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Cultgabe’s colorless accident

Making mumbles into music

cultgabe has come a long way since recording his first verses at age eight.
cultgabe has come a long way since recording his first verses at age eight.

Shooting his new video “Heathrow (Somebody Else)” in black-and-white might seem evocatively logical, judging from the vid’s final look. But here, 22-year-old cultgabe spills the beans: that wasn’t all on purpose.

The final look, he explains, “started out as an accident, and I ended up loving the way it looked. I was going to incorporate color and black-and-white together, but last minute, I made the decision to just go all black-and-white. I’m stoked on how it came out. I love when mistakes turn into something that makes your idea even better.”

Not that the half-Mexican artist, singer, and producer did the whole thing alone, as he’s quick to point out. “I’m so grateful for my friends, because they really are the reason I’m even able to pull any of this off. Brandon Mosquera is the young prodigy that filmed and co-directed with me. Aidan Rios is has always been a great person for me to bounce ideas off of, because his taste is just dope. Aidan is the first guy I think of when I need help with something. He does it all, from filming, to shooting photos, to location scouting. Justice, who plays my girlfriend in the video, is a good friend who is also an actress, and was happy to help play a part in the vision. Finally, we got Mikey Newell, an absolute wizard on the computer, who helped spice up my video editing and give us the final polish. We all run off of pure passion and self-belief, so when we come together, it’s no surprise we are able to do what we do.”

A lifelong Imperial Beach resident, cultgabe (whose name was inspired by the television series American Horror Story: Cult) recorded his first verse through his cousin’s laptop when he was eight years old. He remembers the Surf Hut, the IB pier, and Katy’s Café as favorite hangs. “I remember we used to sweep and take out the trash, hoping we’d get rewarded with a free smoothie or some food from Katy’s.” Back in seventh grade, his friends Loukas and Noah pushed him out into the water on a surfboard. Music came naturally in the family (his uncles play in the Christian metal band P.O.D.), although an infatuation with Neon Indian, another act that combines music with intricate videos, helped him along with his own program.

“I started writing songs in 2017 right after high school. I always had an ear for the type of songwriting that I enjoyed and wanted to recreate, but it took a while for me to grow into that space, and really have my own way of storytelling. I know I’m at a place now where I can execute my ideas pretty well, but I still feel like I can grow so much, and that’s the most exciting part.”

The “Heathrow” song itself, he says, came pretty easily. “One day, I was mumbling words and melodies over this guitar loop I had, and somewhere in there, I said, ‘I pull up at Heathrow.’ I had a session soon with the homies Cole and Bardo from the band Beauty School Dropout and I showed them my ideas for the song. Cole and I wrote the lyrics together, and the song just naturally evolved into the powerful emotional song it is now.”

So far, cultgabe has received favorable press attention from Billboard, Sheesh, Lyrical Lemonade, Ones To Watch, Spotify’s Fresh Finds Pop, and Apple Music 1. Current projects include disseminating the “Heathrow” video and putting the finishing touches on his just-released EP, nowherefast. He’s been so busy that he hasn’t taken the time to perform live, but says that could change soon. “The immediate plan is to put out my EP, keep making music and creating visuals, and ultimately throw my first show here in San Diego. Where’s a better place to start?”

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cultgabe has come a long way since recording his first verses at age eight.
cultgabe has come a long way since recording his first verses at age eight.

Shooting his new video “Heathrow (Somebody Else)” in black-and-white might seem evocatively logical, judging from the vid’s final look. But here, 22-year-old cultgabe spills the beans: that wasn’t all on purpose.

The final look, he explains, “started out as an accident, and I ended up loving the way it looked. I was going to incorporate color and black-and-white together, but last minute, I made the decision to just go all black-and-white. I’m stoked on how it came out. I love when mistakes turn into something that makes your idea even better.”

Not that the half-Mexican artist, singer, and producer did the whole thing alone, as he’s quick to point out. “I’m so grateful for my friends, because they really are the reason I’m even able to pull any of this off. Brandon Mosquera is the young prodigy that filmed and co-directed with me. Aidan Rios is has always been a great person for me to bounce ideas off of, because his taste is just dope. Aidan is the first guy I think of when I need help with something. He does it all, from filming, to shooting photos, to location scouting. Justice, who plays my girlfriend in the video, is a good friend who is also an actress, and was happy to help play a part in the vision. Finally, we got Mikey Newell, an absolute wizard on the computer, who helped spice up my video editing and give us the final polish. We all run off of pure passion and self-belief, so when we come together, it’s no surprise we are able to do what we do.”

A lifelong Imperial Beach resident, cultgabe (whose name was inspired by the television series American Horror Story: Cult) recorded his first verse through his cousin’s laptop when he was eight years old. He remembers the Surf Hut, the IB pier, and Katy’s Café as favorite hangs. “I remember we used to sweep and take out the trash, hoping we’d get rewarded with a free smoothie or some food from Katy’s.” Back in seventh grade, his friends Loukas and Noah pushed him out into the water on a surfboard. Music came naturally in the family (his uncles play in the Christian metal band P.O.D.), although an infatuation with Neon Indian, another act that combines music with intricate videos, helped him along with his own program.

“I started writing songs in 2017 right after high school. I always had an ear for the type of songwriting that I enjoyed and wanted to recreate, but it took a while for me to grow into that space, and really have my own way of storytelling. I know I’m at a place now where I can execute my ideas pretty well, but I still feel like I can grow so much, and that’s the most exciting part.”

The “Heathrow” song itself, he says, came pretty easily. “One day, I was mumbling words and melodies over this guitar loop I had, and somewhere in there, I said, ‘I pull up at Heathrow.’ I had a session soon with the homies Cole and Bardo from the band Beauty School Dropout and I showed them my ideas for the song. Cole and I wrote the lyrics together, and the song just naturally evolved into the powerful emotional song it is now.”

So far, cultgabe has received favorable press attention from Billboard, Sheesh, Lyrical Lemonade, Ones To Watch, Spotify’s Fresh Finds Pop, and Apple Music 1. Current projects include disseminating the “Heathrow” video and putting the finishing touches on his just-released EP, nowherefast. He’s been so busy that he hasn’t taken the time to perform live, but says that could change soon. “The immediate plan is to put out my EP, keep making music and creating visuals, and ultimately throw my first show here in San Diego. Where’s a better place to start?”

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