Gyfted
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Gyfted

Columbus, Ohio, United States | SELF

Columbus, Ohio, United States | SELF
Band R&B Hip Hop

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Gyfted, a young rapper from Columbus, Ohio, reminds me of Nelly with his track "Can't Stop" in that it's topped full of catchy hooks with smooth vocals in an almost sing-song type of way, much like Nelly's style. But, Gyfted can flip styles like so many good rappers can, and in his other track "Strangers" (featuring Soulful and Skeptikal) his style changes to something more reminiscent of Eminem. However, that impression doesn't last long as he switches it up again and comes off with a more hardcore edge in his track "Menace 2 The Game." What I liked the most about Gyfted's music is that it was never the same, it was always changing, always flowing and always offering something different. I can see Gyfted taking his music even further in the future and hopefully it'll catch on with the rest of the world, as much like his name states he is a gifted artist.

- Wednesday Elektra (Space Junkies Magazine) - Space Junkies Magazine


Gyfted, a young rapper from Columbus, Ohio, reminds me of Nelly with his track "Can't Stop" in that it's topped full of catchy hooks with smooth vocals in an almost sing-song type of way, much like Nelly's style. But, Gyfted can flip styles like so many good rappers can, and in his other track "Strangers" (featuring Soulful and Skeptikal) his style changes to something more reminiscent of Eminem. However, that impression doesn't last long as he switches it up again and comes off with a more hardcore edge in his track "Menace 2 The Game." What I liked the most about Gyfted's music is that it was never the same, it was always changing, always flowing and always offering something different. I can see Gyfted taking his music even further in the future and hopefully it'll catch on with the rest of the world, as much like his name states he is a gifted artist.

- Wednesday Elektra (Space Junkies Magazine) - Space Junkies Magazine


"Gyfted was amazing! The students stuck around to watch the performance even with the rain. Normally they don't stick around at all for more than a few moments. But they stayed for the whole show! We really enjoyed the performance and look forward to having him back." - Nikki Ferguson, Marshall University (Huntington, WV)


"Gyfted and his dancers put on a fantastic performance. We would love to have them back again soon!" - Michelle Douglas, Ashland Community Technical College (Ashland, KY)


"Very successful show! Perhaps less covers but even so everyone had a really great time. The dance contest was a hit!" - Zack Frank, Kenyon College (Gambier, OH) - Various Colleges


Gyfted is very talented. His lyrics and style seem very polished. I can only imagine that his shows are really tight. "Smile 4 Me" is a nice uplifting song. I feel the background vocals are interestingly good but need tightening up. "Strangers Ft Soulful" has great female vocals and a great intro. It is a well put together song with great storytelling. It has great production and a nice cross between R&B and Hip Hop. "Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" is a cute song that seems to be designed for the younger teen generation. I feel the same for "I Swear". All of Gyfted's music seems to be put together for specialized commercial target marketing which is great. It seems very well thought out. Kudos to him!!! "Menace 2 the Game" has great production. "We Goin' Fly" is a great high energy song. I really like all Gyfted's songs and have a strong feel that he puts on a great performance. The history of performances seems to reveal that too. I pray he keeps up the good work and stays on track. - Patricia Brower (Brower Entertainment)


Sounds like: Nelly moved to Columbus, teamed with Brent Musburger for sweaty club bouncer

May help the Buckeyes by: Reminding the team, through high-pitched synth loops, of 2002 championship

Blast this en route to: The Nuthouse, Campus

Takes biggest shot at: Nittany Lions, Texas and other opponents

Biggest asset: The best production and flow of the bunch

Biggest flaw: Alienates younger fans unfamiliar with song's complex Nellyville influences

-John Ross, Columbus Alive
- Columbus Alive


November 6, 2005
By KRISTIN STEELE


Many aspiring hip-hop stars rise and fall; however, one local artist hopes to shine a permanent, more positive light on rap music and change its risky reputation. Hip-hop and R&B artist Matt Johnson, 21, released his first album, "Best Kept Secret," Oct. 30. Johnson is also known as "Gyfted." "The best way to describe (my album) would be soulful music on a positive vibe. It's a mix of West Coast, East Coast and a little bit of dirty South," Johnson said.

Johnson chose to relay positive messages through his lyrics because he said he wants to be different than the usual rap artist. "I don't want to fit the mold. Hip-hop celebrates conformity, but I don't want to do that. I want to be unique. It's like when they degrade women; I'm not going to make a song about that to sell music," he said. "I feel like hip-hop is full of negativity tearing people down instead of building people up."

Johnson, who grew up in Ironton but now lives in Columbus, said his idea to change this degrading image might spur from his roots. "I started out as a gospel artist with gospel-based hip-hop. Then I just switched to positive subjects," he said.

Johnson's stage name, Gyfted, was also born from his spiritual upbringings. "My real name, Matthew, means 'gift of God' in Hebrew. Plus, I felt like God gave me this talent, so that's why my name's Gyfted."

Johnson writes his own lyrics. "Life in general inspires me," he said. "It depends on my mood and what I see going on in the world. I write club songs, love songs and just about life to get stuff off my chest."

The artist has performed in several places around the country, including venues in Columbus, the Apollo Theatre in Chicago, Philadelphia and as far west as Colorado. He said he is now planning to perform at several colleges in Ohio, and possibly Marshall University as well. "That's where I belong is on stage. I'm always nervous before, but once I get on there it's like I'm skydiving. It's a huge rush."

Johnson is under his independent label, Wunluvv Entertaiment, right now. His 16-track CD is sold on his Web site, www.gyfted.com. He is looking at Real Life Music, another label out of Chicago, to acquire national distribution of his album into local retail stores.

"I'm still coming up. I'm still working on it. I'm still unsigned, but every day I'm elevating and getting known," Johnson said. "I spent four years studying the industry and getting better. It's only this year that I've been pushing my stuff and perfecting the craft. Waiting until I was good enough has helped."

Johnson said he couldn't have accomplished anything without the support of his family, friends and hometown. "They're going crazy right now. They're really supportive and really excited. It's weird to be a local celebrity."

Johnson works as an audio and visual technician in hotels and is married." She loves my music, but, I don't know if she really likes it or doesn't want to work," he said, laughing.

Johnson advised those interested in the music business to "stay focused, for one; read on the business as much as you can; study other people that made it before you; develop a niche for yourself and don't conform; separate yourself as much as you can ... there's going to be obstacles, but if you really believe in yourself you can do it."


Copyright (c) The Herald-Dispatch. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc. Record Number: hnt5596589 - Herald Dispatch


November 6, 2005
By KRISTIN STEELE


Many aspiring hip-hop stars rise and fall; however, one local artist hopes to shine a permanent, more positive light on rap music and change its risky reputation. Hip-hop and R&B artist Matt Johnson, 21, released his first album, "Best Kept Secret," Oct. 30. Johnson is also known as "Gyfted." "The best way to describe (my album) would be soulful music on a positive vibe. It's a mix of West Coast, East Coast and a little bit of dirty South," Johnson said.

Johnson chose to relay positive messages through his lyrics because he said he wants to be different than the usual rap artist. "I don't want to fit the mold. Hip-hop celebrates conformity, but I don't want to do that. I want to be unique. It's like when they degrade women; I'm not going to make a song about that to sell music," he said. "I feel like hip-hop is full of negativity tearing people down instead of building people up."

Johnson, who grew up in Ironton but now lives in Columbus, said his idea to change this degrading image might spur from his roots. "I started out as a gospel artist with gospel-based hip-hop. Then I just switched to positive subjects," he said.

Johnson's stage name, Gyfted, was also born from his spiritual upbringings. "My real name, Matthew, means 'gift of God' in Hebrew. Plus, I felt like God gave me this talent, so that's why my name's Gyfted."

Johnson writes his own lyrics. "Life in general inspires me," he said. "It depends on my mood and what I see going on in the world. I write club songs, love songs and just about life to get stuff off my chest."

The artist has performed in several places around the country, including venues in Columbus, the Apollo Theatre in Chicago, Philadelphia and as far west as Colorado. He said he is now planning to perform at several colleges in Ohio, and possibly Marshall University as well. "That's where I belong is on stage. I'm always nervous before, but once I get on there it's like I'm skydiving. It's a huge rush."

Johnson is under his independent label, Wunluvv Entertaiment, right now. His 16-track CD is sold on his Web site, www.gyfted.com. He is looking at Real Life Music, another label out of Chicago, to acquire national distribution of his album into local retail stores.

"I'm still coming up. I'm still working on it. I'm still unsigned, but every day I'm elevating and getting known," Johnson said. "I spent four years studying the industry and getting better. It's only this year that I've been pushing my stuff and perfecting the craft. Waiting until I was good enough has helped."

Johnson said he couldn't have accomplished anything without the support of his family, friends and hometown. "They're going crazy right now. They're really supportive and really excited. It's weird to be a local celebrity."

Johnson works as an audio and visual technician in hotels and is married." She loves my music, but, I don't know if she really likes it or doesn't want to work," he said, laughing.

Johnson advised those interested in the music business to "stay focused, for one; read on the business as much as you can; study other people that made it before you; develop a niche for yourself and don't conform; separate yourself as much as you can ... there's going to be obstacles, but if you really believe in yourself you can do it."


Copyright (c) The Herald-Dispatch. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc. Record Number: hnt5596589 - Herald Dispatch


Discography

ALBUMS:
"Gyfted: Best Kept Secret" (2005)

MIXTAPE APPEARANCES:
"Enemy Child Presents: The Warriors Mixtape Volume 1" (2005)

"This Click Records: Serious Series Mixtape Volume 3" (2005)

"This Click Records: Serious Series Mixtape Volume 2" (2004)

VIDEO GAME APPEARANCES:
"Pump It Up: New Xenesis" [Arcade] (2006)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

In a culture where violence and female degradation are prevalent, Columbus hip hop artist Gyfted brings a new flavor to the table. Gyfted has an outlook that far surpasses the shortsighted vision of many of the mainstream artists of today. The recent release of Gyfted's debut CD "Best Kept Secret" reflects his unique insight, with tracks such as "Raisin the Bar", "We Goin Fly", "Stop Fallin", and several others. Gyfted has the unmatched ability to deliver sharp lyricism that provides much needed inspiration while coming with musical backgrounds that can easily be heard in the club or on the radio. One of Gyfted's major influences is Will Smith, although Gyfted draws much inspiration from legendary R&B artists such as Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, Usher, and Smokey Robinson. Gyfted believes in himself and his music, and there are thousands of others across the nation who share this same belief. The number of Gyfted bookings has skyrocketed, and the demand for Gyfted performances across the country will continue to increase as word continues to spread about this talented, young artist. Gyfted has already performed in big time venues, such as the Apollo Theater in Chicago, and Nationwide Arena in his home base of Columbus, Ohio. Gyfted has a certain stage presence, and puts passion and energy into all of his performances with the help of the WunLuvv Dance Team. The sky is the limit for Gyfted... and he’s bringing his fans along with him. Gyfted IS hip hop’s next generation.