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An Alternative Rapper Comes Into Her Own Style Through Experimentation

Rapper and visual artist Gita enters a new realm of music and art.
February 11, 2016, 2:25pm
Photographed by Fernanda De Lima.

This is the second in a series of profiles on artists from our new series 'Trailblazers', presented by Adidas, which pairs two young creatives at the beginning of their careers, exploring their process. Check out the complete LA episode below. 

Like any artist worth her salt, alternative rapper Gita is in a new phase of creative experimentation. In the last two years, the musician-cum-visual artist has been based between the US and Asia, primarily Shanghai, working on a new EP, Holy Mothers P1//Axioms, and fine-tuning her "eclectic and alternative" songs. Like most contemporary rappers, she tinkers with her signature sound by blending genres. "I listened to tons of ambient, industrial, jazz, noise, and synthpop [while making the EP]," says Gita.


The resulting work from these influences puts the 24-year-old in an under-the-radar, worthy-to-be-mainstream, couture-rocking league of her own. As an artist, Gita's look is just as big a part of her persona as her gritty pop sound. She went from growing up in a ghetto in Oakland, California, to finding herself in the underground rap scene in New York City, where she produced her first EP, Escaping the Dream World. She's incorporated her history in songs like her debut single "Hood Rich," an anthem for life in rough neighborhoods, complete with her own take on "ghetto fabulous" in the video. Her latest metamorphosis adds an element of luxury to her medley of inimitable style. "Watch a woman wear Alexander McQueen or a Vera Wang gown and she transforms, her demeanor shifts," she says about her evolving views on fashion.

Photo by Fernanda De Lima

Gita says the cover idea for Mothers P1//Axioms came "when I was flipping through this old vintage 90s Purple magazine, which featured an archive of Comme des Garcons ads and [artist] Vanessa Beecroft's images." The outcome is a captivating, grainy image of Gita in a bright blonde wig and a black upside-down V drawn across the lower part of her face, as the downward-running visual becomes an acid trip sans the rainbow shimmer.

She playfully borrows ideas and turns them into a global conversation through music and images. She art directed her "New Car" video, which was directed by visual artist Rimar Villasenor and filmed at artist Marie Vic's gallery/studio in Manhattan. "Leading up to the filming of 'New Car,' our discussion included A.I. robotics, Vanilla Sky, anime, [and] stepping away from traditional heartbreak themes. The goal was to create a visual piece of work showcasing a stripped-down narrative with no performance shots to highlight an uninhibited individual."

Exploring outside the lines is where Gita seems to be most comfortable. She credits much of her growth as an artist to her taking time out from the tried-and-true musical reference points of New York City and the West Coast, and decamping to Asia. "I exposed myself to different variations of worldly sounds during my travels throughout the East," she says. "I went to temples and spent more time exploring methods in writing music. At first I wouldn't dare to create from scratch. Now it's all I want to do." Gita says her goal is to be her "own architect, learning all aspects of the machine you're constructing." She likens that transformative experience to her favored fantasy genres of sci-fi and surrealism. "Sci-fi makes my heart flutter, it ejects me from this notion of nothing is possible—no, all is possible," she says. "Surrealism is poetic. These genres are pushing the artist to manifest fantasies into something tangible for their audience."

Step into the worlds of Gita and stylist/blogger Aleali May in the first episode of Trailblazers LA, a series of artist profiles presented by Adidas. Art credit to Nora Quinn whose Glitter World installation appears in the video below:

To learn more about the artist click here. Holy Mothers P1//Axioms releases this summer.


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