Gigi Rowe is an emerging pop singer based out of Miami. A self-proclaimed “glamorous runaway,” with her bold style and adventurous attitude. Inspired by early Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and Annie Lennox, Gigi puts a modern twist on classic dance pop with her infectious tunes. Have a listen to her “Got That” track from her latest “Stardust Motel” EP, embedded below.
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Sean Ritchie: Let’s start off where you’re currently at now in Miami. What really makes the city special to you? Where would you send a first-time visitor?
Gigi Rowe: The city just feels so alive to me. I love how tropical it feels — bright colors everywhere. I think that there’s a real intensity about the city in a great way, because there’s just a lot happening right now. It’s a really cool place to be creative. So, it was fun for me to come in and make music with the sound and vibe of where I’m at. My producer is half Cuban, half Puerto Rican, so that influence is in my beats. Coming from being a singer/songwriter, it’s really fun to mix those two things of where I come from and where my producer comes from. So, long before I even got to spend time in Miami, it was a city I romanticized. Then, actually getting to create there and discover that it’s not only what I romanticized, but even cooler and edgier, was just amazing.
For a first-time visitor, you definitely have to see South Beach, but an area that I’m enchanted by right now is the Art District and the Wynwood Walls. It just has this super fresh feeling, and whether you’re there day or night you feel like you’re a part of something that’s happening there. It’s very “now”, and on the cusp of something exciting. There’s good food, great graffiti – it’s got it all.
SR: It’s definitely has great culture, for sure. I’ve been down there a couple times for vacations, and you can feel it. I really do love the city.
GR: Miami is just a sexy city, and that’s not an adjective that I would use a lot. But, it has that vibe. I wondered how I would find a place for myself, because it always just felt so fast-paced, but there were always these secret lives happening. I just felt it was really swanky and not a place I would feel at home at. It’s been fun to find that it can be. One thing that was really was having the opportunity to perform at Miami [Beach] Pride Parade in 2017. There were so many drag queens involved and they were incredible. I found myself walking the streets of South Beach in a hot-pink wig, with heart-shaped sunglasses and a gold top, when the fabulous drag queen Athena Dion called my name through the microphone. I thought, “I made it. This is awesome!”
SR: That’s really cool to hear, and it’s one of our main goals to showcase destinations in different ways than people normally perceive.
GR: Yeah, and I’ve definitely experienced that first hand, for sure. As for people being “off-putting,” I really found the community to be super open and welcoming.
SR: To bring it back a bit, what was your first introduction to music? How did you eventually get inspired to create your own?
GR: Music has always been a part of me since I could before I could remember. I’ve been singing since I was in my crib. I was always drawn to singing and performing. It’s just something so simple, but it can be so moving. It really doesn’t have any boundaries. It’s a universal language. I eventually picked up the guitar and that became a songwriting tool.
SR: That’s really cool to hear. So, then to fast forward a bit, I know your new EP “Stardust Motel”, just came out a little while ago. Talk about your vision behind that release? How has it been received since it’s been out?
GR: It’s been a fun time. For the very first time, I’m starting to hear from fans from all over the world – Europe, South America, South Africa and more. It’s really remarkable. It’s fun because one of the songs “Got That” is featured on the “Just Dance 2018” video game too. So, it’s all been really positive. It’s really a collection of songs that continues to tell my story. The name “Stardust Motel” came when I was driving in my little red mustang from Miami to New York City. I saw this fun, retro sign displaying that name. I thought, “I want to live at the Stardust Motel!” So, that’s how that came to be. It just felt right with this collection of songs.
SR: I was going to ask too about being in “Just Dance 2018”. Expand a little bit further on your reaction to your song being selected for such a franchise.
GR: It’s been awesome. It’s the second year I’ve been featured. I had a song “Run the Night” in the 2017 version. This one came out of a collaboration with my producer, Ill Factor. It’s been a great way to discover Miami. I’ve also been able to discover more of an electric side to my music. It’s just been great to create this relationship and lane with Ubisoft, the creator of this game. It’s all very fresh and exciting.
SR: Diving into your personal travels a bit. When you do have some downtime and are looking to get away, are you a beach person? Looking for the mountains? Or, trying to be in a city?
GR: I would say, “Why Choose? All the above!” It’s funny, when you stay in one place, it makes you want to travel. When you travel, it makes you want to stay in one place. I love to be able to pick up and go at any point. Oftentimes, it’s a bit more runaway than glam to be honest. It’s a mix of wanting to have fabulous clothes, but also wanting to have nothing so you’re light on your feet. It’s always just a mix. Too much of one and you want the other two. It balances out for me. I just really try to appreciate the moment wherever I am. I probably am a city girl at hear though.
SR: I’m pretty much the same. I believe you have to get a taste of everything. One of our objectives at SCP is to bring people together while traveling. And, you had mentioned before that music is this international language. I couldn’t agree more. I feel music is one of the pillars that brings all different walks of people together. Talk about how special it is to be able to bring people together through music.
GR: It’s amazing. It’s something that inspires me every day, as I hear from more and more fans. I get the best messages from people telling me I’m an inspiration and they love my style. You’re always hopeful that when you love and are passionate about something that other people are too. But, when it actually happens for you, it’s amazing. When you send good into the world you receive so much positivity in return. I think that’s also something that’s really special about “Just Dance”. It’s all about positivity. It’s everything that the Gigi Rowe world stands for. Hearing from people across the globe, makes it feel so much strong and more connected to me. It’s exciting.
SR: It must be so cool to see something you created out of a studio spread through the world.
GR: It’s wild! I think this could be the start of something that could be much bigger.
SR: I love asking well-traveled people if there any destinations that they haven’t been to, but still want to see? Do you have a few on your list?
GR: That’s such a good question. There are so many places that I haven’t been to that I would love to see. Through a friend of mine I got to go to Turkey. I actually went hot-air ballooning in Cappadocia, which was pretty amazing. Paris has a special place in my heart, because of every romantic idea or movie that’s been made about it. It definitely seeps into my psyche. When I was younger I was able to experience Nice and Cannes, and I just loved France.
SR: Lastly, what do the next couple weeks have in store for you?
GR: I’m going to be in a mix of meetings and studio sessions. And, then I may actually be going to Paris. So, I’ll be figuring out how to bring all my fabulous clothes, but not have to carry any of them. I’m excited to keep creating too.