Today I want to interview an artist who particularly excels with music. He’s a young man called Levi Gibbs who’s at the very beginning of his career. What I love about what he does, is it’s not about himself. His focus is on how his art can help others, provoke people to think and help them connect to their own creativity and story. First, here’s a short video of him performing with some others at a small Cathedral in Norway.
With that said, Levi, please introduce yourself to my blogging audience.
Levi: Hello, Michaels blogging audience. My name is Levi Gibbs, a nineteen year old songwriter-singer (that way around), born in Manchester, England. Currently I’m feeling very self-conscious of my grammar and how proper I should be typing. Hobby-wise I’m not doing half as much as I wish, but I think about everything. I enjoy words. Even though they are empty. I find that music can make them full, sometimes.
Michael: I have to disagree that words are empty, but that’s a personal distinction. I do love the idea of music impacting them in a big way.
Can you explain how you became involved in music and why you love it so much?
Levi: I love it so much for what it means depending on which angle you’re listening from. You will get something different from me and the other way around. In those 3 minutes (Of a song) who knows what could happen? Music is kind of like the Power Rangers. You have lyrics, melody, the voice, the personality behind the voice, all the instruments, and they come together to fight for you. I started out in music by listening to S-Club 7 (watch the music video for “S-Club Party”, a modern classic.) and then I went deeper and deeper as I grew older, finding bands that I could really relate to. After not so long I found myself wanting to write songs. I’m not sure why. I suppose it’s because It’s what I’m meant to do. I started writing and writing and never really stopped. The more I wrote, the closer I felt to myself. Understanding. And through it I have met and worked with so many inspiring people. I love music because it’s always moving forward, together. Thank God for music.
Michael: I love that thought of finding yourself the more that you do it. I know many writers feel the same.
Can you share some of your lyrics? What is your favourite tune or song that you’ve created and why?
“I’m a treasure chest looking callous,
passing by desire gallops.”
“I blanket and I can’t stand it,
to comfort casualties responsibly.”
“I’ve been concerning the purest far and wide,
I still haven’t found what’s mine, yet.”
“What do we value,
the people or there shoes?”
“Please me and be ok,
If you ask me I’ll always say,
I’m alright just a little tired.”
“Harmonize to the sound,
of the culture surrounds,
say something profound,
and drown with obsoletes.”
I don’t really have a favorite. It’s like picking my favorite child. I dislike them all. But seriously, It’s hard. It has to be the last one I wrote. Getting closer to what I want to say and how I want to say it. Always trying to evolve. And then, when all the Power Rangers come together, the satisfaction is real.
Since I know you personally, I know that you’re a very creative person. Some people struggle with creativity, seeing it as something elusive. Where do you get your creativity from? How do you become creative?
Levi: Without sounding weird, I fall in love with people. Not all the time, but every so often, people come along who touch me in who they are. And I write to them, for them, I’m telling them something. Lyrics come from fragments of conversations, experiences, observations and thoughts that cross my mind. They’re my inspiration. I believe you can’t become creative, because we were born so. That time when you tied the blanket around your neck and became a super hero, or had the ocean of lego’s scattered on the floor, or when your 5th grade math teacher was a witch, those moments were pure creativity. I hate the word creativity, because I’ve heard it said more than done, but it’s a thing that is done. You don’t become, you do.
Michael: I really really like that thought about creativity. It’s not something said but done. I think it ties in really well with what authors always tell new writers. Just write. Every day write something, even a little. You don’t talk about it, you do it.
Do you have any other creative outlets apart from music?
Levi: I wouldn’t say music is my main outlet, it’s definitely the most visible one. I have a lot of ideas scribbled in my notebook (and my head). I try whatever I can get my hands one, if i don’t know how to do it yet the better. Video projects, short writings, writing songs for people, creating one-off events, interviewing, acting. I love collaboration, also. I believe it’s the most important part of art, for me at least. My proudest moments have been shared. There’s something indescribable about it, so I won’t try. Words are empty.
Michael: I’m kind of laughing, because there you go with words are empty again, and here you are on an authors blog. I love the irony.
Now, in January you have an interesting artistic venture coming up, can you explain for our bloggers what that is and how they can get involved with it?
Levi: In January I’ll be leading a team of christian artist to the NYC area to go into schools, coffee shops, gig venues, streets, churches, wherever we can. Sharing Jesus and building a community who want to share Him. Simple. Our team isn’t full yet, so if you or someone you know has a strong passion for Jesus, evangelism and art this is for you/them. Go to paismovement.com and we can set up an interview. It’s my honor to be able to do this.
Michael: What I really love about this, is that you’re obviously someone who is passionate about music and faith and you put those together to connect with people and build community. Here’s a creative video Levi and Pais put together to invite you to join him.
Now, I always ask my writers for a writing tip to share with new writers, but since you’re a musician and creative in other ways can you share either a creative tip or an artistic tip for new artists?
Levi: One of my secrets when I struggle with writing a new melody is to listen to some music I’m into at that moment and block out the singing. Just take in the music and create my own song to it, without replicating of course. It’s helped me to get out of a rut even if I don’t play the song again, it’s just fun. I usually write Indie-rock-punk tunes, but If i sing over a Aretha Franklin songs something unexpected comes out. It’s scary.
Michael: I’m trying not to visualize that one too much.
Okay, thank you for taking the time out to answer these questions Levi, I greatly appreciate it. I’m thinking of launching a Vblog on youtube and if I do I’ll invite you back for a video chat so it’s not just these empty words.
For those wishing to connect with Levi you can find him on instagram @Itslevigibbsinit
Thanks for reading.