A Conversation With Brooklyn-Based Artist Gerald Wicks

We chat to Brooklyn-based artist Gerald Wicks about being an independent artist, his new single “talk nice” and more

Meet Gerald Wicks, a Brooklyn-based artist whose Mississippi roots run deep. From school choirs to the world of musical theatre, his music reflects a genuine connection to his upbringing. Wicks’ lyrics tell honest stories, weaving through the ups and downs of life with a raw emotion that’s easy to resonate with.

Effortlessly blending indie, alternative folk and R&B music, he’s been working with producer Jeremy Lloyd over the past year. Together they’ve created songs that explore the ups and downs of love, loss, and the bittersweet journey of healing. His new single, “talk nice”, their third collaboration, gives us another taste of their dynamic musical journey.

We’ve had our eyes on Gerald Wicks since mid-2020, and we’ve finally managed to chat with him. Read our conversation below:

How are you doing Gerald?

I’m doing well! Taking it day by day. Had a great week this week, so I can’t complain! Try to move with more intention and give myself more grace this year, and it’s really shaped how I’ve looked at things.

Nice! Glad we’ve finally got to do this! How’s your 2024 started?

Same! Y’all have shown so much love to me since my first release in 2020. Pretty sure y’all were my first playlist add, actually. I’m honored to be doing this now! My 2024 has started off busy, busy lol. I also work as a designer full time, so I’ve been juggling that with the music. Really excited to keep pushing on, though, and grateful to have both ways of expression. Just making sure I take more moments to breathe.

As an independent artist, what are some daily challenges you face? And how do you overcome them?

There are so many hats being worn in the industry, and being independent, I’m trying to wear as many of them as I can while I build myself up. Social media gives independent artists so many ways to get our music heard, but finding a way that feels genuine while also effective in growing listeners can be a difficult balance to find. Still exploring my relationship with it, but trying to let the music lead and hope everything will fall into place from there. Friends and family have been so helpful in this all. I’m really lucky to have people around me who support and believe in me, so I’m learning to let go, trust them, and trust timing. Eventually, it would be great to have a team to help execute my ideas the way I see them in my head, but for now I’m enjoying the exploration.

What do you love about being an independent artist?

I love the freedom and control I can have with it all. I’m learning so much with each song that I release and I know this time will pay off wherever music takes me. I’m getting to build myself up from scratch in a way that feels authentic to me.

What is your creative process when working on music?

The process varies for me. I’m usually a melody first person, and I’ll let a phrase form from them to expand upon. But recently, I’ve been trying to approach the lyrics first and let them influence the melody. In sessions with Jeremy, I usually come in with a demo or hook I’ve started on the guitar, and flesh it out with him.

Are there any specific artists or genres that have influenced your music?

Growing up, my mom and dad had such different tastes, so I’d listen to a lot of jazz and older R&B/Soul. My grandparents sang in their church choir, so I was around a lot of gospel too. When I started buying my own records, I picked up indie/alternative and more electronic leaning R&B and pop. Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, Sampha, & James Blake are up there for me. Brent Faiyaz and the work he’s done in Sonder, Kevin Garrett, and Ama Lou are some others I’ve had on heavy rotation for years. I could go on for hours.

You’ve just released your new single “talk nice” — can you share some inspiration behind it?

The hook for “talk nice” was written back in December of 2022 as a “what I would say if i were bold enough to.” And it felt like such a foreign feeling for me. I was still processing the end of a relationship and going no-contact. I didn’t think closure was possible and my boundaries were weeeaaak lol. I remember telling Jeremy how I didn’t think I could finish it and wanted to ditch the hook to write something else over the track, but we decided to sit on it and keep the concept. Then one session, months later after I’d developed a stronger stance and clarity towards everything, it all came together.

In your own words, how would you describe the overall theme or message of the song?

Overall, this song is about setting boundaries and reclaiming your peace and power with someone you didn’t want to lose. Breaking the rose colored lenses love can distort someone through.

Do you have any upcoming projects?

Yes! I spent this last year working with Jeremy on a lot of music and the plan is to release a full project sometime this year.

Amazing! What can we expect next?

Been juggling ideas for the next single and I’m always working on something new, so plenty more leading up to the project and after. Just excited to be releasing more consistently!

Stream “talk nice” below:

Connect with Gerald Wicks

Features
A Conversation With LOUD HOUND