We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabe Shaddow and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gabe, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Taking risks is everything. PLEASE understand you only have life what’s there to lose? Are you scared you’ll be judged? Remember people won’t remember you or anything tomorrow if things flop, but they’ll remember you when you’re on. I really stand by the quote “You miss all the shots you don’t take.” Look to succeed within your goals you’re going to need to take risks. You need to feel comfortable feeling uncomfortable, once you achieve that you’re really invincible. For me risks 100% got me to where I am. From sneaking in shows, backstages to engaging in conversations even if the timing felt wrong and so on. To add to that I don’t really believe in perfect timing. I know there’s somewhat better timing, but you’ll definitely miss out if you don’t take the “RISK” that’s what it’s all about. Shoot for the moon…
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe in the millions of paths and doors that haven’t been opened or paved. I don’t believe in rules and I don’t really look up to many people. I always heard “don’t be a master of all trades” I tried to understand it for a long time and really tried to follow that belief. But honestly, you only have this life to do what makes you happy even if it’s 10 very different things. Water all the plants! Have a garden, yes it will take longer but great things take time and you should feel encouraged, especially if it has never been done. Sure, focus on one thing at a time and master it I get it. They say you have to spend your 10,000 hours to master one thing. Yes, I’ve watched the secret 50 times but the thing is I really hate being in a box or categorized even as an overall creative or artist. I do a lot and to me, it makes sense how I got here it’s weird but it makes sense. Funny because I’ve always had labels asking me “so what exactly do you do? We know you do a lot but what can we call you.” Art is vision so bring it to life. If you like what I’ve created, trust me with anything creative. I’m the biggest critic and I’m super blunt but that’s what seemed to work for me. Right now in my life, I brand and run socials for Taylor Gang, Wiz Khalifa, Tapped in, and some other companies. Basically, it’s knowledge of algorithms/engagements, a lot of graphic design, and being able to produce on-the-go shoots. Also, I’m Taylor Gang’s E-Sports coordinator, my obsession for Twitch over the last five years got me here don’t ask.. I shoot, produce & edit Tapped in Podcast episodes weekly. Make beats every day and do all my other work at the studio before the cooking begins. Right now I’m working on my second cut and sew jacket release for the end of the year since I haven’t dropped anything for a couple of years. I was going to do a coffee table book but I think I’ll do that in five years so the photos age more. I really want to do a gallery with a muted short film playing on a wall the whole time, we’ll get there. Was it easy getting here you ask? To be honest, everything is easy. We just make it hard, in order to be successful in what you’re looking for requires hard work, and a lot of people aren’t built for it. The only way to fail is to stop. But it’s really who I am, I was raised creative it just took a lot of grinding and the understanding to not be attached to your art for me to move forward. The biggest lesson I learned was from trial and error, taking risks which I’d call finessing. Every second there’s an opportunity are you going to take it or let it slip by? I hate to think what if… and yes I still shoot photos, videos I’m most likely going back on tour this year. Shoutout to the pandemic for reinspiring me so stay tuned.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’d definitely go over the top with the dining, So Alexanders Steakhouse, Toca Madera, Castaway, or Javier’s for the dinners. Lunch would be Cho Cho San sushi (I’ve been to every Nobu in the world and Cho Cho San sushi Is still winning). Have to hit the Mexican spots up when you’re in LA, so Salsa and Beer or Melodys for that. For breakfast, we can walk to Urth Cafe or drive over to Vivians. Maybe hit EP & LP or 40 Love as evening bars before club but only when my clients have hostings nothing beats that. The next day, since I miss Disneyland we’re 100% hitting that and Downtown Disney for a late movie with some Cinnabon afterward. For sure we’ll have to sneak into some private beaches in Malibu, go for a rare hike, and shop on La Brea maybe the Grove too since it’s been so long. Also, the museums out here are great, LACMA and The Broad are a must. The gardens in Pasadena are so refreshing even you don’t care for nature it’s such a vibe. The Hungtington Library, Descanso Gardens, and The Arboretum with the peacocks are gems too.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mom was definitely supportive of anything I chose to do. She was a single parent mother doing the best for her only child. I didn’t have a lot growing up and my dad left when I was young but my mom did everything she could to provide working two different jobs. My mom was an artist and she’d trade her paintings for my school tuition or dentist appointments and did whatever it was for me to have the best education and experience growing up.
My grandparents, if it weren’t for them we would’ve been homeless. My grandparents were really my parents in life. They really showed me the ropes on how to be a man, how to work hard, have manners, and be a good person. My mom was an artist, always moving around, and was super busy in her world. My dad was gone before I knew it, living in Europe. He was a composer doing movies, tv scores, and albums. I never really saw or spoke to him till much later on but one thing that always echoed in the back of my head was the thought that II was doing all this to prove something.. maybe a lot of motivation came from that, I honestly question that every day. And I want to say Rest in Peace to my grandma Judith Shaddow
My day 1 Drew (Owner of Homme+Femme LA) I started off as a photographer shooting mostly concerts and fashion. One of my friends David Weeks was in the fashion world and brought me around this guy named Drew. I loved his brand before I even knew him. Drew and I kicked off right away from ideas to everything creative (I really think it’s because we were both Aquarius’s) we had the same brain. At first, I was shooting lookbooks, traveling with the gang, and studying everything Drew would do since I had a love for streetwear. Drew really took me in as a brother and helped me chase my vision. We went to Hawaii back in 2013 and linked with Trinidad James to shoot brand content. The whole experience really showed me a side to touring in music which really inspired me to my next chapter.
Ty Dolla $ign, definitely is my big brother in life. Through thick and thin.. If it wasn’t for Ty I wouldn’t have traveled the world multiple times, had articles like this, or even had some sort of buzz online from photography. Surprisingly over the last three years I’ve spent a lot of time making beats with Ty and ended up producing two songs on the “Featuring Ty Dolla $ign” album which was huge for me. “Lift Me Up” & “Nothing like your Exes” I honestly can’t say enough about Ty he really changed my life and I’m actually writing this in a studio session with him right now haha. He’s really the brother I never had and we think exactly the same.
Tapped in Podcast, this is the future of hip-hop podcasts. We don’t spread rumors or have anything to hide and keep things very organic. One of my best friends from middle school Mark and I were talking about Instagram marketing one day and came up with Tapped in as a hip-hop blog. After a couple of months, we pumped it up to 10k insta followers, getting 1Million impressions a day and I told Mark “we should have a podcast since we’re getting so much viewership.” I knew the perfect person and have always wanted to collaborate with him on something. Kevin, who I went to High School with, oddly we weren’t friends in school but I reached out to him on Facebook after we graduated when I was going through relationship problems. He was really always a psychologist and knew how to speak to people, something about him really made me trust him. We got really close as friends, we would go to underground rap shows like HAMONEVERYTHING & Low-End Theory which inspired the hell out of me early on. We were really in the culture scene when people weren’t even saying that word. If you know what I mean. Anyways shoutout to this man because he was the one I called up for the Tapped in Podcast. Later on, we were in need of a co-host to add another element to the show. I had met this dude named JuJu in Dubai when I was touring with Ty back in 2017. Juju was Neyo’s day-to-day manager and for some reason, we were both from the valley. What a coincidence. Juju really had a dope vibe and was super cool to talk to, a mixture of LA and the valley scene which really set a tone. So I hit him up and he was super down to come on board, now we’re 67 episodes deep! Tapped in Podcast is really a family and also it’s my baby.. I promise you it’s growing to be something very special. Just wait on it.
Can’t forget James Royo, man, he is my brother for real.. The music journey is only beginning and I can’t wait for you all to dance to these records in the clubs. James and I were cooking up beats for three years, we experienced the pandemic in the studio, and we’re still in the studio as this winds down. I met James when he was working with DJ Mustard back in the day since Ty and Mustard were always together. This man is the GOAT when it comes to mixing and drums, he totally looked out for me and helped me develop my sound as a producer. I got my first real placements with him and he really showed me the game.
Last and definitely not least my friends. I’ve always had good people around me, super supportive, and some funny ass good people too. To this day I keep up with my friends from middle school, they’re really the closest ones to me.