Tama Gucci brings his journal musings to life in ‘Notes to Self’

Tama Gucci’s creativity knows no bounds. It’s why the multi-hyphenate goes from developing music for Prabal Gurung and Laquan Smith’s Fashion Week shows with his partner Matthew Mazur, to creating his own apparel and clothing line called Tama’s Corner, and then modeling for Telfar. With a resume that continues to lengthen, Tama’s now flexing his artistry with his upcoming debut album.

Two years after the release of his EP Almost Blue, Tama is back with Notes to Self, and a new single titled “Runaway Pup.” The NYC-based creative’s new album is described as an amalgamation of “reimagined Notes app musings and journal entries” that center self-growth, happiness, and lessons learned over romantic and brooding tracks.

INTO chatted with Paper Magazine‘s “Coolest Person in the Room” to dish about his upcoming record, reveal which rap queen is his dream collaborator, and uncover which notes he’s written to himself lately.

What’s the inspiration behind your new single “Runaway Pup” and how does this fit into the themes within your debut album Notes to Self?

“Runaway Pup” was recorded when I was on my first tour supporting Erika de Casier and if i’m not mistaken, it was the last tour stop in [Los Angeles]. Jack Slade, who produced it, was in L.A. and asked me if i’d be down to have a studio session after soundcheck and before the show started. We recorded this in one take! This song fits on the album as the moment of clarity when I knew something I was in was not for me. Basically a moment of realization.

Photo credit: Emilio Tamez

Speaking of inspiration, the music video for “Runaway Pup” is a nod to Michael Haneke’s Funny Games, which is one of your favorite movies.

Yes. My creative director and friend, Jonathan Qualtere, showed me the movie and I fell in love with all of the details, and how it was filmed. We really wanted to step outside of our comfort zones and do something major with it.

Your partner, Matthew Mazur, also worked on the styling for the music video and you both have worked together on music in the past. What’s it like working together as a team?

It’s been so sweet to work with Matthew. He inspires me everyday and we have a very good balance of understanding how important music and fashion goes hand and hand! We are very lucky to be able to share both of our worlds with each other!

On the topic of collaborations, who would be a dream to collaborate with musically? 

I’ll say this every time, Nicki Minaj! 

Who are the creatives that have inspired you as of late? 

Lately, I’ve been really inspired by my studio mates; Luisa Opalesky and how she sees a beautiful image with her eyes before she captures it perfectly; my boyfriend, Matthew Mazur, with how he manages to create stories with clothes for his clients and all the work that goes into it; and Donté McGuine who manages to take on any day in a look. [They’re] very committed and hard working I just love them! 

What’s a note to yourself that you’ve written lately?

Honestly, I wrote myself a note to remember what I need to tell my therapist.

Musicians spend a lot of time in nightlife. For you, what’s the perfect night out?

Any night is perfect for me because I love to sleep. So if something goes wrong, I’m calling it a night and I feel better knowing I’m going to sleep. That may sound crazy, but I wake up excited to do everything i need to do so that I can sleep again.

Lastly, what do you hope listeners take away from Notes to Self?

I hope when listeners hear Notes to Self they remember to check in with themselves, go through the motions, write them down, evaluate the situation, process the situation, and remember there’s no specific time frame for this. Just take your time and become smarter and stronger from the situation, whether it’s good or bad.

Notes to Self launches on August 16.

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