What's up Reddit? My name is George Watsky. I'm an independent musician, poet, writer, and label co-owner. I just released my brand new album, x Infinity ("Times Infinity"), on Friday. The album is executive produced by Russell Simmons, co-produced by my longtime collaborator Kush Mody, and I spent almost 2 years writing and recording it-- my ode to joyful nihilism-- and my most ambitious project yet.

 

I moved to New York last September to focus on improving my craft, to work on the album, and to finish my first book, an essay collection called How To Ruin Everything that was published by Plume/Penguin/Random-House in June. I'll be hitting the road in September on a three-month tour of North America and Europe, and hope to see some of you along the way. I'll be back at 11am to answer some questions, so ask me anything.

 

Here's my proof - https://www.instagram.com/p/BJWGya7hHiE

Comments: 1416 • Responses: 83  • Date: 

Pussy-Fart509 karma

How does one wipe their ass with the fabric of time and space?

gwatsky830 karma

i like to fold it over three or four times and then really dig the corner of it in there

biancapumpernickel460 karma

What is a question that you wish someone would ask you?

gwatsky1094 karma

If I've ever won the San Francisco middle school citywide ballroom tango competition

minisaladfresh645 karma

Have you ever won the San Francisco middle school citywide ballroom tango competition, George?

gwatsky2210 karma

no

jocoly279 karma

How many tries did it take you to nail the camera with the nerf dart in the Ninjas in Paris video?

gwatsky638 karma

1 shot. my nerf dart marksmanship is lethal

Guruith253 karma

Hey Watsky! Loving the album, it's been on repeat for several days now. I especially love the Lovely Things Suite at the end, just amazing.

I am curious though, is there a meaning to the way that Theories cuts off suddenly at the end and then plays into traffic noise? Its my favourite track on the album, just threw me off a bit.

gwatsky258 karma

it's an intentional choice. i'm going to leave it pretty much at that since i want the music to speak for itself

GenericBlurb249 karma

I've followed your music since the stupidass music video. Really loved those mixtapes. How far do you feel you've come from "White Kid Raps Fast"? Do you think that you've shaken your old persona and become a serious musician? How do you view yourself as an artist?

gwatsky372 karma

i've always taken myself seriously as an artist, even when others haven't.

i was a poet first. i performed on def poetry jam in 2007 and spent years performing an evenings worth of work before i had a viral video.

i do think i'm still improving, and while in the past i always took pride in my lyrics, i'm trying hard to be a more well-rounded musician. one of the problems in the past is that i had trouble getting around my ego and admitting to myself the parts of my craft that i just wasn't that good at. going back and listening to my old work, i can hear where my delivery wasn't where i would have liked it to be, or where i avoided a message i would have liked to include because i was worried it wouldn't be received well.

i love creating, and at this point my only goal is to make the things that excite me and that i'm proud of. i'm really proud of x Infinity, and that's allowed me to not care that much about the public reception.

Spanksalot2245 karma

What was the motivation behind putting a 5 minute song about oral sex on the album?

gwatsky560 karma

It's counterintuitive but I actually think this was the most emotionally honest and risky song on the album. Basically admitting, hey, maybe I'm not completely straight in the way it's usually defined. I thought it could be liberating for men in my fanbase to hear that, similar to how Waking Hour embraced performance anxiety.

I think sex should be celebrated. Giving oral sex is great- you want your partner to feel awesome. I think those who find the song crude are squares (or just young). I'm trying to make honest music for adults, and I love how this song turned out.

Navae26192 karma

Watsky! Glad you're here today. I created /r/Watsky back in 2012 because I love what you do. Think you can stop by and say hi?

Also, we noticed that a lot of the album deals with life/death, and just thinking about life. Was this a major theme for the album, or just how it came out? Thank you for everything you do and keep it up!

gwatsky267 karma

i used to creep around on r/hiphopheads to see what people thought of my work but i've cut back on the online stalking of peoples' opinions of me. Thank you for caring enough to create a watsky thread on reddit, but i'm gonna stay off it because i think it should be a place where people can share honest thoughts without a worry of hurting my feelings. people can always communicate with me on twitter, and when i sit down to answer, on facebook. or come say hi at a show

8biticon175 karma

Hey Watsky! Your music helped me get through the latter half of High School, and now that I'm in my second year of college (and doing a lot better) x Infinity is just perfect. My jaw dropped the first time I heard Knots!

And I wanted to ask; when are we gonna get you and Lin-Manuel on a track together?

gwatsky171 karma

thanks for the kind words and i'm glad the music still resonates with you. i definitely wouldn't rule out a collaboration with lin. it's really awesome that he supports my music and i have a lot of respect for his work. so, maybe? i'm down

Eternal_Atom34 karma

Knots is certainly awesome, I'd love it played live.

gwatsky66 karma

The plan is for Ryan to come play it live at our Fonda show in Los Angeles

WadeLT3166 karma

George, about 3 years ago during your Cardboard Castles tour, you stopped in Orlando at the same time as Playlist Live. I was waiting outside the venue pretty early and you came out and talked to the 5-6 of us in line already and then went to the 7-11 across the street and bought us snacks and drinks. Do you remember buying us Flaming Hot Cheetos and Mountain Dew?! Huge fan. Keep it up!

gwatsky233 karma

ha! i remember that. buy cheetos for the ones you love.

ppoesk2100 karma

Hello Watsky. Just came to say you are a lyrical genius and to ask you this:

What is your most underrated song, in your opinion?

gwatsky259 karma

Pauly Shore Saw my Penis. Possibly my proudest lyric:

"Now, if you wanted, you could see each little-boy-wand Bobbing there as clear as little goldfish in a koi pond"

WILLMAKETHRWAWY4BUTT81 karma

When putting out a song about something heavily political do you fear that it will be misconstrued? That someone might think you're supporting gun violence with Stick to Your Guns or talking shit on Hillary in Pink Lemonande. And if so what kinds of things would you do to preempt or correct those accusations?

gwatsky203 karma

i was more concerned about Stick to Your Guns. And not worried that I would upset 2nd amendment advocates, but rather worried that i'd piss off people who agree with me in theory but would think it was callous to victims to try to empathize with a (even hypothetical) shooter.

ultimately with this album i decided i would only worry about sharing the way I really feel, and if people find out something about me they don't like, it's probably for the best that they know where I stand.

Fear of being misconstrued is valid, because I was not talking about Hillary on Pink Lemonade.

Cluster_Schmuck41 karma

Thats kinda what I was thinking when I first listened to the Stick to Your Guns, but then I realised that the slightly callous nature of the lyrics is what makes is such a powerful piece. And anyway, f**k thy hater right? ;)

gwatsky54 karma

Yeah, I thought it was important that that verse went first. It definitely trusts the listener to keep going, and to give the song a chance to unfold, much like Going Down.

jacobetes41 karma

If I can jerk you off for a bit, here, you're a master at this stuff. Sequencing verses to keep the reader engaged and to deliver a message more powerfully.

In Stick to Your Guns especially, setting the deep and personal verse before the two that try to show off just how impersonal the people who get the most traction by talking about these situations are is a phenominal juxtaposition. The difference between the suicide note in the first verse and the standard news broadcast in the second is what makes the song so goddamn beautiful and the message so goddamn powerful. IMO, I think it's your strongest piece of work. Solid 10/10.

gwatsky93 karma

thank you, always nice to be jerked off!

Slootydeathtech78 karma

You have briefly talked about your seizure triggers, mentioning that exercise was one of them (same!)... How do you control your seizures (always, but especially) on tour when you're very active, especially on stage? Ever have one during sex?

gwatsky163 karma

someone having a seizure would probably make a pretty good lover, if you could time it right. but no, i haven't seized while fuckin

i've never had a seizure on stage and it's never been an issue for some reason, despite how high energy my shows are. i played the Regency in 2014 the day after having a seizure the night before and I felt like a total zombie on stage. Funny enough, that show became the live album from the tour, but i think it lacks the electricity of the Troubadour 2012 recording because I didn't feel myself. i'm on medication right now and although it's not my first choice, I think i need a couple years seizure free before i try going off it again.

hydration and good sleep are huge. the more you're stressed, the higher the likelihood of an episode.

OutspokenHindude76 karma

Hey Watsky! Huge fan of your work. I was introduced to you through Epic Rap Battles of History and found out about your amazing spoken word, and Cardboard Castles, and nothing was the same again. Three questions:

  1. Do you have any plans on coming back to feature on ERB any time in the near future?

  2. In Exquisite Corpse, you rap alongside some of the greatest talents in Rap such as Daveed Diggs, Dumbfoundead, Wax, etc. How were you able to pull all of these phenomenal people to help contribute to what would be x Infinity and what was it like working (specifically) with T. Jeffs himself, Daveed Diggs?

  3. How did you feel getting to meet Lin Manuel Miranda and having him read your book?

gwatsky105 karma

  1. i'd be down to go back on ERB, but my request to Peter is that I'd like to go back and get to play another literary character. getting to try to emulate Poe and Shakespeare was so fun and set the bar so high for characters, I'd want to keep that going.
  2. Pulling together Exquisite Corpse was one of the biggest headaches of my life. Getting 1 rapper to do a guest verse is hard enough, but I had to get 7 of them to do it, and it had to be in chronological order, since each one of them continues the story as they see fit. I had to do a lot of whining and groveling to get people to turn their verses in in a timely manner. I've known Daveed for years (he was in a band called The Getback with Rafael Casal, also featured on the song, that included my frequent collaborators Max Miller-Loran and Chukwudi Hodge). So it was awesome, because he rules, but I wasn't star-struck because he's my friend.
  3. Somewhat similar to Daveed, I 'knew' Lin before Hamilton. I put that in quotes because we communicated online, but I hadn't met him in person yet. I think there's a mutual appreciation and some shared aesthetic values, and I am so appreciative of the support he's shown me. And very happy for him and Daveed, because they are genuinely good people.

Imaspecialbean71 karma

Who is Beatrice?

gwatsky179 karma

We are all Beatrice. Beatrice is all around us.

hetrodekippetje53 karma

Hey George! First off, I'm really loving x Infinity and can't wait to see you live again next month in Dublin! As a sort of response to the line in Lovely Thing Suite: Theories "I hope you enjoyed my twenties as much as I did", and also the fact that you're turning 30 soon, do you have any advice for 20-year-olds who are struggling to find their purpose and place in life? Looking back at the last decade, were there any moments that changed you as a person and, in result, your music? Do you feel like you've achieved your 20-year-old self's goals? Much love! Sara

gwatsky86 karma

I think the time immediately following school is a hard period in life. I speak to those of us who have the luxury of trying to 'find ourselves' but are also still trying to pay rent.

there's a lot of pressure for young people to establish our place in the world early, and i definitely felt that and felt very helpless right after i got out of school. i thought i would be more freaked out about turning 30 and seeing my youth slip away, but i (at least right now) feel no anxiety. only excitement. i think i've grown up a lot, and part of that growth is the ability to have a good time, and i think that can naturally come with growing up.

my career goal was to be a professional artist with a sustainable career. as long as i keep working hard, i think i have that. my goal now is to improve as a person and not die wishing i'd enjoyed the time i had more.

TheBaws653 karma

Why did you decide to get a buzzcut?

gwatsky132 karma

pretty stupid when i have that album cover with a messy fro huh?

all will be clear soon

KingKabal44 karma

Hey Watsky! Just created a Reddit account just to ask if you have any future plans to collaborate with Spose or maybe something new with like Hoodie Allen? Finding the song "Nobody" made my year let alone a day!

gwatsky83 karma

I would love to work with Spose again. I respect his stuff and having interacted with him a lot I can say he is a genuinely good person. I will not be collaborating with Hoodie Allen.

MikeBotz40 karma

Most emotional song to perform?

gwatsky206 karma

Tiny Glowing Screens part 2 really gets me from time to time. Not fully a song, but when I see people in the crowd reciting the lyrics and I get to the part about not mattering, it gives me chills

turtleneck_suite37 karma

Hey Watsky! Tiny Glowing Screens Part II makes me cry like a baby every time. You rock! Also...

I'm the vice president of a spoken word group at my university. Do you have any advice for us aspiring poets who've never really performed before?

gwatsky76 karma

just get up there and embrace the nerves! the audience wants to see you succeed.

also, if you think you're gonna be nervous, put your paper on a music stand, don't hold it in your hand- it'll shake like crazy

NoahMendell32 karma

Hey Watsky. My name is Noah. I'm a singer-songwriter from Philadelphia. You probably don't remember me, but we met at the M&G in Philly for All You Can Do. I've been performing for a few years, and I have recently started to record some of my pieces in a local studio.

Do you have any advice/golden rules for live shows? What about for recording in a studio?

Essentially, what principles do you live by when it comes to making music?

You are without a doubt my favorite artist of all time. Thank you so much for the inspiration. I look forward to seeing you on tour. Stay awesome.

EDIT: Thanks also for doing this AMA. It's really awesome for you to be this open to your followers. Much respect.

gwatsky45 karma

the golden rule that i have for live shows is to have fun. for years i worried so much about nailing every little intricate part and line and if i fucked anything up i beat myself up about it after. now i realize it's way more important for everyone in the room to have a good time than to be technically perfect. if you are a good musician, and you've put in the work over the years, the musicianship and skill will be there even if you flub a note or a section. keep the vibe up.

samsheffer30 karma

Hey Watsky! What's your favorite spread to put on bread?

gwatsky101 karma

butter. i'm a simple man.

yaboyjurd28 karma

Hey Watsky! Been listening to you since the 'A New Kind of Sexy' mixtape. When it comes to making visuals for your music, why has boxing/wrestling been a popular theme for you? It was the cover art for ANKS, and has been the theme for Fuck an Emcee Name and Midnight Heart.

gwatsky37 karma

It's a crazy coincidence. The director Carlos Lopez Estrada had not seen my mixtape cover when he wrote the treatment for this video. I don't know that it's actually too common a theme for me. It's just that I've done like 60 music videos and boxing/wrestling is such an obvious metaphor for any struggle. I doubt I'll return to it again except as a reference to these videos, but Carlos' concept of dance-boxing was so awesome that it felt right to pursue. And I'm glad we did because I'm stoked on how the video turned out.

katewhiite26 karma

I saw you a few years ago and was blown away at your performence. I was also blown away by the fact that you waited after the show to greet EVERY fan that wanted to meet you (and I still have the signed lighter to prove it!) Why do you do this? I mean, many artists dont.

gwatsky71 karma

i started out performing at tiny poetry clubs and it would only take me a few minutes to meet everyone and sell my merch. the ascent to larger rooms was very gradual and i just never stopped the tradition. i hate the idea that someone could have come from super far away, had the bad luck of being last in line, and i leave the signing right before they get there. when i was a sophomore in high school, chali 2na, one of my favorite rappers, came out to the lip of the stage at the Fillmore after a jurassic 5 show and signed ticket stubs for every single kid-- including me. the impact of that stuck with me, and i don't intend to ever change that.

Tigerslili26 karma

Getting a sense of throwback to beat poets in x Infinity. Who are your biggest poetic influences? Were there any that you read as inspiration for the album?

gwatsky66 karma

some of my early influences were Saul Williams, Beau Sia, Rafael Casal (sup rafa???) and Dahlak Brathwaite-- the last two of which were peers of mine in the Bay Area youth poetry slam scene of the early 2000s

one random influence for some of the album: Cake. There are some rock bands that have very close to spoken word poetry lyrics, and I listened to Going The Distance for some inspiration on Talking to Myself.

TheEmeraldArcher45525 karma

Did you try to puff it up for Pauly Shore?

gwatsky50 karma

no, i am a show-er

organizedRhyme22 karma

Greetings, amigo. Long time fan here, first saw you at the White Rabbit in San Antonio right after Nothing Like the First Time came out. Saw you again at Emo's in Austin right after All You Can Do. I'm tremendously impressed with your work ethic. Really got into you through listening to Wax. Anyway here's my question;

When listening to your new album I was moved by all the orchestral arrangements / high quality production. My question to you as a fellow emcee who isn't necessarily a novice but definitely not a master-- What is the process for building a song like that? Does a beatmaker craft a standard instrumental with samples or synthesizer strings that you write your early version to, then beef it up with the real instruments later once the studio sessions begin? Or are those busty instrumentals crafted ahead of time and you write to them in their full glory? I just couldn't wrap my head around how the fuck those pieces as a whole came to exist. Are you in the studio as the instrumentals are being forged? The production value on this new project is legendary. The songs are great too. I'll definitely see you again at Emo's in Austin. Since I got you here though I'll throw some rapid fire questions;

Did you ever face drama for covering famous instrumentals? Serious respect for featuring Wax and DFD. I admired that. Of course Wax came in talking about being the last human with the knowledge to distill vodka lolol. Has the money you've managed to acquire helped your art? Do you find yourself investing large sums back into the craft? Also, do you have some type of routine that allows you to create so prolifically? Were you writing 16 bars everyday and working on your book for X amount of hours? I'm just a little blown away that you've put out 3 great LP's, toured the planet extensively, written a book, and released loads of YouTube content since 2013.

What advice do you have for creatives? My last album did well enough for me to sell my business, combine the profits, and buy a really nice camper van. I know that artistry is what I want to do with the rest of my life and now I have the freedom to support myself from the craft. Lately I've been putting in tons of effort and thought I was killing it til' you announced the book / album! haha, you're a true inspiration. Peace from Texas.

gwatsky35 karma

hey there. these are great questions and show me that you're thinking about your art in a good way.

to answer your first question about the song-building process, it's a multi-step thing. almost none of the songs on this album are me rapping over regular beats. even the ones that started out that way (pink lemonade, little slice) eventually became much more complicated arrangements.

early on, starting over a year and a half ago, i had a huge iTunes file on my computer of instrumentals and song sketches. some of them were beats producers sent me, some of them were recorded jam session snippets from songwriting sessions i'd held with a handful of musicians. they were skeletal pieces, but they had what i needed to start writing verses and choruses-- the tempo and chord progression were there. when i first moved to NYC i set a goal to write a 16 bar verse every day. i didn't always do it, but i always tried. when March 2016 rolled around, i started two months worth of daily sessions with Kush Mody and Andrew Oedel. I went into those sessions with over 20 completed songs, and i kept writing more throughout the sessions. since the song structures were in place, kush had the freedom to start writing out strings parts, and we would bring in musicians to play over the beats. my cousin max miller-loran wrote trumpet arrangements throughout. it was a long process, and often we would redo instrumental sections after realizing the song structure called for something else to take place there. i did many vocal re-records, and it was like shimmying a car into a tight parallel parking space. it was also an expensive undertaking for me.

my advice to you is to throw yourself fully into what you do, if you love to do it. you can't compare yourself to me, just like i can't compare myself to frank ocean. just bust your ass, get as good as you can, and enjoy the process

TheAtlasOdyssey22 karma

Hello George, been waiting for a moment to finally tell you this, and ask a question.

I've had seizures for as long I can remember, they were there when I was a soft plushy packet of baby, (that's what I've been told,) they've been there when I recieved diplomas.

They've been there in happy moments, and sad moments.

Your music really hits close to home, you get it. My buddies are pretty understanding, but still, I've heard things like:

"Yeah I get it, but you know, stop getting seizures."

"Can't you just take an extra pill or something? That'll solve it."

And it bugs me. But you, you get the struggle, you get the anxiety I feel every day.

But moving on, recently I've been thinking about quitting taking medication, but neither parents or doctor won't let me.

"I'd rather die than lose myself," hit me real hard.

I just don't know what to do, I don't know what I want or what I can do. I'm tired.

(I'm not suicidal or something for the record.)

This "question" turned out to be more of a random ramble than a question but I just wanted to end my little text saying how an inspiring person you are, and how much your music has helped me, thank you.

(Also, sorry for the gramarz, I'm typing this on a phone and swedish autocorrect is a bitch.)

Tao signing out.

gwatsky46 karma

hey, i'm sorry to hear about what you're going through with the meds. i REALLY can't give you specific medical advice because i don't know the intricacies of your case and i'm not a doctor. but i empathize and i know it's a gut-wrenching decision. if your seizures seem to be under control for a while (maybe years), i think it's at least worth discussing a taper. don't take MY advice, but consider soliciting the opinions of many different types of professionals- not just salaried big hospital doctors who are terrified of malpractice suits and sometimes even get pharma kickbacks

Aidan_k_22 karma

Today's my birthday and I'm on vacation in San Fransisco What's the best place to go for dinner??? Also, when can I get xInfinity on vinyl on its own? I already have the CD and plan on getting a shirt when I see you in Philly so I don't want to but the whole bundle.

gwatsky42 karma

Truly Mediterranean for quick falafel. Greens for classy vegetarian with a view of the water (make reservations) Evergreen Vietnamese for cheap phở. Gordos for quick Mexican.

Eventually x Infinity will have a vinyl option only but the printing takes SO LONG. we're doing our best.

See you in Philly!

jonathanb55022 karma

How did you meet Anderson .Paak?

gwatsky60 karma

Anderson, known as Breezy Lovejoy at the time, ran the backing band for Dumbfoundead on the Nothing Like the First Time Tour in 2012, so we toured together back then. Then he produced my 2014 album All You Can Do, and toured the US and Europe with us on that project. My label Steel Wool Entertainment co-released his new album Malibu along with Empire and OBE. He also produced my new song Midnight Heart, and is currently busy taking over the world.

13a84122 karma

If you could go back and change one thing about your career, what would it be?

gwatsky99 karma

be pretty obvious to say i wish i hadn't crowd dived off that rafter in 2013 and hurt those people. and yeah, if i had that choice to make again i would take it back in a heartbeat. but, since i can't, i must admit that i don't know if i would be the person i am right now if that hadn't happened. it really forced me to reevaluate my priorities, and acknowledge my ego. i'm happier and more secure in myself now, although it was a very tough year and a half, and i'm sure much tougher for those hurt. i don't believe 'everything happens for a reason' but i do believe the only way you can face is forward and i'm very grateful for the life i have and the path ahead.

anthropost201219 karma

Since a lot of the content in this album is about nihilism, do you still have fears about death? Lately I've been having alot of fears about what's going to happen, since I'm an atheist too

Tigerslili14 karma

Sorry if it's rude to piggyback. I'm curious - George, do you define yourself as atheist, agnostic, something else? I'm somewhat agnostic, and there are things that I WANT to believe are true. Do you have hopes/desires about what you'd like there to be after death?

fouljabber31 karma

"I was an atheist until I realize that I am a God" - Woah Woah Woah

gwatsky91 karma

besides being an Actual God, i'd say that i'm an atheist-leaning agnostic.

i fear death. i fear the unknown. but as i've gotten older i've gotten better at appreciating the present for what it is, and not spending every moment i have on this planet worrying about a future i have no control over.

it's not easy and i'm not always successful at it, but i think the best way to tackle a fear of death is actually to embrace the fear, acknowledge what scares you, and not push those worries away.

cruthe3319 karma

Watsky! Huge fan! Tiny glowing screens pt. 2 has been one of the songs I live by and I was lucky enough to see you in St. Louis a couple years ago! So what was it like working with Josh Dun? And is there any chance that it could lead to a tour with Twenty one pilots?

gwatsky34 karma

josh was an extremely nice fucking dude. very glad he came in to do that. i would open for 21 pilots in a heartbeat. i think most bands feel the same though, not a lot of slots- i'd do it if asked

fantomazork18 karma

what were you thinking when you jumped off that stage?

gwatsky36 karma

like, at the exact moment? i was thinking 'i'm a fucking idiot, why did i do this?'

Tigerslili17 karma

Exquisite Corpse - is the song an allusion to your dystopian sci-fi novel ideas? Have you heard any positives from your publisher about the possibility of putting your novel out?

gwatsky19 karma

it's more so that i just love sci fi and it made its way into this album as a theme. thinking of it on the album made me start to seriously consider writing my own novel. and i thought 'why not?'

if i write the book it will be released. it's just a matter of how i want to divide my time, and there are a lot of things i want to do.

Tigerslili17 karma

What was the best advice your parents (particularly your dad, since he's a great poet) give you about writing?

gwatsky45 karma

my dad once discouraged me from pursuing poetry because he said it's like living 'in an empty library' hahaha. how morbid. i think he was worried i'd have my feelings hurt by failure. now that things are working out they're very supportive.

anthropost201216 karma

What is your favorite lyric from x infinity?

gwatsky72 karma

i bukkake your bugati with snot rockets

holyponiesbatman16 karma

That one sticks with me so bad

gwatsky72 karma

it's pretty sticky

holyponiesbatman16 karma

Also we were discussing the double standard of women writing sexual songs and being slut shamed for it the other day and I keep going back to wondering if it was tricky to write Going Down without objectifying women, because you did a marvelous job, I can't find one line that should offend anyone. Bravo. But was that difficult to achieve?

gwatsky47 karma

Going Down was so fucking fun to write. I just kept cracking myself up alone in my apartment, and somehow ended up with four verses.

So no, it was incredibly easy to write. It sounds pretty self-serving to say this, but I don't think it was tough to avoid objectifying women because I don't view women as objects.

The only line of mine that sticks out in potential contradiction to this (correct me if I missed some) is probably 'I play Miley's ribcage with my dick like it's a xyliephone.' and yet.... i loved that line too much to part with it

anthropost201216 karma

What about being a musician do you find most gratifying?

gwatsky24 karma

collaboration

princess_kevin15 karma

Pretty sure you mentioned being a K.Flay fan at one point. Would you ever consider a collaboration? Also, any thoughts on her recent work? (Her EP Crush Me was released the same night as x Infinity, I think.)

gwatsky25 karma

i love k flay- i sought her out for a collaboration but she declined. if she ever changes her mind i'd love to

BippyFresh14 karma

How would you describe your relationship with Lin Manuel if you would call it a relationship?

gwatsky42 karma

smoldering

3n01a14 karma

George, what are your views on medical cannabis? Do you use cannabis to help keep your seizures at bay? Would you consider supporting medical cannabis more openly?

gwatsky49 karma

i support anything that works for people. everyone is different. i really just don't like to be high that much. i love to smoke weed at parties and with friends occasionally, but it's gotta be as a treat. weed slows me down, and i'm not interested personally in extractions. but i also have a pretty mild condition and i think it's great if it works for others. LEGALIZE IT

sabby_lazor14 karma

Hey Watsky, I know I'm probably late to the game. I'm a HUGE fan and my mind was blown that you came to the tiny ass city of Winnipeg.

If you had the chance to go to Miley's house, would you indeed play her ribcage with your dick like it's a xylie-phone?

edit:typo

gwatsky45 karma

only with her clear verbal consent

scooterkid13 karma

Hey Watsky, I'm a music teacher in a diverse area and I love to listen to you on repeat.

My questions are,

What do you think makes hip-hop such a great musical medium and so successful as opposed to other genres?

Who is your favorite classical composer?

and

What is the number one thing you wish you could tell all children about music and why?

gwatsky24 karma

wow great questions. 1. i love that hip hop places wordplay front and center. i am a word nerd and hip hop is word porn. i love the aspirational side of it, the struggle to succeed and prove yourself. it's hard to put my finger on it completely, but i fell in love early and never felt differently. 2. this changes and i don't listen to tons of classical music, but i love Haydn. I love horns. Big brass and french horn get me randy 3. that music should face forward. no disrespect to genre traditionalists, but one great thing about art is there are no rules. there is no ceiling for creativity and they can be the ones to move it forward

-Umami-4 karma

Have you ever listened to electro swing?

gwatsky10 karma

nope. is it exactly what it sounds like?

ppoesk213 karma

Hello Watsky! What do you think about Portugal? Would you like to visit it aka performing in Lisbon?

gwatsky38 karma

MAN YES PLEASE BOOK ME A SHOW. i would LOVE to visit portugal

anthropost201213 karma

What tips would you give to somebody interested in writing poetry but has trouble being creative?

gwatsky77 karma

creativity is a muscle you can exercise. try free writes, or going to writing workshops. going to shows always inspires me.

when all else fails there's psychedelics.

anthropost201212 karma

In what ways do you hope to serve the world with your music?

gwatsky37 karma

it's not very high minded to say, but i chose this path for selfish reasons, not as an altruist. i saw someone on stage and said 'i want to do that.' and while i am trying to pursue that selfish desire with the most integrity i can, and hope some might see me as a blueprint for an unconventional path to following a dream, i got into art to serve my ego. now that i'm here, i'm working on controlling that ego and doing my fans proud

LukeLudbrook2012 karma

Hey George, congrats on the release of x Infinity, I think it has favourite potential. It's clear that you've evolved in many ways as an artist, but what took me by surprise is how you continued to step-up the musical-side. Would you say brining in Kush as co-producer helped to develop the musicality of your work?

gwatsky30 karma

First off, thank you. I really worked hard on improving my musicality.

Remember, Kush produced Cardboard Castles as well. I personally think my musicality took a small step forward on All You Can Do as well.

But I do really think x Infinity was the first time everything really came together, and every song's lyrics and concepts are as strong as the music and vice-versa.

There are a few reasons for this. One, I got a home recording setup in New York and I taught myself to engineer myself. So I was able to spend late nights trying delivery after delivery, practicing harmonies, new patterns and techniques in ways I never could have when worrying about studio time. Two, I trusted Kush more than I did on Cardboard Castles. I think I tried to steer the ship in Cardboard Castles, when sometimes I wasn't the one in the room who knew best. Kush and I clashed at times during this process, but it was because we both really cared about the end product. And three, we're just older, we've been really trying to get better, and we put a hell of a lot of work into the album. If something wasn't up to standard, we either cut it, or redid it, and applied that standard to every chord progression, every melody, every verse, and every arrangement.

garebeargare12 karma

what was the process to figure out the bonkers rhythmic stuff between you and the drummer at the end of dont be nice?

gwatsky21 karma

I wrote the lyric rhythm and taught it to the drummer (on that song it was this amazing musician Justin Brown who plays for Thundercat). I wanted the breaths in my cadence to be a big part of the rhythm. And then Kush worked with the trio on the outro section, and it was trial and error figuring out how to smooth the transition

Tigerslili11 karma

What are your favorite parts about being a writer/artist/performer? Hardest parts?

gwatsky15 karma

i love creating. i've loved making things since before i can remember. the album 'cardboard castles' comes from the literal fact that i spent my childhood building things out of the crap around my house. and now i get to do that for a living. what could possibly be better than that? of course it's incredibly competitive, i've failed often, and now when i fail, i do so publicly. that can be very painful and isolating. but the highs way way way outweigh the lows

Bemily9511 karma

Hey Watsky! I love your work so much, and I know you've said that you don't feel like you could fully commit to a relationship because you're putting so much of yourself into your art. BUT, let's be honest, friend. Fans have to be all over you all the time, right? Have you ever wished you had put/considered putting your work on the back burner to have a relationship?

gwatsky20 karma

i was in a year-long relationship with a wonderful woman last year. i hope the days of sacrificing my romantic life for my work are over. i work hard still, but i don't want to be consumed by my work anymore.

SpikedSnapple4 karma

Real talk would you ever date a fan?

gwatsky19 karma

someone who casually likes my work? maybe. a real true fan? no. i don't think if you start off idolizing someone like that it's really possible to see and accept their flaws

kotiehalt11 karma

hey watsky! been a fan since 2013, super excited to see you at the warfield for the 4th time... your music and writing have been such a wonderful adventure to follow... as a passionate nihilist, x infinity has instantly become my favorite of your music so far. FANTASTIC music! seriously, bravo.

having been a huge fan of the original song, i recently encountered overwhelming joy when i read "down to the filter." having now written a song and essay about your encounter with him, have you ever received any response from mr. shore after releasing such brilliant truths?

gwatsky16 karma

pauly flirted with the idea of doing a kc and jojo style music video to the song, but eventually backed out. he's clearly aware of it, but i don't think he cares that much.... :'(

BexJ14711 karma

Hi George :)

I've been a fan of yours for years and your new album is no exception.

I'm curious, would you call yourself a feminist or not and why? A lot of artists in your genre write music centered around objectifying or degrading women. As a woman who loves both hip hop and equality it can be tough but your music has never been anything but empowering in my opinion. I love the intelligent, sometimes political, always socially forward quality of your lyrics and I was just wondering where you stand on this topic. :) Thanks for always taking the time to connect with fans.

gwatsky46 karma

Hell yeah. My definition of a feminist is someone who believes women and men should be treated as equals with no caveats and exceptions. By that definition I am 100% a feminist.

TheKnownRellik9 karma

What's your favorite song on the new album?

gwatsky17 karma

i answered this question earlier but now i decided i can't pick. i'm proud of all of them

DudeHarmon9 karma

My question for you is on X Infinity what made you want to write Conversations, Knots, Roses and Theories? I'd like to consider all four of those a musical piece, and it's all so truly beautiful to me. Thanks for everything you do.

gwatsky16 karma

i've always loved it when artists have played with song-form and seen hip hop in a broad, creative way. soooo many songs (including mine) have the same chorus-verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus structure. and that's because it's great. but there's more to explore. one of my favorite multi-section epics is 'release' by blackalicious, and there are plenty of others playing with this.

Ocarina-Of-Thyme9 karma

How many tries did it take to do the behind the back mic throw take in TGS pt. 3?

gwatsky33 karma

One. I do that flip every night on stage. The only time I've ever dropped it was at the Cardboard Castles tour in Chicago. I was so embarrassed I picked it up and flipped it again to prove to people I could do it.

alyssagdnz8 karma

Hey Watsky! I'll be at your show in Seattle in November. I'm taking a greyhound across the state, so I can't make your pre show reading and the post show toast is sold out. Is there any other way I can get the chance to meet you? I would just like to tell you thank you in person for sharing all your amazing work with us.

gwatsky13 karma

just stick around after the show. i always hang out to meet people, but it might take a while

AlexanderChimp8 karma

Hey man, I am curious about the book, I really liked it and read it on a road trip, I also read your Futurama Spec Script which I also liked and I am really excited to read future novels by you. Seeing though you built your fanbase and have quite a direct distribution and relationship with them, have you thought about unconventional or new ways of publishing your work instead of going through a publishing house or book company thing?

gwatsky13 karma

at this point in my early prose writing career, i do think there's still value to the cred that comes with being on a major publisher. they can get you into a lot of distribution outlets that are inaccessible by going fully indie. but if i can continue building that part of my career then that could for sure be an option down the line. louis ck is a good guy to look at for nontraditional releases

Dead_Lizard8 karma

Hey Watsky! I love your music and spoken word! I am wondering if you have any plans to ever do a sort of spoken word tour/performance?

gwatsky17 karma

maybe someday! the book tour was similar to what this could look like.

geronimusbrothers7 karma

Hey George!! Been following since All You Can Do, the writing is what really makes me a fan and I also really like a lot of Steel Wool artists in general. A few questions:

1) Has your idea of making music changed since co-creating Steel Wool? How has your perspective changed on the way that fans interact with art? Has the growth of Anderson .Paak effected your idea of artist development or what fans want?

2) Have you found yourself aiming to achieve a balance between accessibility and depth? Or is the writing/meaning mostly the priority over the music/sound or vice versa. I really appreciate your writing and I just want to know if you feel you have to sacrifice it ever to make a better project.

3) Any crazy/funny stories of you and .Paak over the years?

Thanks man!!

gwatsky19 karma

1) Steel Wool has really been a blessing the way it all came together. It's a company that incorporates video production, artist development and entrepreneurship in a way that sits right at the center of what i love. so being a part of it has encouraged me to think big and to the think about art collaboratively. Anderson growing has shown me what's possible, but honestly, we were in the right place at the right time. The person who get's the credit for Anderson's growth is Anderson. Everyone who's known him for years has believed in his potential and finally the world caught on. 2) that tug of war is at the center of everything i do. i don't believe art needs to be complex to be genius, or that it needs to be simple to be accessible. but i think both about my audience and about whether i'm doing what i want to be doing when making a song. i have made a promise to myself not to dumb my material down going forward. and i think for the most part i've lived by that mantra, but i do think that i've made more simple, inspirational 'you can do it if you just work hard' anthems than i should have, because at a certain point they became a broken record, and i wasn't allowing enough nuance in. and those are some of the songs that my fans love the best. i don't disown them-- they did come from a place of passion-- but you'll notice there aren't any 'never let it dies' or 'moral of the stories' on this album, and that's by design. 3) i have plenty, but most of them are not PG rated. i will say, the man loves doing mushrooms, and is not afraid to do them on stage. anyone who came to our melkweg show in amsterdam or boston at house of blues should think back on those ones

rndmhro426 karma

Watsky! I met you at the NYC stop of the All You Can Do tour and the pre show poetry/meet and greet was awesome and your show was even better!

Now for all the vinyl fans out there, when is x Infinity coming out on vinyl?

gwatsky13 karma

gonna be a couple months. the process from completion of the masters to pressing of the discs takes FOR. EVER. when you're doing small batches. sorry for the wait!

TheSpiffingTea6 karma

Hey Watsky, seeing you in London and flying to LA to see you on my birthday as well, wondering how you're going to separate the old from the new on your setlist, any chance of playing Energy again live? ;)

gwatsky17 karma

energy has stayed in my set for a LONG time. this may finally be the tour where new material pushes it out of the main rotation. i'll know better in a week once we get into rehearsals. but the set will be a mix of new songs and old favorites, like i always do.

KingPaladin266 karma

Hey Watsky, I have two questions. 1. What was your personal favorite song off of the album (mine is "Don't be Nice", but I also really like "Love Letters")? 2. Can we get a music video for "Exquisite Corpse"? I think that'd be the greatest thing ever.

gwatsky18 karma

i think my favorite song on the album is stick to your guns. i really like the lovely thing suite as well. in general i'm jut proud of the project. every song means something to me for a different reason.

get someone to give me a million dollars and i will absolutely make a movie-quality exquisite corpse video.

CaptainJack06 karma

Do you think there'll be another Watskys making an album seaso?

gwatsky10 karma

not in the immediate future. i had a ton of fun doing that but there are other projects i'm more excited about right now

CaptainJack05 karma

Do you think we'll see anything else with you and Bo Burnham?

gwatsky8 karma

i don't know, i hope so. i invited bo to be on the exquisite corpse but i didn't hear back from him. he doesn't really rap anymore, but i wouldn't rule out a collaboration at some point. i have a feeling we're both gonna be making shit for many years

Nova2775 karma

I'm a huge fan and I have to ask what the three biggest influences for xInfinity and All You Can Do are?

gwatsky10 karma

x Infinity has a million influences-- baroque music, jazz, rock, classic hip hop, vampire weekend, a tiny bit of trap. All You Can Do was very much inspired by classic (late 60s) rock

lordviduka4 karma

George, it's wonderful to get an opportunity to (potentially) communicate with you in any way; you're an excellent inspiration for both writers and musicians everywhere, from the quality of your content to your determination. I have a few burning questions - answer as many or few as you would like.

  1. I've been following your development as an artist for four years, since you first stunned me with your more comedic YouTube videos. It was around about the time I heard 'Nothing Like The First Time' that I stopped considering you as a novelty, fast rapping artist and began to appreciate you as a legitimate, fantastic artist in the music industry. My question is, was there a moment that you felt that same transition, or were you always in it to be serious, simply enjoying the funny videos as a side project?

  2. I asked this question elsewhere, but if you could clarify, that would be wonderful: is there any way that I, as a UK citizen, could acquire a CD copy of 'x Infinity'? It immediately jumped up to my 7th favourite album upon first listen, and if at all possible, I must have it. Your merch site was unclear, and I imagine that you're the most reliable source.

  3. Will you be doing a UK tour in the foreseeable future?

  4. What is your opinion of pineapple on pizza?

Thank you for your music, your hard work, your willpower, and everything that you bring to the music industry. In my opinion, you're one of the most underrated lyricists in the world right now; I'll continue to hope that you receive the support and status you deserve. It's been a true pleasure to watch you rise over the last 4 years, here's to many more.

gwatsky11 karma

thanks! let's go in order 1. i have taken myself (perhaps too) seriously since i first started writing at 15 years old. i took the silly stuff seriously too. even in the fast rap video i was trying to show people that i was a good rapper. and yeah, it was intentionally clickbaity, but even then i had a big body of work behind me. the video allowed a lot of people to find me who otherwise wouldn't, but had the negative or creating this viral perception that i then had to work to transcend. 2. you should be able to order it online! i don't know how high the shipping is from amazon or districtlines, but a couple google searches should lead you to it. 3. yes. in october- check my tour dates: georgewatsky.com/tour 4. eh...

PotatoJokes4 karma

Hey Watsky,

I'm not even sure what to say, but I just wanted to let you know that I really love your music and I listen to it very frequently, and I also saw you playing a gig with Wax in Northern Ireland which was an awesome experience.

My one question is though; What prompted the strong change in direction? Your stuff has become a lot less 'funny', and I still enjoy it, but it sure has been a massive change.

gwatsky7 karma

hey man, thanks for coming in N Ireland. i don't know if i agree with the assessment of my stuff getting less funny. maybe a little bit, but i wouldn't say drastic.

Sure, my mixtapes were pretty silly, but they were always intended as lighter projects. look at my 4 studio albums: Watsky, way back in '09, Cardboard Castles, All You Can Do and now x Infinity. Each of them had a majority of serious vs funny tracks. And x Infinity has its silly songs: Pink Lemonade, Springtime in New York, Don't Be Nice, Going Down, Exquisite Corpse. I'm getting older and maybe a little more serious, but I think the extent of the change may be perceived.

fatmofoingbagel4 karma

How did you find out that you could write such poignant poetry, and how did you get the courage to show people?

I've written poems in the past but never had the courage to show anyone - but then how do I know if it's good?

gwatsky15 karma

you just have to throw yourself up on stage and be willing to risk failure. the most important thing to remember, is that if you bomb the first time, or the second time, or the third time IT'S NOT A BIG DEAL. it takes a long time to get good at writing and performing, and your world will not unravel if you don't kill it starting out. the key is being willing to let yourself fail, to learn from it and keep improving. the gratifying experiences will come

dankchickennuggets4 karma

Watsky! I loved you from the start, but I knew it was meant to be when I heard "Seizure Boy" and found I'm able to relate 100%. I was diagnosed with epilepsy almost 3 years ago after intense carbon monoxide poisoning. My seizures have slowed down quite drastically--went from having 3-4 a month, to 1 every other month! Have you had epilepsy your whole life? Do you have auras? How have you been able to overcome the 'embarrassment' factor?

gwatsky12 karma

i had a couple seizures in 7th grade, then was seizure-free for years. then starting a couple years ago, they came back and i had four more. i have had auras, but increasingly not. i haven't had a seizure since thanksgiving.

i was embarrassed in middle school, because no one wants that kind of attention, but i'm not anymore. plenty of people have their own medical issues, and it's nothing to be ashamed of.

oceankta3 karma

Hey George! I had a busy weekend and I am just now going to play your album for the first time. What is something I should know before I experience it?

gwatsky10 karma

listen in headphones in the correct track order. enjoy!

Oblivion98732 karma

Hey Watsky, I love the new album. Admittedly I was lukewarm on the last 2 but this one I think you nailed it. Anyway, on to the question:

Do you ever intend to do an album/EP full of the noisey sound featured on songs like Midnight Hearts? I, personally, would love it.

gwatsky3 karma

thanks man, i love to hear that.

there's a lot of distortion on my vocals all over this album- chemical angel, pink lemonade, brave new world. but yeah, midnight heart was the most distorted. i wouldn't rule out going further in that direction. but i'm not thinking about the next project yet. still trying to get this one into the world and tour off it and then i'll think about the next one

captainlegs2 karma

Hey watsky. What was your inspiration for exquisite corpse? I really like the storytelling aspect of it and it's a great song. Also, do you think there might be a music video for it potentially?

gwatsky6 karma

since i had no guest rappers on the album, i was playing around in the studio with the idea of a massive bonus track that was all collabos. kush and i were joking about doing it like an exquisite corpse storytelling game, and gradually it dawned on us..... dude, that would be dope. i'd like to do a music video for it at some point. might have to wait a good while though

CorwinMusic2 karma

Hi George!

What was it like to take some of the stories you had told in songs/spoken word and translate them to the written word for How To Ruin Everything? (ie. Pauly Shore Saw My Penis, etc.)

I love you man, keep doing your thing.

gwatsky3 karma

Translating my personal stories to essays actually showed me that I prefer to share my life through song and poetry. I appreciate the abstraction. Sure, you can be creative in prose, but there is a lot of freedom in not needing to follow a narrative arc.

So I think I do have a future in prose writing, but it's more likely to be fiction, screenplays etc. than writing more personal essays.

Jadynpuckett1232 karma

What are the best and worst parts of being on the road?

gwatsky2 karma

best part is seeing the world and playing music with your friends. worst part is exhaustion and eventually your best friends start to annoy the shit out of you.

SpencerNaomi1 karma

Hey Watsky! I'm a huge Irish fan, will you be meeting your fans after the show?! Cant wait

gwatsky2 karma

I always stay after! If you stick around long enough we'll get to chat

sidgang3241 karma

If you were to suddenly develop a stutter, what would you do for the rest of your life?

P.S. The new album is amazing.

gwatsky3 karma

i'd have to write a poem about stutters i guess.

i'd probably just play centerfield and bat cleanup for the giants