Guav is another Atlanta artist whose music I have come to know and love. Still young and early in the rap game, Guav is already turning his struggles and trauma into music. Through song, Guav is openly calling out his “Opps,” keeping his circle close, and learning quickly that not all people in your circle are your friends. In this interview, Guav shares lessons learned as a new artist and his perspective on music as a creative process rather than a competition to win.
Guav on His Start in Music
Photobombshell: Hi, Guav! Thank you so much for taking some time to share your story with me! As a first-timer with Photobombshell.media, could you give us the rundown? Who are you, and what do you do?
Guav: My name is Ariel, but I go by the artist name Guav. I chose my name Guav because I felt it was unique and wanted to go towards a smooth Spanish name. My family is part Dominican. I’m a proud husband and father who works hard to ensure my family has everything they need to live in this world. Growing up, I had always had a spiritual connection to music. The people who started it all were my mom and dad. They always had me listening to the old-school songs.
Photobombshell: It sounds like you had some fun influences listening to old-school music from a young age. How did you go from listening to music to creating it?
Guav: My wife and I were having fun one night playing GarageBand. I started experimenting with instruments and slowly started getting into making beats before I started rapping.
Guav on Motivation and Inspiration
Photobombshell: That is so much fun! GarageBand is fun to use, and the ease of use makes it incredible for people starting to explore music creation. Who or what has been your inspiration and motivation on this journey?
Guav: Honestly, for me, my wife has been motivating me since I started making music. My wife is everything to me. The biggest inspiration would easily be my mother. My mother has always pushed me to reach for the stars.
Photobombshell: It is crucial to have those people in your inner circle who motivate, inspire, and support you. It’s very cool that you have a strong home team. Now, I tend to favor and feature loads of artists from New York and New Jersey because they are artists that I connect with through events, festivals, and the rap and hip-hop tracks that pull my ear. As an artist from Atlanta, do you need to move differently to be heard and taken seriously?
Guav: No. Honestly, I am focused on making good music and staying out of the way. Music is not a competition to me. I’m just being me. You know, life is too short.
How Guav is Turning Struggle Success
Photobombshell: Yes! Life is too short, and I agree that music is not a competition. I love your perspective on that. Speaking of your point of view, I have done a little homework and connected with your story. You had a challenging upbringing, struggling with childhood poverty. That story is something I connect with. You’ve said, “The struggle I hate, but I love what it turned me into.” Talk a little bit about this. It’s a beautiful, resilient perspective.
Guav: My parents weren’t dirt poor, but we struggled, living paycheck to paycheck. That experience humbled me growing up. As a kid, not always having what others had made me appreciate the now. You start to realize that when you get older in life, material things are temporary. Be grateful for what the universe blesses you with, like people that love you most.
Photobombshell: How do you think the struggle has molded you into a better artist?
Guav: When making music, the vibrations projecting through it are events from my childhood traumas. I am always experimenting with new sounds and whatnot. Improving my flow has made me a better musician. Soon, I’ll be able to show the world my new catalog.
Practical Advice for Artists
Photobombshell: What is one practical tip or piece of advice that you would offer to your peers and fellow artists?
Guav: Networking and branding yourself as an artist is critical to your success. These are your dreams and your life. Pursue them, but remember copyright and trademarking. Always protect your work.
Photobombshell: Sound advice! I don’t think anyone has mentioned protecting their work in my interview series. Copyright and trademarking are necessary to protect your creative works.
Behind the Music
Photobombshell: Of all of your songs, which one do you feel most embodies who you are and why?
Guav: The song that represents me is probably “SWEET MAGNOLIA.” The song has a nostalgic feel. It brings me back to my childhood, even though the track is instrumental.
Guav: During the time that “Opps” was in production, back in 2020, before I had my daughter, I would hang out with my long-time high school friends. I’m not friends with them anymore, and it took me certain moments to realize they weren’t good friends. Their only interest was in wanting me to destroy myself. During that time, boundaries were broken. One threatened to kill me over 50 dollars, so I was like, “Yeah, I’m done.” I was still grieving my mother’s death, and they didn’t care.
Fast forward to 2021, after the release of “Opps.” I had a rapper named “Jag” screw me over on three paid features I bought for songs. I came to find out that the songs were already featuring another artist. He scammed my wife and me over $500 plus in funds. In response, I made “HOTBOX,” a smoke-session freestyle diss track about him.
Guav’s Future Release Plans
Photobombshell: What can we look forward to from you for the rest of 2023? I heard rumors of an album on the way.
Guav: My next album is very close to being finished. I plan to release two more singles by the end of 2023 and my album in May 2024. One big single to look out for is “DOING ME DIRTY.” I’m very excited for that one and for everyone to hear it. With that project, there will be a Kemetic vibe.
Photobombshell: Guav, thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with the community here at Photobombshell.media. Keep us posted on your release dates added to the release calendar!
Readers can connect with Guav on streaming platforms everywhere, including Spotify and Instagram. Stay tuned here and subscribe for more interviews from artists you know and need to know, music releases, and artist development, dropping every week!