I sat at the dining room table as I waited for the interview to start and since my interviewee lives in Maryland the interview was conducted via Google Meet. As you could imagine technological issues such as audio cutouts and visual disturbances were very much present. But the experience was cool, nonetheless. My interviewee introduced himself as Gusto. I found him through one of his promotions I came across on Instagram. What amazed me about him is that even when he encountered hate on the platform, he always had a positive response to it. It takes a lot not to fight fire with fire, especially on social media platforms. I then took a look at his page and witnessed some of his amazing work and from that point, I knew he was someone I wanted to know more about.
Gusto grew up in Maryland specifically around the DMV area, now I don’t really know much about Maryland so this was bound to be a unique experience. Gusto’s parents are immigrants from Ethiopia. He grew up with no siblings as an only child but had cousins that would visit often so he wasn’t always alone as you would assume. He mentioned that he had a lot of pressure on him when it came to school. “In the immigrant household, it’s like if you’re not a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer you’re a failure. And that’s not like out of hate it’s out of love.” And because of that, he had to make it seem like music was just a hobby for him when in reality it wasn’t. As a young kid, Gusto always liked music but he didn’t really take it seriously and even if he wanted to, he couldn’t. But as he got older he started listening to artists like Ski mask, Kendrick Lamar, and XXXtentacion and eventually realized that music was something he wanted to make a career out of. But Gusto wasn’t unprepared; he knew that music had a possibility of not working out and because he also had immigrant parents, he made sure he went to college and graduated.
Gusto’s music journey wasn’t an easy one as he had to find out the hard way. “There’s a lot of times people took advantage in terms of scamming.” The haters and doubters definitely had an effect on his motivation but no more than the liars and scammers as it made him question if he should give up on his music career. “I had to learn how to really do it by myself.” Gusto as a naive teen thought in order to be successful, he had to get some sort of outside help. Oblivious to all the potential he had all by himself. Reaching out to his other underground peers hoping they would get together and record a couple of songs but they only either stole his sound like vultures or straight up ignored him. Only recently Gusto realized that he had it in himself to make his music known in the community.
If anyone should be looked up to in the underground music industry it should be him. A lot of people in the underground scene give up if they don’t get outside help or if their music isn’t liked that well by others but Gusto didn’t care about that. I witnessed first-hand how much hate he received in comments, yet he still continued on and even responded with positivity to some of the negative comments. Gusto has the determination trait everyone not only in the music industry but globally should have if they want to get anywhere in life. He is an actual inspiration to me and me and others and I hope he realizes that. He has a mindset that I thought should be shared with a lot of people which is one of the many reasons I chose him for this profile.
Looking ahead to the future, Gusto shared, “Me personally, I wanna be like at the fame level to where like, ok if my face is out there and you hear my voice you recognize me but I don’t want no ShadeRoom type fame. I feel like a good example of that would be Amine.” Gusto hopes in the future to have a solid fanbase but without all the paparazzi and making the ShadeRoom for going on walks. He aspires to have a successful music career but a lowkey private life. This was one of the most humble responses I ever heard, especially coming from a music artist.
Talking to Gusto seemed so natural. It felt as if I was talking to one of my friends. The flow of every conversation just felt so smooth, I could probably talk for hours on end with him. But of course, in the beginning, I was stumbling on my words as I was nervous talking because to me it felt as if I was talking to an A-list celebrity. I am a really big fan of Gusto’s work as an artist. His music really helped me get through a rough freshman year of high school. So, I really tried to appreciate every moment of the interview with him because it meant a lot to me that he was willing to do the interview. I’m thankful for Gusto making the whole experience as chill as possible because I’m aware it’s hard talking to somebody through computer screens. But as my important questions slowed down, I began to ask off-topic questions about his style and posts he made earlier on Instagram. And finally, we came to the inevitable ending, we parted ways after I fangirled and thanked him for agreeing to this interview. I really enjoyed interviewing Gusto as I laughed a lot, and he was someone whose music I genuinely listened to so I want to thank him again for accepting my proposal.