(Above image via Michael O’Brien)
I made it a goal to get out and experience the Orlando hip-hop scene this year. At the end of 2016 I was able to check out a studio session from Nicey Most Likely at CTC Studios for the final touches he put on his Solstice project. It was at this session I first met Gabriel who is an R&B singer in the central Florida area. We exchanged social media information and talked a little that night but I was most impressed with his time in the recording booth. He showed his vocal range for one track and I knew I had just met a talented artist I would enjoy listening to in the future.
A few weeks later he sent me a song titled “i.wish.i.knew” and I was blown away by his songwriting. The single made it onto that week’s “On My Mind” playlist and I kept playing it over and over again. He’ll be releasing a new record every couple of weeks until his She Left Home EP drops and today I get the honor of premiering “Neverland/Awake”.
The “Neverland” half of this single is somber and mellow in production as Gabriel recounts friendships and relationships that suffer from substance abuse. He sings on the chorus “Looking for better lands, high off of sedative, I’m tryin’ to be better man”, allowing you to hear the pain and sadness in his voice from retelling these stories.
Transitioning between the two records feels like a dream sequence as “Neverland” ends almost abruptly before you’re woken up with “Awake”. On this half of the single Gabriel sounds a little happier, singing “I like when you smile/I like to keep you happy” on the second verse. He reflects on happier times in a relationship before it crumbles before our eyes near the end of the song.
This premiere is the first of three that we’ll experience from Gabriel as he plans on releasing singles every couple of Monday’s before finally giving us the She Left Home project. Enjoy this one now and make sure you come back in a couple weeks to hear more from this talented singer and songwriter.