nzoa july 2019

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Reviewed by Bridie Chetwin-Kelly

Gino October: Expansion EP

Reviewed by Bridie Chetwin-Kelly

Gino October: Expansion EP

Gino October’s ‘Expansion’, his second EP, really shows a growth in his music. Having gone away for two years and worked on his craft, he brought back something radio and A1 hip hop rotation-worthy.

The first single, Smoke, is a powerful message about success and actually making it, despite the haters, or as he puts it, “smoking the competition”. But for a change, it’s done in a realistic way that resonates with the listener.

As part of his expansion and growth, he collaborated with producers, like Dozey Doe who helped shape Energy and Confidence. Energy is a highlight from the 6-track EP – probably the purest rap sound on the EP.

“It’s the start of new things and good things, I’ve got management now because of it. They reached out to me and someone believed in me enough to support my music and I can focus on just music now, I don’t know everything else. I know music.”

Gunshots is another stand out track. The song, which has South African house influence, is about his cousin who was shot in South Africa, and inspired by Black Lives Matter which was swinging into action around the same time.

“He was shot and killed by the police in South Africa when I was 20 we got this call about it and we went over for the funeral. It was one of those things where I live all the way over in New Zealand and my family is all over in South Africa and you don’t see them for a long period of time. It was really traumatic. When I got back I had this energy and I needed to get into the studio. It was the same time as Black Lives Matter and it was like, woah, they really are trying to kill us.”

That One Time In A Strip Club… refers to, in a comical way, the realness of a strip club and compares other artists almost hyperbolic lyrics to his own, which is to say, it’s not real. With a real RnB feel to it, it’s actually a very strip-club sounding song.