Five years ago, in a SolShock.com interview, poetess Gia Scott-Heron expressed her gratitude for close family and friends who comforted her during the difficult and grievous time of her father’s passing. As the daughter of the influential poet, musician and author Gil Scott-Heron (1949-2011), Gia takes her rightful place as a literary genius in her own right and honors her father with the same talent and gifts. Her new EP, “The Difference” highlights what sets her apart from her father, as well as what makes them similar. All of this to the tunes of jazz, reggae, blues and hip hop, making ‘The Difference’ her most versatile spoken word music project to date.
At the end of the day, I want people to get a sense of my style as an artist after listening to the very first track,” said Gia in a recent press release. “And each track clearly demonstrates how I am both similar and distinctly different from my Dad and other spoken word artists as well.” The album also shows Gia’s knack for sharp political commentary. We know she got that honest.
As usual, Gia’s strong circle of friends are there to support her as she journeys down the rewarding yet challenging path of full-time artistry and self-employment. Miss Gia, as she is affectionately known, recently resigned from a full-time position she held for almost a decade, to pursue her career as a performance ‘slam’ poet and writer. In this interview, Gia Scott-Heron shares her thoughts on ditching her day job and grabbing the mic full-time.
SolShock: What led you to the decision to quit your ‘day job’ to pursue your art full-time?
Gia Scott-Heron: “I always wanted to be an artist. As a kid I was always dancing around my backyard with a comb in my hand as my microphone singing along to Janet, Michael or Madonna. When I started working 9 to 5, it was at the behest of my family members. They kept talking about how much better it would be for me to get steady income, health insurance, and a routine. I got really complacent and comfortable once I got there too. What was supposed to be a 2 to 3 year job, became 9 years of working at the same desk day in and day out! I had been in a car accident November of 2014, which gave me neck and back problems and exacerbated a condition I was already suffering from (I had been diagnosed and treated for frequent severe migraines shortly after my Father died). This affected my job and my ability to get to work on time. To make a long story short, it became very apparent to me that no matter how hard I tried, my work would never be appreciated, and meanwhile it left me with less time to work on projects I really wanted to get off the ground. So with the little money I had saved up from working there, as well as the accident I decided to leave.
SolShock: Many are encouraged not to ‘quit their day job’. Speaking to other creative 9 to 5’ers, give us a reason why they should.
Gia Scott-Heron: I would never “encourage” someone to quit their day job. I think I am in a unique situation. I am not married, I have no children, I’m single, and I also come from two parents that had a successful run in the entertainment industry.
If this project doesn’t succeed, the only person who suffers is me. That’s how it should be. If you are in a situation where people are depending on you to sustain and maintain a living, then by all means continue to work hard and may the Lord bless you. But I will say if creating art is the last thing you think about before you go to sleep, and the first you think of when you wake up, and if the desire to create keeps nagging you and gnawing at you day in and day out, then you might want to save a nest egg (money) and try to release a project, while still maintaining your position at work. I don’t want nobody homeless out on the street talking ’bout “Gia Scott-Heron told me to quit my job, and now I’m destitute!” I don’t want no parts of that!
Gia Scott-Heron: Well, truth be told, the album could be doing better, but with the limited resources available to me prior to its release, it’s doing fine. I already have my material lined up for a follow up LP. I have a huge library of material because I have been doing this for 15 years already. So I already have pieces ready to go. So when this project picks up a little more speed, I’ll be working on getting some colleagues of mine to collaborate with me on different tracks. I enjoy recording but it’s lonely being on an album all by yourself, so I’m looking forward to working with my friends who are also talented artists in their own right.
Miss Gia is enjoying the influx of EP sales, positive feedback and encouragement she’s received during recent promotional performances of “The Difference”. Listen and enjoy for yourself. The 6-track EP is available on CDBaby now!