Meet GdZilla: Nigeria’s New & Rising Afrobeats Superstar

GdZilla image courtesy of Jay B

GdZilla is a fresh and energetic Afrobeats artist, carving out his space in the genre with a unique twist. Is he Nigeria’s next global superstar? We say yes.

There’s always been, and there will always be whispers of who’s “up next”. With the global rise of Afrobeats, producing record breaking artists such as Rema, Wizkid, and Burna Boy, we are in no doubt that Africa, or more specifically, Nigeria, will be the country to produce the next Afro superstar.

GdZilla is definitely someone to keep your eyes and ears on in 2024.  His tracks have racked up millions of views and streams collectively. Likely due to their upbeat and catchy sounds, backed up by vibrant visuals, and a passion for his heritage.

We caught up with GdZilla for an exclusive interview to find out more about the man himself and what makes the genre of Afrobeats so special.

Africa in the global spotlight

GdZilla in the spotlight. Image courtesy of Jay B
GdZilla in the spotlight. Image courtesy of Jay B

The rise of the genre worldwide has been putting African music in the spotlight for over a decade now. Which has brought with it its own challenges. One such challenge is with artists staying true to the original style while appealing to a mass global audience.

The right balance is tricky, but it’s possible. With artists like GdZilla making moves and focusing on the uniqueness of his music, it’s safe to say that the genre is in the right hands.

Who is GdZilla?

Who is GdZilla? Image courtesy of Jay B
Who is GdZilla? Image courtesy of Jay B

Since the age of fifteen GdZilla has had a passion for music. This passion has sent him on a dream chasing journey fraught with obstacles, and hardships to overcome, but quitting has never even crossed his mind. He hails from Ikorodu, Lagos, Nigeria, and is currently signed to Afro giants Jonzing World Records.  

He grew up surrounded by the sounds of old-school music through the influence of his parents, who shaped his view of society, culture, and music. It’s through these influences and viewpoints where he’s able to channel his energy into his music, which in-turn allows him to contribute to and celebrate his heritage.

“It’s been a wild ride, but I’m grateful for every moment. Nigerian music has shaped who I am, and I’m proud to share my story with the world. I hope to bring people together through my music and to show the world the beauty of Yoruba Heritage”.

GdZilla’s journey into the Afrobeats genre

The Journey in to Afrobeats Image courtesy of Jay B
The Journey in to Afrobeats Image courtesy of Jay B

The journey into music for GdZilla first started back in 2015. Coming from humble beginnings, GdZilla experimented with his sound and how to express what was in his mind to a yet to be born fan base. Nothing was initially clicking for him as he dabbled in many different styles.

That was until he was discovered by Jonzing World’s top dog D’Prince who helped give him guidance. D’Prince, a popular Nigerian Afropop singer and record label executive, saw something in the young GdZilla and gave him a shot. With D’Prince’s help, GdZilla started to refine his style.

For GdZilla, this guidance and musical discovery was like finding his groove for the first time. Eventually, his sound landed on a mix of Afrobeat and street pop that he calls “Afro Para”. Afro Para brings a fresh and energetic vibe to the afro scene and it’s GdZilla’s hope to inspire others and show how diverse African music can be.

“It’s been a journey of trial and error, but I’m grateful for where it’s taken me thus far. Finding my own sound has been a game-changer, and I can’t wait to keep sharing it with the world”.

What are the Musical influences shaping the sound of GdZilla?

Fela Kuti is one of GdZilla’s influences

When it comes to musical influences, GdZilla is all about “soaking up the vibes” from everywhere. He doesn’t favor any particular sound, and this allows him to always be discovering something new. Taking bits and pieces from all sorts of artists and genres to fuse together his own unique sound.

“Sure, there are legends like Fela Kuti and others have left their mark on me, but I’m not trying to be the next them. I’m out here carving my own lane, bringing something fresh to the table. I’m a sponge, soaking up inspiration from everyone doing good music.”

It’s fair to say that his influences come from many areas, but this is what makes his sound uniquely his. He’s always evolving, always staying true to himself, and that’s the GdZilla way.

What sets Afrobeats apart from other genres?

What sets Afrobeats aside image courtesy of Jay B
What sets Afrobeats aside image courtesy of Jay B

“Afrobeats is like the heartbeat of Africa. It’s all about the energy and the vibe that just keeps you moving. For me, that’s what it’s all about — vibes, vibes, vibes”.

GdZilla’s music, as mentioned above is Afro Para, can be best described as pure, raw, and unadulterated energy. Pulsing through every beat and every lyric. There’s no dull moments and no slowing down. When GdZilla is creating his style of music, he’s all about capturing this essence and infusing it into every note and rhythm.

“For me it’s about bringing that Afrobeats spirit to life. Making people feel alive, making them want to move, let loose and vibe out. Afrobeats, is more than just a genre to me. It’s a way of life, that’s always on the go. And I’m here to keep that energy alive, while sharing it with the world”

GdZilla and his creative process

Tapping into the creative process image courtesy of Jay B
Tapping into the creative process image courtesy of Jay B

GdZilla’s creative process when producing music starts with a feeling that will “hit them out of nowhere”, it could be a particular melody that pops into his head, other times it’s lyrical. Once the creativity does hit, no matter where he is, he makes sure to note down the inspiration.

If he’s not already in the recording studio, he will get in touch with the only producer he trusts to bring what’s in his head to life, Masterloopz aka Afrika.

Masterloopz musical soulmate

GdZilla speaks fondly of Masterloopz, saying “He’s not only just a producer, he’s a musical soulmate. We’ve got this connection. To have someone who understands you so well, is hard to explain because it’s a feeling a flow that occurs when in the midst of the creative process”.

When the two of them get together in the studio, they feed off of each other’s energy symbiotically. Masterloopz knows exactly what GdZilla is going for and where he wants to take the music.

”It’s like he’s reading my mind, and I don’t have to worry about the end result, ‘because I know it’s going to be fire”.

GdZilla & Masterloopz changing the game

With Masterloopz by his side, there’s no doubt that the duo are going to create something special every single time. Their creative process is all about that connection, and energy between them.

“When we’re in sync, there’s no stopping us. We’re out here making bangers, changing the game, and having a damn good time doing it”.

Captivating audience through sound and visuals

GdZilla and the Future. image courtesy of Jay B
GdZilla and the Future. image courtesy of Jay B

When it comes to making music, GdZilla is not just focused on the sound, but also how it feels and how it will eventually look. “It’s like painting a picture with sound, creating the whole experience, one that just grabs you and won’t let go”.

This process first starts out with the beat, making sure that every track has infectious rhythms that make you want to move.  “It’s like setting the stage for a party, getting everyone hyped up and ready to dance”.

Not just about the music

GdZilla and his team work closely alongside directors and choreographers to bring his music to life on a visual level. Whether this is through music videos or live performances, he wants people to see and feel the energy of Afrobeats.

Visuals are an important element in his music, as they help tell the story of the music. When he makes a music video, he tries to make it standout in a vibrant and high energy way. GdZilla wants to match the feeling and message of a track. Having impactful visuals makes the whole experience more fun for people watching. It’s like adding extra flavor to the music.

“Seeing people moving to my music and loving my visual art, is what it’s all about. It’s about, creating moments, memories that stick with you long after the music stops”.

Collaborations and the future

When asked about collaborations with other artists within Afrobeats, GdZilla states:

“Right now, I’m all about putting in the work on myself. Focusing on developing my sound further and building a connection with my fans”. However, this doesn’t mean that he’s not open to collaboration later down the line. It’s all about timing and finding his sound, he’ll definitely be looking to team up with other artists in the genre.

“It’s all about growth, and collaborations can bring a whole new energy to the table”.

The future is bright for GdZilla and his goal is to keep making music that people love, while representing Nigerian culture on the global stage.

“I see Afrobeats continuing to grow and evolve, and I know I’ll be part of the journey for years to come”.

GdZilla Social Links

Written by Ian Hinksman

Ian Hinksman is the co-founder of Underground Sound, an out-of-the-box writer, content creator and entrepreneur with a decade of experience in the music and events industries.

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