11 things you need to know about Aussie rapper Gill Bates!
Aussie electro-hip hop artist and Allday’s supporting act Gill Bates called our interview with him at the MTV offices one of his “pinch-me” moments. He’s a newbie on the scene, but he’s already living like a pro! Tours, 1600 PAX shows, festivals, and, of course, music that has fans eating out of his palm.
Gill recently released his first single ‘She Knows’ featuring Allday and with its catchy “yeah, yeah, yeah” hook, we have no doubt we’ll be pinching ourselves too when he inevitably hits it big. Here’s what we learned about Australia’s next rap sensation.
1. He grew up in Parramatta.
Gill grew up in Sydney and calls himself a “Parramatta kid”, before moving to Brisbane in 2004 with his family.
2. But he was born in Sudan.
Gill left Africa as a kid and has since been back twice. He says the situation back home in Sudan is “just fucked”. He still has plenty of family back in the country and says that given everything that’s been happening there, he doesn’t want them to stress about money.
“My mom’s always stressing. My goal is just to get it and then give it. This is a blessing. Being given a second chance with music and the way that it’s going, it’s a blessing.”
3. He used to Facebook message Allday.
Gill says he always tries to keep his cool when meeting celebs, but his biggest star struck moment so far has been meeting “mad dude” Aussie rapper Allday for the first time.
“I really wanted to impress him,” he said. “Allday was just so welcoming. The funny thing is before we worked together, I was a big fan of his. I remember messaging him through Facebook with links to his video and being like ‘yo, I love this’ and that was three, four years ago.”
“And now we’ve got a song together. It’s just weird. He was appreciative. He could’ve easily not replied, but he did.”
4. He originally wanted to be a basketball player.
“I wanted to play ball, that was what I wanted to do. And it’s weird that I’m doing music,” he said. “Basketball didn’t work out so I was given a second chance and I just decided I didn’t want a third chance.
This is me, this is what I’m doing. This is my life.”
5. He’s a huge MTV fan!
“[The logo] is the cover of my phone to remind me this is huge – this is happening,” Gill says.
6. His manager has to tell him to calm down.
Gill has big plans for extravagant shows. “I have so many ideas – its nuts,” he says.
“I’m just waiting for the right time to be like, this is what’s on my mind. Like every day I just have so many ideas of how to make it better, to make it more extravagant. I just can’t wait to do big shows.
“Kanye [is] so creative – I look up to that. I just want to push the boundaries. My manager gets so many messages of just all my ideas. It’s too overwhelming. He’s like ‘calm down’ sometimes. I’m always thinking; what can I do to make it better and more memorable?”
7. He wouldn’t even know what to say to Kanye West if he ever met him.
Gill says he’d be star struck if he ever met Kanye. “I’d just give him love and be like, ‘Yo, you are the man’. He’s just an innovator, super creative. He’s a genius. I love Kanye.”
8. But he’s never seen him perform live.
So naturally we thought Gill would’ve checked out one of Kanye’s shows, right?
“No, never,” he says. “And the sad thing was, when he came here for ‘Yeezus’, I was so cut that I didn’t go. I didn’t have the money and it was just that one week that I didn’t.”
9. Kylie Jenner is his celebrity crush.
For the record, he’d go for Kendall Jenner too. “But not right now,” he says.
“Honestly, I don’t know. I’m just so focused on trying to get it. My priorities are just, get it, get it, get it, you know. That’s my mentality. I have too much family waiting on me. I’ve got to get it. My family back in Africa are just not living the best.”
10. Fortafy is his mentor.
Gill met Aussie rapper Fortafy while working at a hip-hop nightclub in Brisbane.
“He was like, ‘I’m going to take you under my wing’. He’s a great dude; I have nothing but respect and love for him. I’d talk to him ‘til early mornings.”
Through Fortafy, Gill met his current manager and the rest, as his idol Kanye West would say, is history in the making.
11. He’s more relaxed when performing in front of friends and family.
Gill says it was a proud, but weird moment when his friends and family came to see his show.
“It was weird to go out knowing that there are people that you actually know. It’s pretty crazy.”
“All my friends and family have been supportive. I haven’t heard one negative thing. And I don’t even focus on the negative.”
- Sangeeta Kocharekar