glaive just conquered the hyperpop scene from his bedroom in North Carolina
The 16-year-old has already signed a major record deal and is preparing to release his second EP, 'All Dogs Go To Heaven'.
Images courtesy of the artist
Somewhere deep in North Carolina, a 16-year-old named Ash Gutierrez has had an incredibly productive pandemic. Having always been something of an outsider in his Hendersonville hometown — a place he describes as “very quaint with not much going on” — he has long done his own thing: wearing mismatched nail varnish, whiling away hours on Minecraft and trawling Soundcloud for obscure music. “Growing up, I was always out there and extravagant,” he says, “which was out of place in this town. But I think that just made me want to go even harder and stay true to myself”.
When COVID-19 hit in spring 2020 and remote learning set in, Ash began making and releasing music as glaive (named after a weapon on his fave RPG Dark Souls III), inspired by the likes of Lil Peep, 100 gecs and the young producers hanging out on the Discord servers he frequents. “I used to be a straight-A student, not to toot my own horn, but I’m definitely not a straight A student anymore,” he says. “Making music made me not enjoy school at all and just not find it fun.” It’s just as well, then, that glaive’s energetic warped pop has seen him rocket to success within the hyperpop scene — a post-PC Music movement of upbeat, emo-tinged maximalist electro. His first year as an artist saw him sign a major label record deal, release his debut EP Cypress Grove and build up a ravenous global fanbase.
So far, in 2021, glaive has put out a music video for urgent Cypress Grove track “astrid” which already has well over half a million views on YouTube; collaborated with his contemporary and now-friend ericdoa on “cloak n dagger”; and announced his forthcoming EP All Dogs Go To Heaven (out this spring) with the release of lead single “i wanna slam my head against the wall”. “I’ve been getting a lot of cool opportunities and meeting my peers and people I never imagined I would have met,” he says, of how his life has evolved.
Now on a mission to provide for his parents, to pay them back for having “worked so immensely hard throughout my 16 years”, young glaive hopes that as many people as possible listen to his music and “feel some type of way” about it. Make his dreams come true and experience “astrid” — featuring a small herd of goats, a couple of alpacas and a dancing girl that gives us serious Cassie from Skins vibes — before getting to know glaive a little better via these 10 fun facts.
1. glaive’s earliest musical memory is kind of unexpected
“I remember listening to ‘Roar’ by Katy Perry in my dad's old beat up Honda.”
2. He spent his 16th birthday (20 January) feeling really stressed
“I was putting out “cloak n dagger” with ericdoa the next day, so I was stressed all day. I stayed inside and we had a nice dinner. It was pretty chill.”
3. Despite his success, glaive doesn’t consider himself a serious musician
“I still don’t take music super seriously, I just have fun with it. It got more serious when I got a manager and labels started hitting me up but I’m never going to be a super serious artist.”
4. Music helps him to process complex emotions
“In my songs, I’m telling a story but drawing from real life and real emotions that I’ve experienced. Human emotions don’t really make sense so I try to understand them through music and lyrics.”
5. If the hyperpop scene was a fictional world, glaive reckons it’d be full of dark secrets, enchanted paintings and, well, horcruxes
“[It would look like] Hogwarts.”
5. Wondering what made him want to bang his head against a wall?
“When I made that song, it was definitely school. Online school and quarantine is awful.”
6. He’d love to score a very specific kind of dystopian sci-fi movie
“If they made a musical adaptation of 1984 that would be crazy, I would love to do the music for that.”
7. All Dogs Go To Heaven but if glaive was God, one breed would get a fast track
“I don't want to offend the other dog breeds but for me personally, the dachshund is the best breed. But only because I have two at home, Daisy and Frizzy.”
8. He has two scars on his back
“I got them the first time I went skateboarding.”
9. As you might have noticed, glaive is very tall
“My drivers permit says I’m 6’3.”
10. His plans for 2021 probably look similar to yours
“I just want to keep putting out music and having fun. I want to meet new people. I’m 16, I have to keep experiencing life.”