Interview: Hip Hop Artist GYP Talks Reasons Why He Pursued A Music Career

Independent rapper GYP has a story that he’s sharing through his music and it has everything to do with his identity and what led him to become a rapper.

In a recent interview, he discussed how he got into music, the inspirations behind some of his new and old projects, what he’s most proud of, and what to anticipate from him in the future. As someone who is originally from Rijeka, Croatia and now lives in St. Louis, Missouri, GYP has definitely something to prove.

GYP is originally from Croatia, and he immigrated to America with his family to pursue a better life and found music as a way to express himself. His recently released projects “Intervene” and “Walls” ft. Arab G are two singles that display versatility for GYP.

Some of his goals include establishing himself as a role-model, and to prove “nothing is impossible” if you “replace your problems with challenges and never give up.”

Keep reading to learn more about GYP and his story. In the meantime, follow him on social media @officialgyp.

What city are you from/ Where are you based now?

Born in Rijeka, Croatia on November 7th 1988 to a Bosnian and gypsy father and mother from Kosovo, Albania. I'm currently residing in St. Louis, Missouri.

What is your artist name? What is your real name? How did you get your artist name? Ibro Suljic, known as GYP. GYP being the initials of people close and important to me. As a child I used to go by the nickname of LAGYP, which stands for little gypsy since my father is partially gypsy, but as the time moved on I lost the little part and remained to be known as GYP.

At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music?

After winning a church contest at the age of 10, I realized that I might have a talent for writing and singing, but it wasn’t until I moved to St. Louis at the age of 15 that I started pursuing music more seriously and put more work and thought into it.

Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound today? If so, how? Being born in a country that quickly got war infected, and seeing that as a child definitely left it’s scars on me, but seeing the US after we immigrated, and the freedom everybody talked about, opened my eyes about the American dream, and I made it my personal goal to make it, from mud to gold. My family immigrated into the United States in 1996 through the Red Cross, a little bit after the war started to calm down in my home country and we stayed in Chicago suburbs for a bit before we moved to Rockford, Illinois. Throughout that whole journey I’ve seen and witnessed a lot of beautiful and ugly stuff, I’ve seen the rich and poor, and it was not long after that I realized that I have to fight harder than anyone to become successful, especially as an immigrant, walking around with nothing but a backpack. I made a choice to not disappoint myself and to not die poor, and as the years went by, I quickly realized that everything is possible if you put your mind to it and work hard enough. People see a lot of obstacles in their lives, I choose to replace them with challenges, and one by one I completed them.

How would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you? The world through the eyes of a self made immigrant, from being poor and in a war infected country, looking up to his role models, to becoming a self made business owner and a role model of many.

What ultimately inspired you to dedicate yourself to a music career? Winning first place in a church contest for singing and songwriting at the age of 10, which opened the eyes of that child back then to the world of music and the underlying talent that was in him.

What’s one reason you are passionate about music and what inspires you?

Being able to freely express my feelings, my thoughts, on paper and through music to the masses around the world. As someone who was struggling before, I want to be heard by the people struggling now and be a living proof that you can make it, and you can do whatever you want, nothing is impossible!

Do you have any hobbies outside of music? What do you do to stay creative?

I have a huge passion for cars, especially rare and collectible ones, which is my other hobby and also what my business is based around. To stay creative I make sure that I listen to all types of music and never stick to one, in order to have the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of everyone.

Who are some of your main musical influences?

Eminem, Jay-Z, Drake, Linkin Park, Maroon 5

What are some of your music career goals for the future?

To tour the world and have an opportunity to tell my story to both the rich and the poor. I want the people to know that life wasn’t always this nice and easy for me, that I didn’t have everything and that stuff didn’t just get handed out to me. I’ve seen both sides, quite frankly more than anyone should, and I’ve quickly realized which side I want to stay on and how hard I have to work for that to happen.

Tell us about the project that you are promoting. What is it about? Is it a single or EP? Also, what is the name of the last project you released? Intervene. It’s a song about an entanglement of a female and how it affects her and her significant other’s life and thoughts. Last released project was She got a face

What has the response been like to that project?

The response to that project was more than great. It turned out to be a perfect song for a new trending TikTok dance which blew up overnight. The song is still being streamed on different platforms all over the world and there’s still a lot of hype around it.

What are some projects you’ve done in the past that you are most proud of and why?