Photos by: Alex Norris
Gabe Fleck is the new artist on the block who you are definitely going to want on your playlist. With over 200,000 Spotify listeners, this Portland artist is quickly leaving a mark on the music industry, with no intent of stopping. The inspirational artist writes music with the intent to inspire his listeners, and he has been doing just that.
How did you first get into music?
My grandma gave me a Jimi Hendrix Greatest Hits CD for Christmas when I was twelve. That same Christmas my parents gave me my first electric guitar. I decided to give it a try and just stuck with it. Slowly I learned more and became better for it. I also played trumpet in school but I dropped it because I hated sight reading.
What makes your music unique from other artists?
I’m not entirely sure why I’m unique yet. But I definitely am myself. People say I’m genuine and I’m not really sure what that means but I take it as a great compliment. I like to think about music in terms of a soundtrack or a setting to a scene right now. My process changes in seasons and I’ll always be shifting it slightly to keep things original. I adore artists where I can witness their growth from them being unapologetically themselves at that point in their lives. That’s how I’m trying to be with my music.
What is something you want your fans to know about you?
I want my fans to know that they aren’t alone in their insecurities. When I’m on stage or recording sometimes it appears that I’m this fearless artist who has life figured out because I’m willing to admit what I have to work on in my life; but it’s entirely the opposite. Some days I need to reach out to my fan base and let them know how important they are to me because they make me feel like I have a purpose which is to help them navigate their lives for the better. I’m interested in analyzing and improving the ongoing struggles of daily life.
Where is your dream place to tour?
My grandfather, my papa, migrated here from Panama and his spirit is very crucial to keeping me going. So if I ever had a big enough following to visit Panama and play for people, my dreams would be made true. That’s not to say I wouldn’t visit any part of Europe in a heartbeat.
Who is your dream artist to tour with?
This is a really tough question to answer because I have so much love for everybody in Portland doing music. I really admire the music of Leo Islo. He just dropped a single, Retrograde Now, you should check out. I think he and I would make a cool bill.
How would you describe your music?
My recent project, Bliss, is like if MGMT visited a night club. Not one project I do will sound like the previous one. I think what’s cool about being in the indie-pop genre is that I can constantly be exploring and trying new approaches which results in something new for the fans every time.
If you can describe your music using a food, what would it be and why?
My music is like a steak dinner with the goofiest side salad you could order. You always get the meat and potatoes in my music but I also always leave room to get funky on the side. I just can’t live off of funky salads with a bunch of frill.
What advice would you give your 13 year old self?
Be easier on yourself and realize that your opinion is not the end of all opinions. You can learn much by being kind and not worrying about being the best. Understand why you like the music you do and don’t judge others for having tastes that are different than yours. Let mom play her Dean Martin and don’t talk over it. Remember to check yourself but never dwell on your flaws because we all have them. You’re going to do fine. You just have to do at some point, so do!
Gabe is doing the most for himself, and inspiring us to do the same. Remember to always follow your dreams and live your best life!