Interview with Ghoulavelii

Tacoma? Die kleine Hafenstadt im US-Bundestaat Washington, dürfte wohl nur den wenigsten ein Begriff sein. Aus musikalischer Sicht, könnte diese verhaltene Momentaufnahme, bald der Vergangenheit angehören. In Tacoma braut sich eine aggressive, okkultistische und von Drogen durchzogene Rap-Szene zusammen – allem voran der 20-jährige Ghoulavelii. Entgegen jeglichen Konventionen, fand Ghoulavelii schon in frühen Jahren gefallen an Punk, Hardcore und Black Metal, was nicht immer auf Gegenliebe in der lokalen Rap-Szene stieß. Dieser außergewöhnlichen Einflüsse spiegeln sich auch in seinen musikalischen Portfolio wieder.

In dem folgendem Interview spricht Ghoulavelii über seinen Kontakt mit dem Okkultismus, seiner Sympathie für Modemarken wie Vlone, Vetements und über seine Leidenschaft für Punk-Musik. Viel Spaß beim lesen.


Hey, can you introduce yourself? What’s the story behind your name? 

What’s up, I’m Ghoulavelii. My name comes from a username I had for myself back in 2014, it was „@ghoulishassghoul“, and I decided to use „Ghoulish“ as my rap name which later adapted to Ghoulavelii because I wanted something that caught eyes and ears while still describing everything I am, from the aesthetic to the sounds.

What was growing up in Tacoma like?

Growing up in Tacoma, it’s really hit or miss with literally everything. The schools, the restaurants, the people you meet. There’s a whole lot of characters out here. It’s a melting pot. It’s kind of on some small-town shit too, almost everyone knows everyone. Music scenes are kind of divided by genre. There aren’t many venues out here, just bars and college parties. There’s not much out here to do for the most part, unless you take that initiative to make moves and make shit happen in the city.

What music were you into as a teenager?

I was into Black Metal, Hardcore/Punk, Death Metal, G-Funk, New Wave, etc. 
All types of shit. Pharrell, Big L, Marilyn Manson my 3 biggest inspirations.

As you got older, what kind of music did you gravitate towards?

I’ve always been into the same music honestly. But I guess I could say Hip-Hop. Jazz and Latin music as well.

Can you actually make a living from your music? What do you do besides music? 

I eat off of music these days. Only have had a few jobs in my life.

Your music has such a aggressive, occult, heavily drug influenced tone. Would you consider yourself as a person who sympathizes with occultism?

I guess you could say that yeah. I rock with LaVey.

Your music envisions new powerful expressions of trap music. What inspires you?

My surroundings inspire me, what I’m going through in life at whatever time. My mind is going crazy 24/7. Always something for me to talk about.

What kinds of sounds have you been interested in and experimenting with lately?

Lately I’ve been on my early 2000s shit, my g-funk shit, my swag shit. Taking it back to the foundation, those sounds I grew up on that my parents would play. The sounds I’d hear every afternoon off MTV2. Those real ass vibes.

Your aesthetic, from the fashion to your visuals is very distorted. How important do you think image is in your progression as an artist?

Very. Your aesthetic, your image, it’s usually the first thing the public sees of you. That image has to add up with what the public is getting from you sonically as well. Everything goes hand and hand. Nothing with me is forced, how I dress is how I feel. How I sound is how I feel.

Talking about fashion: What direction do you see the fashion industry taking in the future?

I’ve seen it getting darker and darker by the years. More Metal/Punk-inspired pieces/collections, more of a „fuck you“ attitude than ever before. That’s why I like Vetements, that’s why I like Vlone, Supreme even, Palace. Then it’s back to Gucci, L.Vuitton, Rick, Raf, Margiela, McQueen. The Metal and Punk influence on the fashion industry is becoming more and more undeniable. High-fashion, specifically. Everybody wanna dress like punks and metal heads now. I’ve been dressing the same since I was 12. All black, skinny jeans, random band tees, all of that. Only now, these days everything I have on except the band tee’s be designer.

Talking about drugs: Club experiences I’ve had in the last few years have been the only times I’ve been connected to a culture; the only time I’ve been connected to people who fully get me and what I’m doing. Do you see the club culture as an escape or as a place of connection?

I don’t fuck with the clubs like that, but I’m only 20 so I can’t really hit em up too much anyway.

Have you ever been at a rave? What was your first proper rave experience?


What are your plans for the rest of the year?

I don’t wanna say too much right now but just know that I’m about to forreal go crazy! It’s about that time!

Also make sure to check out Ghoulaveliis Twitter and Soundcloud.