It's safe to say that we as humans tend to have varied interests and hobbies, although very few of us actually turn one of those into a fulfilling occupation. The ideal job that has been ingrained into our brains for decades finds adults slaving away in a nine-to-five corporate setting, allowing very little time for diversion and leisure. As those big goals and dreams fade away, family and finances start taking center stage eventually succumbing to the pressure that comes with adult life. However, there are those who do not submit to societal norms and continue to pursue their calling, even if it happens to be later in life.
Emerging from those standards and breaking into the EDM world is Gattuso. After spending years in the Israeli army and having had many successful business ventures, Gattuso (whose real name is Reem Taoz) now finds himself on the verge of becoming the next big name in EDM.
A father and a husband, Gattuso's music is grounded in his quest to reach as many people as possible with his captivating lyrics that touch on every human emotion. To showcase that, Gattuso teamed up with one of the most experienced producers in the scene, Terrence “Steel” Oliver, and crafted their current single “Who We Are?” featuring vocals by social media sensation, Myah.
Currently one of the top tracks on the Remix Top Thirty, and garnering considerable streams on Spotify, “Who We Are?” is the perfect introduction to Gattuso's vision of his artistry— relatable lyrics, a catchy house beat and an endearing vocal that will have everyone singing along.
The idea that one can break away from the mold of the business world and take their career on a completely different track is just one of the topics that I covered while I spoke with Gattuso last week in Los Angeles.
Q: Introduce yourself to our readers—who is Gattuso?
A: Well, I am born and raised in Israel. I was in the army almost four years and I eventually got into the business world. I was always a fan of electronic music and trance. In 2011 I flew to Peru to see Tiesto in concert and that's where I met my wife. In Peru, i started to be very aggressive with business, I opened a club in a casino there. I had many downfalls with it but I also succeeded a lot. In 2015 my wife and I started to think about our family and where we wanted our daughter to grow up. My wife has family in New Jersey, so we moved there and started over. Jersey life was really quiet, which I liked because I was always in the cities.
One day I randomly started writing music, something I never thought about doing. It was one thing to be a fan of EDM and go to shows and parties, but I never thought I would start writing my own stuff. Eventually, I decided to buy all the equipment needed to produce music, and I made a studio in my home and learned all about producing music. Nine months later, here we are and now my song is top 30!
Q: Congratulations on that achievement! Talk to me about that song—how did you end up collaborating with Terrence “Steel” Oliver and Myah?
A: One day I went to a music studio in Jersey because I wanted to learn how to use Ableton. I met Steel there and he started to help me and showed me how to do things right and what was wrong. I invited him to my home studio and said to him, let's work together. So we did and that's how we started this track.
When I wrote this song I knew that I wanted it to be a song for everybody and so I decided I was going to make it more Pop-EDM oriented. I wanted people to be able to listen to this song in the office, in their bathroom, in their car or in the club. I wanted a female voice that can represent that. So I asked a friend of mine one day and he introduced me to Myah. He said that she had a strong social media presence and when I saw her photos and heard her voice I knew that's who I wanted. So I talked to her father and we set up a meeting in my house studio and it just clicked. I got her to my studio and in two hours we were done. It just worked. That was exactly what I wanted.
Q: Is this the kind of music we can expect from Gattuso?
A: No. I don't want people to think of me as one genre. I want to do exactly what I feel. It doesn't have to be just pop or EDM. In fact, my next single sounds nothing like “Who We Are?”. It is very future house with a robotic voice and it is very clubby.
Q: Do you think that would make it difficult for your fans to follow if you don't fit into a specific genre?
A: Yes, of course. I understand exactly what you're asking me because I have asked this myself. I don't want my fans to say, “Oh, Gattuso does one kind of music one day and another day it's different.” But I think in music you have to do what you love and what you feel. Fans who will actually read my lyrics and listen to the music will understand and like me for who I am.
Q: Do you write your own lyrics?
A: Yes, I write all of my lyrics. I won't let anyone else write for me because it's about how I feel, not how they feel.
Q: And what do you write about?
A: I write about my dreams, my past stories. I write about love and relationships, arguments, the good and the bad. I write about what I want for my future. It's me.
Q: What artists influence you?
A: Well, my top artists are Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, Dash Berlin, Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, Alesso. All of these artists put lyrics and vocals together and create a feeling in their music and that is what is most important for me. I think for fans to be able to feel a connection to the music, they have to be able to sing along to the lyrics. That is very special.
Q: You started to pursue music later in life after you have had success in business. What made you decide to go for it?
A: People that know me know that I'm very aggressive. Either do it or not. So when I said I was gonna do music, I knew that I wanted to do it and be successful with it. I don't do it for money because I have everything that I need. I also don't do it for the fame. I do it because I have something to say and I want to say it in the way that I feel. If somebody loves this, then that's what it's all about.
Q: Is it safe to say that this is your future? Is this the only thing you want to do for the rest of your life?
A: Yes. I don't care about anything else but music at this point in my life. It's a little complicated because I own a few companies and I have other responsibilities, but all of my focus right now is in my music.
Q: How big do you want your music career to be?
A: Like I said, I'm very aggressive and I want to be the best in whatever I do. So I want to be very successful. I want to tour and play all the big stages and all the big festivals. That's what I want to do.
Q: You have a wife and a young daughter; if you make it big and tour the world how will you balance family life with your music career?
A: That is a good question because at this moment I'm already experiencing this. I haven't been home in ten days, I've been in Vegas doing press interviews. I finally get to go back home tomorrow to my wife and my daughter. I know it will be difficult to balance but I know we will make it work.
I'm very connected with my daughter, she's five. I don't have a regular job, you know? My studio is in my house so I see my daughter every day. I feel very connected to her. The good thing is that my wife sees me very happy. She was used to seeing me stressed and worried about my business. So now she understands and supports me a lot. It's family, man, it's everything.
Q: What kind of an impact can we expect Gattuso to make on the EDM scene?
A: I want people to feel connected to my music and understand my lyrics. I do what I want and I do what I love. If people can understand me and my music, I will make an impact.
To find out more about Gattuso, follow him on social media:
Listen to “Who We Are?” featuring Myah below: