GET TO KNOW: Larry g(EE)

/ 16.11.11 /
Here's another Pinoy Pride! US-based Fil-Am musician Laurence Gayao II aka Larry g(EE) joins the retro-soul movement with his funky sound and an amazing EP waiting to croon its way to everyone's playlist. I got an advance listen to his debut EP Weekends and loved it so much. I'm a big fan of nostalgic-pop or soul revivalism or whatever you call it. I like how Larry gives a little modern twist to the soul, Motown sound instead of recreating it. His first single, Yo Mama, is a perfect example of that ingenuity. 

I also love this track called I'm Your Fool...

I did a short interview with Larry and found out about his Filipino roots, musical influences and his love for Amy Winehouse...

BON: Can you tell us something about your Filipino roots?  
Larry g(EE): Both of my parents are from Mindanao.  They moved to America in the early 70's and have been in America ever since.  I was born in America and have only been to visit the Philippines once way back in the early 80's. I barely remember anything from that visit except for the chicken adobo and the beautiful beaches there.  I was really young (like 9 or 10).  

BON: Is your family musical?  
Larry g(EE): Definitely.  My mother and her brother (my uncle) use to perform as a gospel duo back in the late 70's/ early 80's and my father owned a recording studio around that time as well. I used to sit in during those sessions and just soak it all up.  My siblings and I (I am 2nd oldest of 4 (2 sisters and 1 brother)) were always around music growing up (church choir, piano lessons, and guitar lessons).    

BON: Who are your musical influences? 
Larry g(EE): Here's my top 5 --->1)  My uncle was a big influence growing up.  He taught me a lot about music growing up.  2)  Elvis 2) The Beatles 3) Michael Jackson 4) Stevie Wonder 5) Hall & Oates

BON: You were part of a band called Odis. What has been your biggest challenge as a solo artist in writing/making your solo debut EP Weekends? 
Larry g(EE): During my time with Odis I really learned a lot about pursing a career in music (both good and bad).  We had some local and regional success and toured independently for 5 years. I think the challenges we faced earlier on and towards the end of our run made it a lot easier this time around.  When I started writing this album it was only me I had to deal with and not 4 other members.  The transition as a solo artist has been really positive primarily because because I really took my time and didn't rush right back into music after the break-up of the band. 
BON: Speaking of Weekends, what's the usual weekend for you? 
Larry g(EE): I'm either playing a show, hanging with the family, out with friends, or just staying in and writing music.  I prefer the low-key weekend writing music however sometimes that isn't necessarily the case (just depends on who I'm hanging out with). 
BON: Your real name is Laurence Gayao II. What's the story behind your screen name Larry g(EE)?  
Larry g(EE): Having gone through experiences in school and during my time with the band, my name would consistently get butchered when announced, I wanted to do something different yet easy to say.  Now the g(EE) part?  Well there's 2 reasons for that:   1)  the simple 'G'  was already taken (Kenny G) and 2) I wanted to do something that would visually catch the eye.  Call it a form of 'branding' if you will.
BON: Are there any Filipino bands/artists you look up to that somehow inspired you to to become a musician?  
Larry g(EE): Honestly I would have to go back to my uncle Jun (pronounced as June) and my parents.  They really taught and nurtured my growth in music.   I'm also inspired by the Fil-Am (full or half) artist's of today paving the way for aspiring artist's such as myself.  They reflect the changing face in entertainment and music and how it is more excepting in regards to race and culture.

BON: What's the most played song on your iPod?  
Larry g(EE): "Love is A Losing Game" - Amy Winehouse.  Its beautiful sad love song.  I hate the fact that she passed away though.  I really loved her voice and her music. 
BON: Do you have any plans in performing here in the Philippines?  
Larry g(EE): It's definitely a goal and dream of mine to play a show in the Philippines.  I'm really motivated and encouraged about that possibility especially with the release of this EP.  While it's only 4 songs deep, I feel like it is a great introduction to who I am as a solo artist and where I'm going.  Only time will tell at this point but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try my best to get there.  Cross your fingers.

Larry g(EE)'s debut EP Weekends drops 12.9.11. Visit for more info


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