[Exclusive Interview] Gigi Grombacher On Her Incredible Songwriting and The Creative Process Behind Her Music

[Exclusive Interview] Gigi Grombacher On Her Incredible Songwriting and The Creative Process Behind Her Music

 


Image Credits: @gigigrombacher

From releasing a beautiful EP titled Virgin Tears in 2021 to writing ‘SHOOT!’ by ITZY, ‘So Am I’ by Ava Max, ‘Chain Reaction’ by Callie Reiff, and more, singer-songwriter Gigi Grombacher does not fail to amaze us with her talent. 


Given her musical background and her phenomenal work, which ranges from heartfelt ballads to upbeat tracks like ‘Psycho Bubblegum,’ we spoke to Gigi about her creative process, what inspires her, and what we can expect to see from her this year. 


You have worked on incredible songs like ‘SHOOT!’ and ‘Lingo’ for ITZY and aespa, respectively, but you also compose your own songs. How does the creative process differ when writing your own music compared to writing K-pop songs? 

Writing Kpop is a lot of fun. The genre is so vast it allows me to push boundaries of my usual songwriting. I can pull inspiration from straight pop, latin, r&b & hip hop. I’ve explored a lot of different genres as a songwriter and always struggled with feeling boxed in with my own artistry- I felt like people wanted me to “pick a lane” so that my brand 

was more easily digestible. But writing K-pop has given me the freedom to just be creative and go with the flow in terms of genre. 

My own music is very personal and I focus a lot on the lyrics- but with many of the Kpop songs/sessions I’ve been a part of I knew that the group was going to end up translating and changing the lyrics. So if you listen to the English demo of “Shoot!” Or “Lingo” the lyrics are unhinged hahah. I’m just having fun and being as creative as I can be and I really love that. 


@gigigrombacher English demo of #itzy ‘s song “Shoot!” #kpop #demo #originalsong #midzy #chaeryeong #yeji #yuna #lia #ryujin #shoot ♬ SHOOT! - ITZY
@gigigrombacher The self-love song you didn’t know you needed!! #aespa #kpop #demo #originalmusic #songwriter #winter #karina #giselle #ningning #itzy #blackpink ♬ original sound - GiGi Grombacher

Expanding a bit more on the previous question, your music is both touching and melodious, and this can be seen in songs like ‘girl’ and ‘Better Day.’ Do you find it more challenging to write songs that are so personal to you compared to when writing tracks like ‘Lingo?’ Or does it come easy to you to submerge yourself in other genres to create a different sound from your own? 

I think at this point in my songwriting journey, I find it easy to totally submerge myself in other genres. I’ve been writing for other artists and in other genres for years now and I’m very inspired by the track so as soon as the producer starts building a vibe, melodies start coming to me and we just roll with it.  


You wrote ‘SHOOT!’ in 2019, which was your first introduction to the K-pop world. What was that experience like for you? Did you face any challenges when you wrote this song? 

I wrote this song at a writing camp in Norway. I had really bad jet lag and one night after my session, a group of songwriters and I were hanging out in the studio. We were just goofing off and having some wine. The producers started building the track and I just thought it was so fun. I got on the mic and started freestyling and it turned into a little jam session with the other writers. It was super freeform and fun. I didn't know it would be a K-pop song when we were writing it. We were just having fun and feeding off the energy in the room. 

After being introduced to K-pop, did you become more interested in creating music within that genre? Are there any groups you would love to collaborate with in the future?

YES! Once I discovered how freeing the k-pop writing world is I was addicted. But even more the K-pop fans are what really inspire me. It is so refreshing to see a dedicated fan base that loves music. They really care. Seeing music consumed in that way reminds me of “Beatlemania” . I don't think we’ve seen such dedicated and excited fans since the 1960’s. As a writer and artist all you can hope for is that your music reaches people and connects with them. It’s all about this desire for community and the K-pop community is STRONG. I would really love to work with BlackPink- I’m so excited to see them at Coachella this year! 

Whether it has been one of your own songs or a song for another artist, what has been your favorite track to work on? Are there any memorable events that come to mind? 

“The Marilyn” was really fun for me. It was such a weird time in my life and the story was just so crazy I had to write about it to help sort out how I was feeling about everything. I started that song in LA and finished it in Sweden (loveeee Sweden). 

Writing “Lingo” was also really fun. I was at a writing camp here in LA and I was working with some of my favorite writers that day. We had finished a song and then at the end of the day we played a game with the other writers at the camp. We had to draw 3 words from a hat and one word had to be the title, one word would have to be used in the lyrics and the other would be an obscure instrument that the producer would have to use in the track and we would have like an hour to finish our song and show it to the group. 

My group chose: 

1. “Limbo” which we used as our title . 

2. “Lose my voice” we worked this into the phone call intro 

3. Harmonica - this is why the track has a country feel. 

Being a multi-talented artist, where does your musical inspiration come from? 

Inspiration comes from my life experiences - the good, bad, and the ugly. I don’t really listen to any music but I love melodies. So as soon as the producer in the room starts creating a vibe I try to just start singing melodies right away. If I don’t overthink it- it usually flows. 

Have there been moments where you’ve had a creative block? If so, how did you get past it? 

Yes, I used to think I had to be going through something tragic or had to be suffering in some way to make good music. I did a lot of self sabotaging for the sake of art in my past. I’ve recently realized how important it is to take breaks- this helps me come back to my writing refreshed. My biggest advice is don’t burn yourself out. Take breaks and live your life. 

When you’re not creating music, what are some hobbies you enjoy doing to relax and care for yourself before diving back into singing and composing? 

I’m obsessed with food. I love trying different cuisines from different cultures. Living in LA is so amazing because there’s so many different culinary options available. I’m also working on meditating everyday- tending to your mental garden is so important especially in this hectic industry. 

From releasing your EP, Virgin Tears, to composing for major artists, we’re curious to know what we can expect to see from you this year? 

Lots more music!! I’m very focused on my artist project so you can expect a lot more music from me. I also have some very special secret songs with very special artists coming this year. 

What are a few resolutions or goals you have for this year? 

I want to play more shows this year. I also would love to go write some K-pop songs in Korea. Those are two big goals of mine. 

Lastly, is there a fun fact that you’d like to share with your fans and those reading this interview? 

My first love was musical theater. I trained classically since I was 8 years old and thought that I’d be on Broadway by now (but I love where I’m at) . You never know where life is going to lead you! <3

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, Gigi. We look forward to seeing what you have in store this year and seeing what you accomplish! 

Follow Gigi Grombacher: Instagram | Spotify | YouTube | Twitter | TikTok


Yuni

Yuni is a graphic designer and journalist with a passion for music, especially within the K-music scene. She enjoys listening to K-pop, but she also listens to other genres and likes discovering new music.

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