The Leader of the Broken Hearts Club
by Isa Barnett
The members of the Broken Hearts Club rushed into a warm, safe space on the evening of January 20th, 2019 in Philadelphia, PA. Their fierce determination to escape the frigid weather led to anticipation of what was to come. These concert goers were in luck, because what was waiting inside the walls of the Fillmore Philly made all fear of the cold fade away.
Three amazing artists spoke truth through their music that night. They were Guardian, Mall Rat and the headlining performer – Gnash. It was a truly unique concert experience, as each artist spoke to the crowd with a genuine voice and built a relationship with every person in the audience.
Twenty-five-year-old Garrett Nash has music in his genes. Following in his father’s footsteps, the artist known as Gnash is a music producer, rapper and singer-songwriter from Los Angeles. He gained notoriety in 2016 with his über-popular song “I Hate U, I Love U,” featuring Olivia O’Brien. That song, which was dubbed “the best breakup song of the year,” peaked in the top ten of the Billboard charts and gave Gnash a whole lot of buzz in the music industry.
Needing some time to deal with that success, Gnash took something of a musical hiatus, while still releasing a few singles and being featured in work from other artists – including MAX’s hit song “Lights Down Low.” Now, Gnash is back with his debut full-length album we. Thankfully, his fans are incredibly satisfied with the new sound and are continuing to be faithful to the artist and his music.
After struggling with mental health, Gnash decided to use his musical platform to tear down stereotypes. He uses his tour to create a safe environment for his fans to express themselves through meditation and arts & crafts. we stayed faithful to the true sound of Gnash as an artist but added even more energy to what was already an amazing setlist. Part of the experience of the tour are Broken Hearts Club meetings. Happening all over the U.S, with no charge to the attendees, just simply a space to hear music and feel good. Gnash has no doubt used his platform in a way that no other artist has.
Along with many concert attendees, Gnash’s social media exemplifies his presence very well, with huge Instagram and Twitter followings. However, the mind-boggling numbers shoot up incredibly as the subscribers to his YouTube channel reach a record-breaking 1.5 million. Gnash is most definitely an artist not to be forgotten. We recently chatted with him to learn about his music, his tour and how he gives back to his fans.
Could you start by sharing a little about what you do as an artist?
Yeah, sure! My name is Garrett Nash. I am an artist under the name Gnash. I write songs about my feelings. I just put out a debut album called we. I hope all of us share the same feelings that I talk about on there, because that was the goal of the album.
Awesome. Your first blow-out song, “I Hate U, I Love U” was released in 2016 and went four times Platinum. Could you elaborate on that experience?
Definitely an emotional roller coaster. I am extremely thankful for that song and for Olivia for bringing it to me. I originally put it out on SoundCloud in 2015 and then it got its promotional release in 2016. It was definitely life changing for me. Something that I understand is lightning in a bottle and that doesn’t happen to people. I’m really thankful for that. At the same time, it was a super emotionally bearing song. Doing the press for it, traveling and playing it over and over, was emotionally really tough on me to. That’s why I took a couple of years to work on new music: to just figure out who I was and the message I wanted to deliver to the world after experiencing all the amazing things that song brought to me. What I figured out is that I wanted to write songs for we.
That definitely segues into our next question. How do you think your writing style has changed, since “I Hate U, I Love U?”
I would say I am much prouder of who I am as a person over these last couple of years. I moved into my own house. I guess I feel more like an adult. I’ve grown up a lot. I think that for perspective it’s important to keep in mind that people have lives and jobs and things they do every day. As a songwriter it’s important to not get wrapped up in the meshuggah of how you feel on a day to day basis, because there are bigger feelings that everyone can connect with and feel. For example, I’m having a weird day. Right? I just want to sit around in my pajamas – like I’m [doing] today. Maybe the detailed people aren’t going to care so much about it. Why? Because I had a weird show last night or I drank too much. What they do maybe want to hear about is the news is really sad lately. Those are things I connect with too. When I turn on the TV, I want to watch it with the sound off. I think that the perspective is the biggest thing that I’ve grown into. That’s why the cover is a garden, because I wanted to show there has been a lot of growth going on here. I want to display that.
That’s beautiful. So. you did just release your debut album, which is incredible. Congratulations on that.
How have your fans reacted to the new music?
It’s been fantastic. I was actually just talking about this while I was working on arts & crafts, which is part of the VIP package on this tour. I was saying I have all these other songs which I can go back to and put out, but I have the dream scenario. Everyone that is hearing my new album is saying “Man, this is amazing. We love your new music!” That’s a very rare scenario. Normally it’s like, “Aww, we like the old shit.” But in this case, everybody really seems to like the new stuff. I was super conscious of sticking true to the sound of my old [EPs]. With songs like “Weight” or “Be,” sounds like that. But also advancing the sound with “Happy Never After,” “Insane,” “Imagine This” and “Broken Hearts Club” even so. People are reacting to it amazingly. The fact that anyone wants to listen to it, I’m grateful for. I was a little worried before it came out, if anyone was going to listen to it. Then I tweeted something, “If you’re excited, favorite this.” It got over a thousand favorites and I was like, okay great! So now a thousand people are going to listen to my album. Again, even if one person did, if my mom likes it… I have this theory called the One Like Theory, which is that if I like something then that’s what matters. I gave it one like when I made it, and now a lot of people are liking it.
A lot of your work has some really powerful messages and you are very open about mental health issues. How do you hope your music and message and personal input impacts people?
That is something is really important we work on, that we don’t allow things like mental health become taboo to discuss or bring up. For me, they’re not issues. They’re little imperfections that make us perfect. I think it’s important that we as people connect with something or someone else. Or you’re just a person existing in a day-to-day life. I’m just trying to give people a vehicle to discuss how they feel with the people who are close to them. I know sometimes I feel like I don’t have anyone to talk to. That’s why I make songs about it. I can’t imagine what it would be like for someone who doesn’t necessarily have a creative output that they concentrate on and how overwhelming that might start to feel. When I started Dear Insecurity, it truly took me eight months to really truthfully confess the things I think about. I did about 65 different versions of that song. Before I was like: “No, this is honestly how I feel.” This is something I can wrestle with and this something I can hear. I hope to open the door to discuss how they feel. I see other artists doing the same. What a really beautiful time in life to talk about mental health. To talk about people growing, people feeling better. Because, really, at the end of the day that’s why I do what I do. That is to help people feel better.
I guess a large part of that must be taking the music on tour as well, with the Broken Hearts Club Tour. That has officially begun! How has this experience taken your career to another level, in terms of just being able to connect with your fans, face to face?
I think that the tour is the ultimate, like dojo, per se. Where I can bring people in that love my music, so I can bring the music to them. Beyond the show, what we do, like I mentioned earlier, is the arts and crafts session. Where everyone makes slime, or last night we did a picture frame with popsicle sticks. Then after the show we do a Broken Hearts Club meeting for people who are in the Broken Hearts Club. SNF. We give passes out throughout the night, kind of like a Disneyland type thing for free. We do a group meditation. I talk about some things I’m thinking about and questions and we all discuss. I encourage everybody to make friends with one another. So really, is the Broken Hearts Tour benefiting my career in the grand line? Maybe. But do I know in a day-to-day way that it is helping people. That was the goal when we started tour. I have accomplished that goal and will continue to accomplish that goal. I am really proud of that.
I’m going to be attending your concert in Philadelphia. It’s going to be great to see the whole event come alive!
That’s awesome! We love playing in Philly. That’s a great city.
We love to hear that. I was actually going to ask what’s one stop on the tour you are most looking forward to? You don’t have to say Philly.
It’s funny, every city I go to there is something special about it. For example, I’m in Nashville right now. People here see a lot of shows right? It was a quieter crowd. They were more listening to the lyrics and not moving around as much, per se. But I love Nashville. I have a lot of friends here. With Orlando, they were loud and awesome. I’m looking forward to Philly because I get to eat like crazy that day, because the food there is so fire. Also, I know people love music there. There will be a lot of hugs because there is so much love there. I look forward to DC because I get to go see all the monuments and I have friends there. Every city has its little thing to it that I look forward to it in a different way. That’s the stuff that keeps me going on a day-to-day basis. I’m going to get to my Airbnb and were going to chill and it’s going to be awesome. Even a lot of days are insane, I just feel like I’m losing my mind. When you’re traveling like this you can’t have a daily routine. I can’t journal always before I go to bed, because I’m so exhausted or I don’t want to read. I just want to be at home, or I miss my cat or whatever it is. It starts to really lag on me, so little things like that I start to look forward to while I’m traveling.
Do you have any final words or a message you’d like to leave our readers with?
I just want to say thanks for listening and I love you. I hope you feel better and I guarantee you’re not alone in however you feel. I know there is somebody else out there in the world who understands. If you want to become a member of the Broken Hearts Club, I’m pretty sure you’ll make a couple new friends there at the show.
Thank you so much! I’m really excited to come to your show!
I really hope you enjoy it! I’m looking forward to eating a whole lotta bread and cheese in Philly!
Copyright ©2019 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: January 24, 2019.
Photos by Ari Lafayette © 2019.