Interview – Gabriela Geneva

Photo Credit: Jaylyn Todd

Whether she’s recording her (soon-to-be) hits in the studio, performing across Canada or interacting with her many fans online, Gabriela Geneva is the perfect example of positivity in a world that can be anything but! Even her newest single, “You Were Right”, starts by telling the tale of a negative love, but turns into a pure (and very deserving) love story for herself.

So, you were born in Bulgaria and spent some of your childhood in the UK before ending up in Vancouver as a teen, yet your new single “You Were Right” has a beautiful Latin vibe about it! Would you give credit for the eclectic sound to living in so many different places?

You know it’s funny you say that because what a lot of people don’t know is that pop-folk music in Bulgaria has a very similar beat and feel to reggaeton. Most people in the West are more familiar with reggaeton though so I guess that’s why they might pick up a Latin vibe! It’s also exactly why I love Latin music so much because it’s so close to what I grew up listening to in Bulgaria as a child 🙂

But in regards to my sound, it’s absolutely a total product of all the places I’ve lived and all the music and cultures I’ve gotten to be immersed in.

You’ve said that the new single comes from your own personal experience. Was there ever hesitation in sharing “too much” of yourself in your songwriting or is that just what comes naturally?

Oh my god every single song there’s a small voice in the back of my mind going “but what will my mum think when she hears this?” or “what will the person who this song is about think when they hear this?”. But, I mean unless I’m 100% honest in what I’m saying in the song, it never ends up being a good song, so I can’t afford to censor anything. In truth, I was worried about the same thing when writing “You Were Right” because I kept thinking about what my ex would think when he heard it if he heard it. But I pushed past that, wrote the words exactly how I felt them, and not only am I now incredibly proud of the final product but the response has been incredibly overwhelming. So many people are connecting to the message, and that’s something I don’t think would have happened as much if the song hadn’t been as honestly written.

Having already had the chance to open for fellow Canadian artists Shawn Hook and Ria Mae, who are the top 5 artists or bands you would still love to work with on stage or in the studio?

Okay, here come the hopeful thoughts I’m throwing out into the universe: Camila Cabello, The 1975, Anne-Marie, Benny Blanco, and Troye Sivan. I would drop everything and do anything to work with these people. On stage, in the studio, in whatever capacity.

Before deciding music was your main path, you were leaning towards work in Musical Therapy and Social Work! Any chance these could come up again for you in the future?

There’s always a chance, of course. And even now, even though I’m not a social worker, I’m not a therapist, I’m not any of those things, I do look for opportunities to support that. For everyone reading this, I would highly encourage you to check out Music Heals which is an organization which helps to raise awareness and money for music therapy programs around Canada. They’re so amazing. For anyone who’s passionate about awesome organizations doing awesome things… go.

What are you most excited for in the rest of 2018?

I’m excited to finalize tour dates, and show dates, and the EP, and all of it! I have so much to share and so much still to do, and I could not be more excited about it and for people to hear it.

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