Pittsburgh Artist of the Week: G.N.M.
G.N.M. makes a unique blend of groovy, synthy, guitar-focused music, packed with intense emotions. Her new album – Search For Home – is a character study of fear and loneliness in young minds. The song “I Think Of You” is a gentle reminder to us all that we are not alone.
G.N.M. recently spoke with WYEP’s Joey Spehar about taking care of young people, finding home, and Janet Jackson.
This conversation may be lightly edited for content, clarity, or length.
What’s your musical history up to this point?
I’ve been playing guitar for 15 years. It was my first true love. I only played the guitar until high school where I picked up violin and played in my school orchestra. Then I went electric and became consumed by the endless possibility of this handheld synthesizer. I then expanded in college and created a student-defined major that focused on classical music theory, electronic sound synthesis, and audio engineering. There I was able to combine my interests and focus on creating from those experiences.
How do you describe your sound?
My sound is a groovy, synthy, guitar focused amalgamation. It’s equal parts R&B, classic rock, and electronic funk.
Tell us more about the song “I Think Of You.” What inspired you to write it and what does it mean to you?
“I Think Of You” was written in honor of my little sister who was going through a tough time. Often we don’t consider young people’s pain. That can make them/us feel invincible. So I wrote this song to let her know she’s not alone, that I’ve felt the same way, and it’ll eventually pass.
"Search For Home" is a very evocative album title. Can you tell us more about how it came to be?
Evocative is an interesting word to describe "Search For Home." The album itself was about looking for peace. It’s a character study of fear and loneliness in young minds. I started writing it in December of 2020; obviously that was a year, THE year. I was very delicate at the time and I was wondering why and how is this life? I was about to turn 21 and I hadn’t “found home.” I still felt so unstable, unsure, and isolated. This album was therapy in the way I needed at the time. I just left it all on the table and purged my deepest and ugliest feelings. It’s definitely an intense album, emotionally, so do with that what you will.
What was the first album that really changed your life?
"The Velvet Rope" by Janet Jackson is the first album that changed my life. It was so raw and real. I found it in 2010, a time where most music on the main stage was dance music. This album offered clarity and insight about being ok with letting people see you. Letting people inside was ok, especially during a devastating recession. The message I got at the time was to “speak your truth.” I mention this because every time I go back to listen to this album, there’s always something new to discover. That is the mark of great art; it’s timeless, boundless, and free.
Who are some other Pittsburgh artists you think more people should listen to?
Sneeze Awfull is an amazing trio that creates amazing soundscapes built from sampling and improvisation. They are a vibe!
I also really love The Beautiful Mistakes. I play guitar and sing with them locally. Our sound is a more modern classic rock. That modernity comes from our keyboard player Rick Manasa, who played with Bob Seger in the 70’s and had a wild career as a musician subsequently. They’ve taught me a lot and are amazing musicians.
Any other super interesting things we should know about you?
Yes! I’m working on new music with some very cool folks involved in the Pittsburgh Sound Preserve. It’s a more relaxed vibe, perfect for summer.
Learn more about G.N.M.:
Check out previous Pittsburgh Artists of the Week here.