Lance George aka Gunzo – Underground Music from St. Lucia
Lance George began his career as a rapper in 1998 when he was a high school freshman and realized that no other career was important to him. Since then he has been putting it down on the microphone for over a decade on his native island of St. Lucia, with aspirations to branch out beyond the island and make an impact worldwide. The rapper describes himself as an eclectic individual, shedding numerous shadows of himself, each of them being unique to his holistic development. The artist envisions his music as a tool to teach the youth temperance, positive thinking, and ways to overcome or prevent negative situations.
Lance strives to utilize his rap skills as a tool to help the children on his island seek positive futures for themselves. He became an educator mainly because of his interest in the development of his country’s youth. He aims to be the same influence on young kids as some of his favorite rappers were to him. Some of his favorite artists include The Real O.G.’s, P Money, Eminem, Outkast, Immortal Technique, Jarren Benton, Busta Rhymes and Kayo. The most influential artist on Lance’s career has been the late Tupac Shakur. He says that Tupac’s influence on his music is evident on projects like “What’s the Use?”. When listening to music he tries to keep an open mind because he feels every artist provides a unique style to his ear. The rapper made his debut with the “Each One Reach One” project, a compilation of positive music by several young artists designed to help decrease the level of violence in the community and country. He has also worked hard nurturing his talent by constantly releasing single tracks.
Lance’s current endeavors include a mixtape which will showcase his wide array of talent and skills. He notes that being a rapper in the small country of St. Lucia is an everyday struggle. His main issues consist of successfully and professionally recording, mixing, and mastering his tracks without a hefty expense. He also has to struggle with getting airtime at radio stations and receiving the proper royalties. The fact that many people have never heard of the island of St. Lucia, much less a rapper from the island, illustrates one of Lance’s biggest challenges. As of now, there is virtually no market in St. Lucia for hip-hop music and artists alike. They create and perform music solely for the love of it. However, Lance understands the power of globalization, and knows the talent and skills of St. Lucia’s youth will eventually be acknowledged globally.
While Lance loves being an entertainer, his heart is deeply rooted in the struggles of his country. Whether he is volunteering with different sporting clubs, working with the St. Lucia Special Olympics Team, or spending his time as an educator to help enhance the development of youth, the rapper makes sure he remains involved. He is widely known throughout his country due to his community efforts and now he is working on gaining exposure beyond the island. Lance utilizes the World Wide Web as well as social networking sites. He has joined sited like Reverbnation and Facebook, and will create an artist page and website soon. He also advertises in the community and on local, regional, and international radio stations. The rapper states that being a unique artist is an important tool in gaining exposure: “I have a unique way of bringing my music to the audience. The pattern in which the verses are written captures my audience’s curiosity and leaves them searching for more.” He also writes and performs music in different genres which helps make his music diverse. Because of the many struggles in his market, Lance has begun to learn to mix and master his tracks himself, in order to be able to professionally create music whenever he is inspired. He strives to produce music of the best quality that people love so his airtime will increase.
More from Gunzo: ReverbNation
Lance plans to continue strong on his journey he set out on over a decade ago. He will continue to produce music that fans love and hone his skills as a rapper and entertainer. “In the next five years I see myself as a musical producer and talent coordinator that would utilize all of my experiences, skills, and knowledge to put my country as well as a future international artists on the map, doing music not just for the love of it, but as a livelihood.” He wants to become the artist that the music industry is missing as of yet. He feels that the industry is missing artists who perform with a purpose and a clear and organized message. He claims that there are too many artists bragging on their expensive tastes. “I see it as ridiculing the listeners who have none of these things and who go through a day-to-day struggle to survive.” Ultimately he feels that the industry is missing out on the entertainment aspect. “Where’s the acting, the ambiance? Where are the extra effects or activities that make songs come alive during performances? To me, the main purpose of getting on a stage is to entertain. That is an artist’s one chance to create true fans; by entertaining and not conforming to the humdrum performance techniques of other artists. Entertaining this way does not only provide the audience with auditory satisfaction, but with visual aspects as well, providing fans with an extra avenue to relate to their music. The recorded song is for your singing, but when rappers get on stage they need to not just sing but entertain.” Lance knows that given the opportunity, he can remedy this and impact the rap community through constant research on revolutionary ways to make music come alive. He is ready to take the rap game to the next level, always coming closer to his goal.