GALE presents her latest musical offering, ‘D Pic,’ the third single for her upcoming debut album. The song touches on the ever so prevalent scenario of receiving an unwanted photo of someone… or something, if you know what I mean. And the message is clear: don’t cross her boundaries.
Named an “On The Rise” artist by Billboard, the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter recently received her first Latin Grammys nomination for Album of The Year for her work as a songwriter in Christina Aguilera’s ‘AGUILERA.’
Following her latest release ‘Problemas,’ which reached the Top 15 on Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart, ‘D Pic’ further introduces her edgy and unique sound paired with her brutally honest lyrics. The track arrives with an official music video via Sony Music Latin that shows GALE’s rebellious spirit.
GALE spoke to Flaunt about her new single, her upcoming album, and the start of her career.
Was singing always a passion?
I always, always knew I wanted to be an artist. Since I was really little. I was always extremely connected to music. I don’t even know how to explain it, because it’s something that I have always known, and I have never doubted it. It’s my call. I wrote my first song when I was 7 years-old, and then just never stopped. My parents saw my passion and put me in classes. I studied in La Escuela Libre in Puerto Rico, which is a school that specializes in music, and I trained in classical singing, then I went on to college and studied Musical Theater. Then I was like ‘okay, I need to move.’ Not because I couldn’t work in Puerto Rico, but because I needed to be somewhere more established to do what I wanted to do. So I moved to Miami.
You started your career as a composer first, right?
I’ve always been very driven. When I have a goal, I put my mind into it, no distractions, and I achieve it. And so when I decided to go to Miami, I didn’t have a record deal yet, but I knew how to write songs, so I decided to work in that, writing songs for other artists. I started building relationships, I bettered myself as a composer, I got a publishing deal as a professional composer, and then eventually I started my career as a solo artist. I got my publishing deal a year and a half after doing sessions at all hours of the day with anyone for free. I got offers from Universal, Sony, Warner, Doctor Luke Prescription in LA… But I decided for Warner because they had been the first ones that believed in me.
How was the transition from writing to singing and being in front of the camera?
For me, it didn’t feel like a transition since I always wanted to be a performer, and it always came naturally to me. It wasn’t like other artists that I admire so much like Julia Michaels, who was a composer first and foremost, and still to this day calls herself a composer. For me, I was always waiting for the spotlight. I was always aiming to become an artist. So more than a transition, it was a plan. I was getting ready for this.
What did you learn from being a composer?
Composers are like therapists. Being a composer in a room with an artist, you try to get in their feelings, and understand their minds in order to write the best, most beautiful song possible for them. I loved it, and I always thought that when I started singing myself I wouldn’t need a composer, because I was already that person. But even therapists need therapy.
I found Dani Blau, my great friend and incredible composer. She’s from Costa Rica but lives in San Diego, and she’s already been in 5 or 6 songs for my upcoming album. We did ‘Inmadura’ together, which was the first single, and the next one that’s coming out, ‘D Pic,’ I also wrote with her.
How did the leap from composer to artist finally happen?
I had been working on this project on the side, and I remember I was in a composition session with Wisin & Yandel and Afo was there, the president of Sony, and he pulled me to the side and was like ‘I’ve heard you have a musical project of your own, why haven’t I heard it?’ and I was just like ‘Afo, yes. I have the songs ready.’ And we scheduled a meeting that same week for him to listen to it. And they loved it.
What can you tell us about your album?
I ended a 3 year relationship. But you know when you are in a relationship and you know that person is not the one? You don’t feel 100% about them or you are not yourself 100% with them, but you still try to make them The One. So I tried that for 3 years, and then I finally chose myself. And I put myself first. All of that is in my songs. I’ve always been very honest and vulnerable in my lyrics. I feel like that is what makes me special in my writing. There is strength and braveness in my vulnerability. I also love the bad bitch look, don’t get me wrong. But I always want to be able to do both. But yes, we ended the relationships in March but were living together and had a lease till June. So we were living together but I would always leave. Leave to work on my project. And that’s when most of the album came alive, because all of those feelings were so strong during that time, so real, and so unignorable. Every song is a different stage of the break up. There is pop, there is rock, there is reggaeton. It is me.
Tell me about your new single, ‘D Pic’, coming out Friday, October 21st?
I think every single woman has gone through this experience at least once. Every time I tell a friend about the song they are always like ‘oh my god that happened to me too.’ This song is very powerful because it’s about consent. It’s about women receiving those images without asking. It’s all good to send them, of course, but if I didn’t ask for it, don’t send it. In this online world there isn’t a boundary with those things, and there should be. It’s also such a fun song, it is not explicit at all, which some might think it would be, but it is just real.
How would you describe your sound?
I always say it is as if Bad Bunny, Dua Lipa, and Avril Lavigne had a baby. And of course an artist is always in constant evolution, not only an artist, a person in general. But at this moment I am very interested in the grunge sound, in the guitar, but I will always be from Puerto Rico, and that flow will always be present. For example, I always love to rap the second verse. It is more of a melodic rap but it’s always there. I am always looking to land the song with a little Puerto Rican vibe.
How did your parents support your career?
My step father just passed away from cancer, but he was my number one fan. I was always so blessed to have 3 parents. My mom, my step-dad, and my dad. My dad was the one who gifted me music, since he was a musician himself, and so was my grandfather. But my step-father was the one who taught me how to do things with fear. I was very fearful as a child. I was always scared to do things. And was alone in my room a lot of the time, writing songs. And he was the one who enrolled me in my first composition class when I was 15 years old. I was so scared to go, and he was like ‘if you really want to do this for the rest of your life, you need to go and you need to learn to do things even if you are scared. You are always going to have fear, but you have to confront it and not let it paralyze you.’
As I said, he passed away recently, which was extremely hard. But when he was in the hospital during his first round of chemotherapy, I was taking care of him, and I had to go to Colombia to film 3 music videos, and I wanted to cancel it. And he was like ‘you are not canceling. You are going and you are finishing your project. Promise me that no matter what happens, you won’t let anything stop you from fighting for your music.’ He passed away before I was back from Colombia, but because we had that moment where I promised him that, now every single thing I do is for him. He gives me strength.