Q + A With Greg Gould

Primal, moody and inescapably moving, the powerful new single Who Gave You Permission? out today from Australian powerhouse Greg Gould is a potent blend of pop, soul and searing intimacy. With an accompanying music video slated to land next week, and also set to
captivate crowds with his latest release live in action throughout 2024, including onstage at SYNTHONY, Australia’s biggest orchestrated dance party this June, Gould also vigorously tackles exceedingly difficult narrative terrain via Who Gave You Permission? with unwavering finesse and

We caught up with Greg for a quick Q + A

Hi, thanks for taking the time to chat with Hear 2 Zen, what have you been up to today?

Hehe today I’ve taken it easy after a huge weekend of shows and recording – was learning lyrics today for a show at State Theatre on Saturday night in Sydney

Tell us about yourself, how long have you been performing/creating music for? 

Been performing since I was a kid – professionally from 21 and creating original music since 2017 but this is actually my first ever original album. 

Who are your greatest inspirations?  Why?

Whitney Houston – cos of that VOICE and her presence – she’s my icon. 

Beyonce is a big influence also. 

Musically inspired by and love Sam Smith, Rag N Bone Man, Emeli Sande – all for different reasons but I also want to have my own sound and not be tied down to any one genre or influence.

How do you create music?  Are you lyrics/story driven, or does the music/melody come first?  Explain your process.

I sit at a piano and start to dabble chords and start to sing in gibberish. Once I have some basic melodies down, I start to shape lyrics. Sometimes I write blond without a theme or plan on what it’s about and others I have a clear message. 

What has been your greatest challenge so far in performing/creating music?

Surviving the ups and downs. I’m very motivated and driven but it’s a rollercoaster. I am in such a good place now and finally feeling like I’m hitting my stride on my terms. 

Tell us about your new release, Who Gave You Permission, how did it come about?

To be honest I’m only just starting to feel comfortable to talk about this. The first time I performed the song live I burst into tears. I have been a victim of sexual abuse on four separate occasions in all very different circumstances from when I was 10 years old, right up until I was 30. Each time left me feeling so violated, so powerless, paralysed. Nobody has the right to touch you without permission. No means no. It was a very emotional, heart wrenching and confronting experience to write this song to be honest as I’d pushed a lot of those feelings and experiences down and hadn’t dealt with them – it took a while for me to be ok to admit it. There is a stigma around sexual abuse in general, and I do think it can be really difficult for men who are the victim – whether it be at the hands of another man or a woman. In my case, it was both on separate occasions. I want other men to feel comfortable to talk about this and speak up too.

What advice do you have to artists who are just starting out?

Always be yourself and we must support each other in this tough industry. Relationships are so important, way more important than any quick opportunity. There’s room for all of us – you don’t need to step on someone else to get ahead and be successful.

Tell us your favourite Zen practice.

Oooh.. def at home with my boy on a day we do nothing and just cuddle on the couch and watch Real Housewives