Need a gift for a gifted musician?
It was clear from an early age that rapper and producer G-Qu had more than an aptitude for music. Born Rawle Fitzgerald (Gerry) Quammie in London, Ontario, G-Qu was playing the piano at the age of three and composing music at the age of six. Gifted with perfect pitch, he taught himself to play by imitating the music that he heard around him. When his parents realized he was musically talented, they signed him up for piano lessons. A mere few years later, he was receiving First-class honours from the Royal Conservatory of Music.
But classical music was not G-Qu’s passion. Even as a young teen growing up in Montreal, Quebec, he was eager to explore other musical genres and to learn new instruments. In high school, he took up the alto and tenor saxophones, honing his skills by playing in both the school’s jazz and contemporary bands. However, the single most defining musical development of his adolescence was his introduction to the world of rap, hip-hop and R&B. It was then that he first performed as a rapper, adopting the moniker King Slay and sharpening his chops on the fringe of the Montreal music scene.
In 1993, G-Qu returned to Ontario. It was a time of musical exploration for the hip-hop artist, where he shifted gears yet again and experimented with blues, folk rock, and classic rock and roll. He taught himself to play the guitar and bass, then later joined a classic rock band as a singer and keyboard player. Following the lead of the iconic Beastie Boys, G-Qu was intrigued by the relationship between the rock and rap genres. Jimi Hendrix’s album Band of Gypsys, The Watts Prophets, and The Last Poets were early influences.
Today, experienced and mature, G-Qu expertly infuses his hip-hop with elements of rock, classic soul and funk. Old-school beats are married with socially conscious lyrics and instrumental riffs creating a sound reminiscent of the early days of hip-hop. With an emphasis on the message, verbal skill and musical virtuosity, G-Qu has proven that he is a craftsman whose artistry and inventiveness are the perfect formula for continued success.