Earlier this 12 months, impartial report label RichMusic launched their first all-women EP titled “hembrismo,” which featured paopao (who additionally led and executive-produced the challenge), Aria Vega, Cami Da Child, Villano Antillano, and La Gabi. The album was purposely slated for Girls’s Historical past Month, and when it dropped in March, it left many people with a way of pleasure and pleasure in seeing this era of fierce Latinas able to take over the Latin music panorama. One of many rising stars on the EP who is admittedly setting her personal path is Dominican reggaeton artist La Gabi, who many acknowledge as J Balvin’s newest protégé.
The 21-year-old artist, who was born and raised in La Romana within the Dominican Republic, at all times knew she wished to be an artist. She grew up singing and dancing whereas watching her older brother showcase his choreography expertise in the home. “I bear in mind being so little and taking a look at him and making an attempt to be taught what he was doing,” La Gabi, whose full title is Gabriela Cabrera Guaba, tells POPSUGAR. “So, I’ve by no means been embarrassed of dancing. I’ve at all times danced. By no means took a category or something.”
Dancing comes fairly pure to this Dominicana, and you’ll peep that in any of her music movies, from her hit single “La Situacíon” to “NOSE” and her newest “MIO.” Gabi moved to Miami from the Dominican Republic with family when she was nonetheless in highschool. Her household, like many immigrant households, got here in hopes of pursuing the American dream. She informed herself no matter if she ever acquired found as a music artist that she was going to pursue music a method or one other. So she enrolled herself in faculty, however stored at it with the music.
When Gabi first felt the calling to do music, she began recording herself singing covers and posting them on Instagram. It turned her manner of placing herself on the market. “I used to be like, OK, let me do these movies on Instagram. Let me do covers, however let me do it in another way, “she says. Gabi began posting the movies in 2019, tagging the artists behind the covers she was singing, and inside six months acquired a DM from J Balvin that might eternally change her life. “So, I did movies from June to December — it was like six months. After which Balvin discovered me on Jan. 4. I solely had six months of posting movies,” Gabi says. “And yeah, I did a canopy of his track, and he noticed the video, and he personally DM’d me. He was like, ‘Oh my God, you are so fireplace’ . . . I keep in mind that day once I noticed the message. I did not even reply. I used to be like, ‘Oh my god.’ I threw the cellphone and went to wish on my knees. I prayed to God, and I used to be like, ‘Oh my god, I do not know.’ He even texted me privately. So, I already felt like one thing particular was going to come back.”
Balvin shortly realized that Gabi wasn’t on a label and instantly arrange a gathering for her to fulfill together with his staff. On the time, Gabi was dwelling in Miami and Balvin was touring nonstop. However inside a couple of weeks, they lastly had their first assembly, and shortly after that, Balvin took Gabi beneath his wing and signed her to his label Vibras. Balvin found Gabi in 2019, however she formally turned a part of the Vibras household in 2020. And although it has been a couple of years, she does not take any of it with no consideration. In truth, Gabi shares that to at the present time, she’s nonetheless in disbelief that she’s dwelling out her greatest desires in a manner she by no means thought she would.
“Even once I go to the studio, there’s at all times a second once I’m recording that I am like, ‘Wow, am I dreaming?’ she says. “I really feel like what God has for you is for you. Like even once I signed and all the things was actual, I hit some extent the place I used to be like, oh my god, I do know I prayed for this and I labored for this, however, like, why me? . . . As a result of I really feel like all the ladies within the trade undergo a lot simply to get to the place they’re [recognized], and I did not undergo that.” However nowadays, Gabi is embracing the blessings and permitting herself to simply accept that she deserves to be right here.
“I believe having a mentor like him motivates me, as a result of he is so actual and human. Regular. He’s so disciplined. I am so glad that he is my mentor, as a result of that is what I am studying [from him].”
So far as having Balvin as a mentor, Gabi shares she could not ask for a greater one. “I believe having a mentor like him motivates me, as a result of he is so actual and human. Regular. He’s so disciplined. I am so glad that he is my mentor, as a result of that is what I am studying [from him],” she says. Whereas Gabi’s music technically falls beneath the umbrella of reggaeton, her sound is so totally different from anybody else on the market. It is distinct. She merges all the things from the Dominican music she grew up with to reggaeton beats and even sprinkles in some R&B. Her purpose is to by no means sound the identical.
“I am actually everywhere, and I prefer to be like that. I do not wish to be like, ‘I solely do reggaeton or I solely do R&B.’ It is good to expertise different issues, as a result of I really feel like I be taught extra,” she says. “It is each temper — that is my music.”
Not solely does she have critical vocal and choreography expertise, however Gabi can be a author and writes a majority of her personal songs, together with those in her first EP titled “Origen” (which interprets to origin in English) and launched in 2021. “I used to be actually undecided,” Gabi says with regard to picking an album title. “After which I used to be like, you already know what? That is the origin of all the things. I wished to name it the start of one thing, however I wanted one phrase. After which I used to be like, origen. El origen is the origin of La Gabi. The origin of all the things that is going to start out now. And within the origen, in the beginning of the world, God created seven days. So let me do seven songs.”
“Like 100%, it is at all times extra males. However I believe it is altering. Like earlier than it was solely Ivy Queen, and now now we have Karol G, now we have Rosalía, now we have Becky G, Nathy Peluso. We now have all these feminine [artists] which might be arising, and it feels good.”
The album has a little bit little bit of all the things from perreo, reggaetoncito, Latin entice, and R&B with a few of the greatest tracks consisting of “Acapella,” “Rugrats,” and “Ridículo.” Because the album dropped, she has since launched fairly a couple of singles together with her in style hit “La Situacíon,” “Asesina,” “NOSE,” and “Mio,” together with the collaborative album “hembrismo.” When it comes to the state of reggaeton in the present day, Gabi feels the trade has actually developed on the subject of making house for feminine artists. “Like 100%, it is at all times extra males. However I believe it is altering. Like earlier than it was solely Ivy Queen, and now now we have Karol G, now we have Rosalía, now we have Becky G, Nathy Peluso. We now have all these feminine [artists] which might be arising, and it feels good,” she says. “To me, it is nonetheless exhausting to make it as a feminine [artist] as a result of it is nonetheless extra males . . . However artists like Karol G are opening the door for each single lady that is arising proper now.”
She additionally acknowledges that there nonetheless aren’t sufficient mujeres negras within the style getting their flowers the best way loads of white or lighter-skin artists are. Whereas Gabi identifies proudly as Afro-Dominicana, she additionally acknowledges that she’s nonetheless on the lighter facet and desires to advocate for extra Afro-Latina illustration within the style. Within the collaborative “hembrismo,” Gabi is the one Afro-Latina on the album.
“There’s not loads of brown or Afro-Latinas within the trade,” she says. “It feels good to signify, as a result of there’s not loads of us. I did a challenge with RichMusic that is all ladies — like a complete EP of 5 ladies. There is a trans lady referred to as Villano Antillano, and I f**cking love her. It felt good to have a challenge of girls from totally different international locations from throughout . . . And I had on my shoulders the illustration of us, however we additionally want [darker skinned] Black ladies to signify.”
Gabi has been going by way of her personal self-love journey in accepting her pure curls and hopes that it conjures up followers who see themselves in her. “I do these braids, however beneath these braids, there’s kinky [curly] hair that I wish to settle for for what it’s. I may put that as a picture of like, I am like this woman with the afro within the trade,” she says. “But it surely takes time, too, and I would like to have the ability to encourage ladies to simply accept themselves, their hair . . . And as Afro-Latinas, too. It is cool to have that in your shoulders, however cogerlo y inspirar as a result of that is what I wish to do: encourage and encourage.”
Hold studying to see what else La Gabi has to say about how music has helped her get by way of melancholy, her Dominican pleasure, and what she’s studying nowadays.
POPSUGAR: How has music healed you?
La Gabi: OK, so I am like, you already know, I informed you that this was my dream. This was Gabriela’s dream. However now it is a job. So, once I wasn’t doing this, I acquired this melancholy that I do not even know the place that got here from. And it felt so dangerous as a result of I needed to discover what makes Gabriela joyful. Gabi is doing what she loves . . . However once I’m not doing it, I’m going like loopy, and I’ve to go and do music. So, I really feel like music additionally releases my stress and relieves my thoughts. I actually love this. I do not ever see myself doing the rest. And never solely making music. After I really feel careworn or one thing, I simply placed on music, and I actually categorical myself by freestyling and dancing. It is actually a factor.
POPSUGAR: What do you like probably the most about being a Dominican from La Romana?
La Gabi: “For us generally, I believe we’re simply joyful individuals. We acquired the sazòn. . . . However [also] different persons are like, ‘wow, these individuals’ — they’ve like a vibra that everyone needs proper now. Proper now in music, however generally. Folks like Dangerous Bunny or Rosalia — all people’s going to DR to see qué no qué tiene esta gente . . . Truthfully, I like my nation. I like being Dominican. Additionally, the meals, the music — all the things. We are the lifetime of the celebration.”
POPSUGAR: What is the final film or sequence you have watched just lately?
La Gabi: Truly, the day earlier than yesterday I watched “The Starvation Video games” once more. The entire saga once more.
POPSUGAR: What is the final guide you learn?
La Gabi: I learn a guide que se llama “La mentalidad del tiburón: Las 13 leyes sistema para maximizar tu potencia psychological.” It is tremendous dope. The person who wrote it’s a swimmer from Mexico. It is about how one can suppose like a shark. As a result of tiburónes, in the event that they cease swimming, they die. So it is about learn how to preserve transferring on in life [and] achieve success.”
POPSUGAR: How would you describe your private type?
La Gabi: I do know individuals would say avenue vibe, however I simply say Gabi. It is actually [just] me. How do you say this in English? Me gusta vestirme de macho. For example we go to Perpetually 21. I do not even take a look at the ladies’s [section]. I’m going straight to males’s. As a result of I really feel like when males put on the garments, they give the impression of being cool. However then once I put it on, and I am smaller, it appears dope on me. And it is like my circulation. And I simply glide. Generally, I gown extra female, too. All of it relies on how I am feeling. However if you happen to see me on the streets, you are gonna see me with saggy stuff. Or generally I’m going with a complete vest, however then simply the bra. Or like, I do not know, it is simply how I am feeling within the second.
Picture Supply: Elizabeth De La Piedra Courtesy of La Gabi + Notre