In a world of music, there are artists who create, and then there are artists who resonate. Guy, a rising star hailing from the streets of Teaneck, New Jersey, undoubtedly falls into the latter category. In this exclusive interview, we dive into the life, inspiration, and wisdom of this talented singer, songwriter, and artist who's been making waves since 2018.
Join me as I journey into the mind of Guy and explore what it takes to pursue a passion in a world full of noise and self-discovery.
Nyeesha: Can you briefly introduce yourself and your background?
Guy: My name's Guy. I'm from Teaneck, New Jersey, born and raised. I am an artist, singer, songwriter, etc. I've been making music seriously since about 2018. But I took my first official step into it around 2016
Nyeesha: What inspired you to pursue your current profession?
Guy: Honestly, I can't specify one specific thing that inspired me to become an artist/musician. I know I've always wanted to do it, my mom always told me she saw a connection between me and music since I was an infant. I used to write all the time as a kid into my teenage years. I don't know if it was poetry, raps, or stream of consciousness, but I also found the means of expressing myself through it. But life happens, it took a while for the chaos of my life to give me the opportunity to start it. As well as developing the confidence to do it. I moved around a lot as a kid, so it made it hard to establish roots in it. It was hard for me to find the confidence to dig into it, I was already struggling to make friends while going to four different high schools. When I graduated high school I moved to New Orleans. This was a culture shock for me. Seeing how lively, artistic and musical this city was opened me up. No one judged individuals for wanting to make music, they embraced it. So I decided to give it a shot. When I made my first original song and saw the response it changed me forever, I was in love.
Nyeesha: Whoa! I had no idea you lived in New Orleans. Something about New Orleans does it for me on a spiritual level. I also love that the culture contributed to your boost of confidence to begin sharing your truth.
Nyeesha: What advice would you give to someone starting out as an independent artist? And why do you believe this advice will help in an impactful way?
Guy: My advice to independent artists. Run your own race. We're in this age where self comparison is so high, it's altering the perspective of what it really means to be an artist. You have to maintain the conduit between business and art. But being an artist means having a perspective, having a voice. You can't have a voice if you're too busy following other's voices. Use the information out there to your advantage, but also remember your path is your path. A lot of artists are interchangeable because they don't have a voice of their own. So they get replaced by someone who does the same thing, just a little bit better. What's authentic to you, can only be replaced by you. This may be a long winded response but it's also the truth. No one knows anything. We're all just trying to figure it out.
Nyeesha: I swear people that know me may feel like I made you say that! But all jokes aside 'finding your voice' is so critical. I almost threw something at the wall because the part about being inter-changeable? Yikes...OMG!
Nyeesha: Can you share a recent achievement or a milestone in your career?
Guy: A recent achievement of mine was headlining a show in NY for the first time. It was a little nerve wracking at first, because this is almost an hour away from where I'm from. That doesn't sound like much until you start selling tickets. Being an underground artist and still trying to get my name out there makes it harder to get people in the door to want to see you, let alone drive over an hour to do it. I care about giving a good show. Especially as a headliner, this would be the first time I did a set longer than 20 minutes. But I was excited, having almost an hour to perform at this stage in my career is an extreme learning curve. Especially for me, I want to be one of the greats. And that comes with being able to entertain, so I started to learn how to put a set together that was engaging. Amazingly, we almost sold it out. I wish we had sold it out, especially since it's not my home city I would've been extremely happy (because I am also a perfectionist). But one foot in front of the other.
Nyeesha: Nah, I get that! As a creative myself - I can remember the first time I experienced the fear of selling out shows, being considered "one of the best", wondering if I was good enough to do the job, and when Imposter Syndrome was in full effect, it was in full effect! So, with that being said...Im proud of you. You truly seen it through and made it happen. Kudos!
Nyeesha: How do you define success in your field?
Guy: Success in my field, in my personal opinion, doesn't have a specific definition. For me, making things that resonate with people on a large scale and having longevity is what I'd define as successful, but it's ever changing. The more you grow the more you want, I think that's human for us. But I know for me, I want to make timeless albums. I want to make music that people can connect and relate to. I want to be what music was and is for me, to other people. Music that ends up being the soundtrack to people's lives. Music got me through a lot, and I hope to do the same for a lot of people. I also wouldn't mind a Grammy for Album of the Year! haha.
"What fuels my passion for the work I'm doing with WTMS is the unique opportunity and privilege to step behind the scenes with remarkable individuals like Guy. While some may perceive artists as superheroes, and they certainly possess extraordinary talents, it's crucial to remember that they, too, are human, with their own set of fears, vulnerabilities, and complex emotions." - Nyeesha D. Williams
Nyeesha: Now let's go behind the curtain... What happens When The Music Stops for you? No sounds, no distractions, no noise... just you and your thoughts.
Guy: What happens for me? Reflection. I'm really self-analytical. I'm constantly thinking and craving new ways to grow. I'm pretty obsessed with self-improvement. It dominates a lot of my thoughts. There's pros and cons to that. I'm working towards making those moments of silence to be a moment of gratitude. One of the current practices I'm working on. When everything shuts off, it should snap you back into the present moment. To take a second and acknowledge all that I have, how far I've come, and to be grateful for the desire to keep going. There aren't that many moments that everything stops, so I'm working towards making them count.
Nyeesha: Okay, so tell me this... When you think of anxiety and depression what comes to mind?
Guy: Anxiety and Depression? What comes to mind is feeling like you have a dirty house but not knowing where to start to clean. For me it's feeling like you're giving 100% effort every time, but the result hasn't changed. It's frustrating. Knowing the endpoint, but not knowing the path to get to where it is you want to be. A lot of self-sabotage too. When I think about it, anxiety also comes from a lack of control, and I have to learn to accept that there's a lot we cannot control. I'm someone who is obsessed over finding the answer to a question I have. So when I don't have it, I start to look for ways to find it. And sometimes answers are revealed over time. But I start looking for holes in areas that may not have any in the hopes of finding both the answer, or means to improve. But if you poke too many holes you'll sink your own ship.
Nyeesha: Wow! Wow... "so when I don't have it, I start to look for ways to find it." That literally felt like -you said out loud, what many people experience. Thank you for sharing that because I'm sure someone is going to feel seen by reading those words.
Nyeesha: If you were on a mission to break a generational "curse" in your family, what would the curse be and how do you see yourself working towards breaking it?
Guy: I'd say a generational curse I'd like to break is self-sabotage, like I had mentioned previously. My family members and I share this trait. Along with perfectionism. I'm working towards this by trying to be super aware of my thoughts. And realize that not all of them stem from me, a lot of them are taught. You aren't your thoughts.
Nyeesha: I love that!
Nyeesha: What's one lesson you've learned silently that you're ready to share with the world?
Guy: You are the observer, not the thought!
Nyeesha: Okay, Mic Drop!
Nyeesha: I have one final question. I think! What would be the name of "The Soundtrack of Your Life" in this current stage? Tell us why
Guy: The soundtrack to this current chapter of my life would be titled: "I know every mile will be worth my while." It'd be titled this because what I am trying to achieve is worth all the trials and tribulations that go along with it. That quote is actually from one of my favorite Disney movies, "Hercules." I find a lot of parallels to the protagonist's journey and my own. Feeling like you never fully fit in and the reason is because you find out you aren't meant to. You have a calling for something special. And to find it has a journey attached with a lot of twists and turns to it. But that quote is what the character would remind himself during those moments of challenge and resilience. So that's my current chapter.
Nyeesha: I believe praise and giving flowers while we're here to smell them is so important. So as we close, share with me who deserves praise from your community
Guy: My confidant @koko_oso
Nyeesha: Now tell him how you feel
Guy: Well it wouldn't be right if I didn't shout Keoko Patterson for connecting the two of us! So shout out to my brother, manager, confidant @koko_oso. I've known you since I was three and we've been brother's since. I had a lot of moments in my journey that made me feel alienated. Keoko, you mean everything to me. You're someone who's always been there. The true definition of a "ride or die." And more than anything, you refuse to let me settle. You push me more than anybody. Not just as a musician but as a man, a brother, a friend. You're one of the few people on the planet who I feel understands me. I'm grateful for you, I couldn't do this without you.
In closing, our conversation with Guy has been an eye-opening journey into the life and mindset of a passionate artist. His dedication to his craft and his commitment to breaking generational curses are not only inspiring but also a testament to the power of self-discovery and personal growth. Guy's wisdom, such as recognizing that we are the observers of our thoughts, not the prisoners, offers valuable insight to all who aspire to achieve their dreams. His music resonates not only as a soundtrack to his life but also as a source of inspiration for others. As he continues to create and evolve, we can only look forward to the future chapters in Guy's story. His ambition to make timeless albums and connect with people through music underscores his desire to create a lasting impact on the world. We thank Guy for sharing his experiences and aspirations with us. His message of self-discovery, authenticity, and determination is a reminder that success, in any field, is a journey unique to each individual. We eagerly anticipate Guy's future endeavors and the impact his music will undoubtedly have on all of us. Please check out one of his videos below!
Nyeesha D. Williams is a multifaceted mental well-being expert with an impressive career spanning two decades. Her extensive background in healthcare, specializing in women's health and trauma survivors, has honed her deep understanding of mental health dynamics. Nyeesha's diverse roles as an adjunct professor, humanitarian, author, life coach, and NAMI board member reflect her unwavering commitment to the field.