, but with a thuggish connotation haha. When it comes to lyrics, the hidden ingredient in my sauce is always social progress. I confront the idea that only men are allowed to express their ideas in public, which is unfortunately still alive in the Polish patriarchal society. My music is dynamic, full of fun and high energy, sometimes soulful and sentimental.

You mix different influences and sonorities in your music. What do you like to experiment the most with?

I love to experiment. To flip the narratives and mix the sounds that at first glance do not match. My friend Dusia Zuo teases me by calling me the Skłodowska of rap music, especially when I focus on one song for too long, haha. I am inspired by the genius of Marie Curie, her tenacity, perseverance, and I love the allegory between the music studio and the chemical laboratory, so I’m ok with this nickname.

Which song are you most proud of so far and why?

Production-wise, I like what we did in “Trzęś” (“Shake it”). We were inspired by the New Orleans bounce and the east coast golden era of hip hop at the same time. I love what we did in “Nic”(“Nothing”) – we combined the Atlanta synthetic sound with punk-rock. Recently, my favorite song is “Abstract”. It’s a vibey, bubbly track inspired by the Ballroom culture. It has not been released yet. My favorite songs are usually the ones that are under construction.

How did you work on your single “Trzęś”?

It was a collaborative effort. The idea was born during a session with a co-producer of this track, St.Elmo. We both love to dig into sub-genres of music. We sketched NOLA bounce inspired beat in DAW, then somehow our thoughts went to the 90’s east coast rap, so we requested cuts from our friend, IDA world champion, DJ Bulb and asked for a rap feature from our hip hop queen – a dancer, and a rapper, the one and only, Ryfa Ri.

The whole track was mixed and mastered by Yaro, a legend on the Polish music scene. The final effect gives you a quintessence of hip hop – cooperation, sampling, exchange of skills within the community. I encourage everyone to check what we’ve cooked. We had so much fun while doing it.

What is your creative process? (How do you usually write? Do you have any favorite topics or routines? …)

I stay in a constant state of awareness, collect ideas, then write them down or record them on my portable audio recorder. When I notice that there is a pattern in the disordered thoughts I wrote down, I try to organize them into a song form.

Are you connected to the female/queer Polish hip hop scene? What is the situation of these artists on this scene?

A little bit, I featured on an album by queer artist Drinu. Now I have a collab with Aljas in the making. I am not an insider, so I am not in the position to tell you about the real situation, but I can recommend contacting Aljas, an extraordinary person with their own movement.

Do you identify as a feminist? If so, what is your own feminism?

I always said I was a feminist even when I did not know what it meant. You must keep in mind that during the 90’s and early 2000’s, the feminist movement was not popular in Poland. Still, I was raised by a strong woman, and now, I do think like one. I give credit to my mum for being who I am.

What I believe in fully aligns with the basic idea of feminism, but I hate being labeled. I take pride in being a label-free, open-mined individual. Let’s say that my fav ‘ism’ is lyricism, lol.

What are your upcoming projects? 

My next EP is titled Hippie Hood. It will be released at the end of June. My previous EP Riot Flow and Hippie Hood form a coherent whole. It’s somehow a continuation of my debut LP Funky Cios, Sexy Głos (in English, Funky Punch, Sexy Voice).

What do you think about Madame Rap? What should be changed or improved?

I love Madame Rap. We need our own media to represent our voices. Thank you for your service.

Find Gonix on Instagram, Soundcloud, Facebook, YouTube and her website.

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