The first time I heard Gab Ferreira I thought she was just one-in-a-million of the tumblr-aesthetic, Gen Z girls on Instagram. However, after releasing her EP Lemon Squeeze, I saw the talented alternative Brazilian singer emerge, with excellent music references and personal style.
The 19-year-old artist is known for her soft and breezy voice. If you close your eyes while listening to “Stay Inside,” it’s almost like a young Sade, or even Solange from “True” era. It’s easy to imagine yourself watching the sunset by beach with Ferreira’s tunes drifting in the background.
Gab is part of a new generation of world wide indie singers who don’t need to play the local bar circuit, they just press upload, and their music is instantly accessible for everyone. The algorithms are their new management. With that, her sound is so current and cool, that it inspires you press subscribe in order to know more about her and her world. And that’s what this interview is about.
When did you start making music?
GF: It has always been with me. I can’t remember about a specific time, but it was always something that interested me. Music was always present.
What’s it like to be an independent singer? How has the Internet helped you as a musician?
GB: It has given me freedom to go in the direction I want to with my music. Everything I do has a very slow budget, and because of that, I’ve learned a lot about how to make things happen for myself. My audience was on the Internet before I had released any of my work, and this was very important for the final result of my mixtape. It has given me trust and support I needed to be able to not think about anyone’s expectations, and only release music that I would want to listen to.
You were part of Brazilian edition of The Voice back in 2016. What was your perception of your work before the show, and how do you see yourself today?
The Voice was such an interesting moment in my career. I never really believed in music competitions, but for whatever reason, I was interested in the show. I sent a very relaxed video, and one year-and-a-half later, everything changed. I think that at the time, I was frustrated with the perception that some people had of me. But the viability of the show was crucial to my success, and now I know that people can see me the way I see myself.
Do you write your own songs? How does your creative process work, and how do peoples react to you being a Brazilian making music in English?
Yes! I usually listen to the melody and write the first thing that comes to my mind. After that, I come back to what I wrote, and try to organize the main ideas. I don’t write a lot; Lemon Squeeze was my first experience as a songwriter. The majority of the songs that I listen to are foreign, so writing in English came naturally. I feel like I have enough space to practice, and I definitely want to sing in Portuguese in the future. Some people comment about the language that I sing in, but that’s something I will work on with time. Singing in English also helps me to expand my audience.
Tell us about your mixtape Lemon Squeeze. How did it come to life, and what does it represent for you?
It was a mix of references that I was listening to at the time. I spent a lot of time discussing with Bernardo (my musical producer), about what was inspiring us to make music. Those conversations really informed the way that I wanted to release the mixtape.
In your lyrics you mention a boy. Who is he? Does he exist, or is someone from your imagination?
Yes, he is real! The majority of the Lemon Squeeze lyrics were made during the beginning of a relationship that I still have, and that really changed everything for me. I think it is also a dialog with my love life as a whole. Teen Love, describes platonic passions and the sensation of not feeling lonely. Stay Inside, talks about want to freeze time when everything seems align, and that feeling also speaks to refusing to say goodbye. In these songs there is a methodology of happenings. Maybe in the lyrics they are not as clear, but in my head thats how it goes.
If you could name three singers that have impacted your work, who would you choose?
This interview has been condensed and edited by Malaika Astorga.
João Rodolfo is a Brazailian writer and marketing student.
You can him on Instagram here.