To French-Colombian multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Garzón-Montano, genre has never been a consideration. This is apparent in his laundry list of musical influences that range from Stevie Wonder to Jeff Buckley to Radiohead, and is reflected in his small, yet impressive discography that draws from styles of funk, soul, R&B and reggaeton, to name a few. After listening to his work, I am frankly surprised he hasn’t reached a wider audience. In fact, you may have heard GGM’s work already and haven’t realized it yet: his track “6 8”, featuring his fragile voice cradled by soft piano chords and patient percussion, was sampled in Drake’s hit “Jungle”. H.E.R’s cover of the same song earned him a Grammy nomination as a songwriter.
His 2014 EP Bishouné: Alma del Huila was his introduction to the world and contains “6 8”, the song that put him on the map. All instruments and vocals were painstakingly recorded to tape by GGM himself to achieve a warm, organic sound. “Everything is Everything”, with its syncopated vocal harmonies, funky bassline, and addictive chorus, speaks of solidarity in the face of universal suffering – easily one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard in the past few years. Another highlight is “Keep on Running” which features plunky piano stabs and woozy organs, on top of which GGM sings about the dangers of running from one’s problems.
2017 saw the release of GGM’s debut studio album, Jardín. As a concept album, many of its tracks contain recurring motifs of fruits and plant life, giving the project a strong sense of cohesion. Standouts include “Fruitflies”, which showcases GGM’s vocal prowess, and “Crawl”, whose rubbery bass and backing vocals serve as a callback to Bishouné’s funk sensibilities.
Gabriel Garzón-Montano has proven himself to be a gifted singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, all at the beginning of his career. I can’t wait to see what he does next!