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Meet G-INA (Gabriella In-Albon), bassist, vocalist and music composer. Her lyrics are honest, personal, and taken from life.
G-INA grew up in a small village in Valais (Swiss mountains) in a family where music played a significant role. As a teenager, she studied
classical violin and played in a youth orchestra.
After mandatory school, G-INA studied Performing Arts (focused on dance). Unfortunately, due to an injury, she was forced to stop physical activity professionally.
She started playing bass in a local crossover hip hop band. She then visited Jamaica and got stuck… she fell in love with the Island, the music, and the people and moved to Jamaica to live there.
Six months after my son was born, she returned to Switzerland and started teaching dance lessons again. To offer her son the best conditions growing up, she completed finance business school and became an accountant.
In 2005, she established Pole Positions CH, the first pole dancing school in Switzerland. Since then, she’s appeared on judging panels of several pole dancing championships until she decided to create http://aerialpoleinternational.com, the annual World Pole Dance Championship.
In December 2018, her music destiny struck again. After getting hit by a car while on her bicycle and suffering from serious injuries, I started recording my own music compositions at home. Five months later, she founded G-INA (the band) and started performing the songs live.
During the lockdown, unable to play live gigs, she started to work on a solo project produced by Umberto Echo. That’s when IRIE discover her track, ‘Who Me A Beg’, and became an instant fan of her work.
G-INA records and publishes her music autonomous and independently from commercial labels.
G-INA | It’s Alright
IRIE. You grew up in the Swiss mountain village of Valais, where music was the center point of your family life. Can you take us back to your childhood?
G-INA. I was lucky to grow up in a family where music was an essential part of our lives. It taught us at an early age how to express our creativity; it makes you feel good and helps during difficult circumstances.
My siblings and I all played different instruments. My father played the trumpet, my mother classical piano, and my aunt was an opera singer. In the part of CH where I grew up, people love to make music and sing along, whether in tune or not. 🙂
IRIE. You studied classical violin as a teenager, playing in a youth orchestra. Did you have any idea that you would have a career in music?
G-INA. Well, definitely not. It was always about passion and the love for music and the people that supported me.
IRIE. Who were some of your musical influences that helped shape your music?
G-INA. My grandmother took me to the opera at a young age (which I hated then but love now). As a teenager, my biker friends introduced me to Heavy Metal and Hardcore. When I started playing Bass, I had an “Old School Funk” and RnB phase. After seeing Miles Davis at the Montreux Jazz festival (Foley on lead bass), I was so fascinated by Miles that I only listened to his music for about six months. During my time in NY, I got into HipHop and Rap. While living in Jamaica, I got hooked on Reggae and Dancehall. But it was always the emotions of music that influenced me, not the genre itself!
IRIE. At the beginning of your music career, you were part of a hip-hop band, playing Bass. What made you switch to the bass guitar (we love it)? And how did you get introduced to reggae music?
G-INA. I started playing Bass by coincidence. After an accident, I was injured badly and could not move physically, so I tried to play along to my favorite CDs on my boyfriend’s Bass. Living in Jamaica got me hooked on Reggae.
IRIE. Is it true that you founded Pole Position CH, the first pole dancing school in Switzerland?
G-INA. Yes, I discovered pole dance in London during an engagement in a contemporary dance company. I was so fascinated by this Aerial Art that I absolutely wanted to learn it. I then started a Pole dancing school in Switzerland and organized world competitions.
IRIE. We fell in love with your music after hearing “Who Me a Beg’! Powerful! What prompted you to write a song about this particular subject? What are your thoughts about the Rastafarian religion and the treatment of Rastas?
G-INA. I remember hearing about all the assassinations every day in the news on the radio. I guess I was experiencing some culture shock coming from my idyllic mountain village. In 1993 Panhead got killed, and Buju Banton wrote his track Murderer. The radio played it up and down. It gave me shivers down my spine. Whoever shot Panhead must have gone crazy by hearing it over and over. I was impressed by the power of music, which inspired me to write the lyrics.
In my opinion, Rasta is much more than a religion, a way of life, a movement. It’s an attitude that happens in your heart. Rasta style is one of peace, living in harmony with the environment and nature.
Throughout the world, the Rasta still are oppressed and harassed. I believe in freedom of religion and expression. Governments and Media should spread more accurate information about the Rastafarian, and schools should raise awareness and respect towards the Rastafarian.
IRIE. Your music is a powerful fusion of multiple genres and cultures. We can feel it in your music. Can you tell us what culture means to you?
G-INA. I see culture developing when different human individuals come together that all respect each other and live and let live. Like this, a new way of life, a new language and new styles, and of course new music can develop. Yes, fusion is culture!
IRIE. You are a natural behind the camera. We love the creative spirit that unfolds in each of your music videos. Why is the visual side of music so important to you? Can you share with us how you develop the ideas and art direction for your music videos?
G-INA. I really love creating a visual side to the music. To be honest, I am not writing scripts or so. I usually have a slight idea, but it all develops itself while filming and cutting. Ideas pop up while shooting the video. Very often, the best scenes are those that are not planned. I love and need the spontaneous side to it while creating something.
IRIE. We’re excited about your upcoming track, ‘It’s Alright’, a bossa nova styled collaboration with Brazilian musician and friend, Valdi Afonjah. How did this collaboration come about?
G-INA. Valid lived in Switzerland quite a while ago. His daughter and my son grew up together. One day, we decided to make a track together. I sent him the lyrics, and he sent me the bossa nova guitar. Then I created the song around Valdi’s bossa guitar. Philipp Winter (Umberto Echo) mixed it and added his magic to it, and his friend played the beautiful trumpet.
IRIE. We hear a music video is in the works for ‘It’s Alright’. Will there be a special message behind ‘Is Alright’?
G-INA. I felt like making a track to the pandemic situation with a positive approach. There is a message to be learned about taking things easy and being patient. To trust the world and the universe and come out of this slightly slower and wiser and overthink our hectic lives and the frantic ways we go about things. While absolutely not dismissing the presence and impact of the virus, I find it frustrating that there is no active power from leading authorities to encourage a more positive approach alongside this challenging time. Fear, anxiety, and depression are destabilizing our immune system further. Controlling our inner peace and calm is strengthening it. So… let’s focus on the positives as much as we can!
IRIE. What do you hope your fans and first-time listeners take with them after listening to your music?
G-INA. A little bit of me maybe 🙂 …and taking an example that no matter what, listen to your heart, feel the music.
Official G-INA Website:
G-INA on Spotify | G-INA on Spotify
IRIE on Spotify | IRIE on SPOTIFY – July 2021
IRIE on Pandora | IRIE on Pandora – July 2021