Interview By: K.G. Graham
Words By: Parris Daniel
If you were to play a track by Larry g(EE) with your eyes closed, you could easily put yourself in Pharrell Williams or Gwen Stefani’s seat on an episode of “The Voice,” wanting to turn your chair around to put a face to the voice. That is THIS artist. Admittedly, I heard Larry g(EE) perform before I saw him, and he’s not what you’d expect from hearing him (I mean, we all expect something). The guy has soul, and soul has no limitations. Born Larry Gayao, the Filipino American singer from Dallas, Texas took the rather scenic route in 2010 toward his goal of being a soul artist. From being in rock bands, to sharing stages with Beck at Edgefest, to stepping out solo and switching genres, what else is there to know about Larry g(EE)?
Right off the bat, we had to address the two elephants in the room. One was the obvious similarity between Larry g(EE) and Bruno Mars, a comparison this artist knows all too well. Being that they’re both Filipino artists with similar styles, minus the hat that Larry admittedly left out of his ensemble today before this interview, he probably assumed we would point out the obvious. (What kind of media publication wouldn’t do that?) We did.
The second elephant was the creative way he went about spelling his name: Larry g(EE). Larry explained it was actually a suggestion from his brother, who thought Larry would get tossed in that Kenny G category just by the name alone.
Like many of the music artists we profile, Larry g(EE) is a Red Bull Sound Select artist. “Red Bull is very creditable,” said Larry. So when the opportunity came for him to partner up, he accepted. “The great thing about Sound Select is the opportunities that they give artists.” One of those opportunities was the chance to open up for the queen herself, Erykah Badu. “I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into with Red Bull, but I was so humbled by the chance to perform and have my name underneath hers. She’s the sweetest most down to earth person, so humble.”
Originally from West Texas, Larry g(EE) claims Dallas now. While touring the country with a band in a whole other genre years ago, he’s seen a lot. Though building his brand in New York, touching on his best memory to date had us take it back to Los Angeles. “The opportunity to play on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ was incredible. I came back from Warped Tour and my tour manager told me I was in the running to perform. Kimmel actually went thru a long list of performers and even checked our YouTube pages,” Larry explained. Larry was on the East Coast when he got the call. “I took a red-eye from New York and my band, who’s from Dallas, had to drive to Los Angeles to meet me,” he laughed. “But they didn’t care. It’s Jimmy Kimmel.”
Don’t expect to see work similar to what you saw on Kimmel though. This artist is taking time to reinvent his craft and to brand himself differently from what was done in years past, from the Edgefest and Warped Tour days. “After the Kimmel show, we got booked straight from that performance,” he said. “People wanted us to play all these cities, but they wanted what they saw that night.” Larry says for him, that stunted the growth of where he wanted to go musically. From 2011 to 2014, styles changed. “I got to the point where I needed a break. It was a beautiful time, but I’m ready to move from that.”
We tend to want to know about our Dallas market, most of all when it comes to music and entertainment. Larry g(EE) has seen it from all angles. “I think Dallas artists, compared to artists in other cities, blow those others away. Artists getting behind each other and supporting,” Larry says, “takes it to the next level.” Whether that’s going to happen is yet to be seen. “There’s super cool people in Dallas, I love A.Dd+; Blue, the Misfit.; –topic; Leon Bridges; The Mysteries are doing some really cool things that people don’t even know about.” And also the man that helped him make his album, Beau Bedford. “There would be no Larry g(EE) without Beau Bedford. As a hub, I feel like Dallas is on the cusp of something big.”
Something people might not know is that Larry not only has seen numerous N’SYNC concerts but has already added auditioning for a boy band to his impressive resume. Be sure to ask him about that if you run into him.