#1st Night of Tour and Place on the Charts: GAYLE performs live in Nashville with special guest Justus Bennetts
It seemed perfectly fitting that after releasing their new single DON’T TRIP GAYLE would invite co-collaborator Justus Bennetts on tour with her!
Justus definitely brought his A-game as an opener, and surely won-over the growing crowd as more fans arrived. He reminded me a bit of artists like 24KGoldn and MASN, but still uniquely himself. Engaging with the crowd with commands such as “make some noise if you went to high school!” you couldn’t help but feel some kind of blend of nostalgic humor and “coming of age” energy… which carried on throughout his set. Performing original tracks alongside a few throw back covers, our favorite and most memorable was his cover of I Write Sins, Not Tragedies. He certainly fits comfortably in the new age of hip-hop, punk cross-over that we’ve been seeing more and more of lately.
About Justus Bennetts
Justus Bennetts knows what it’s like to feel alone. Drawing on the uncertainty and insecurity of adolescence, he crafts genre-blurring pop songs mixed with hip-hop and rock that are meant to comfort anyone who’s ever felt out of place or isolated. Across his 2021 singles—see April’s slow-burning “Nightstand,” the brash, R&B-influenced “Bad Day,” and November’s nostalgic alt-pop cut “Cool Kids”—Justus has demonstrated a unique knack for reaching people where they’re at. That’s been his goal since he was a “confused kid trying to find my way” in Fuquay-Varina, NC.
Thrown into a high school where he didn’t know another soul after a move across the country, he gravitated toward music to process his new surroundings. After working as a car salesman, he decided to take his songs seriously, converting his laundry room into a studio. In that space, his belief that music could be his future was born. Justus has since focused on writing the most magnetic opening lines possible, catching ears right away with lyrics that cut deep. He caught the attention of his manager with the punky revenge anthem “Replace You,” and since then Justus racked up over 120 million global streams in just eight months. But Justus isn’t interested in fleeting success—he wants his songs to resonate. “I just hope people 10 years down the line can still think, ‘Justus makes the most relatable songs,’” he says. “I want to connect with people, and I want people to connect with my music.”
GAYLE is not a new name in the Nashville music scene, but took the world by storm with her discovery by users on TikTok. Launching her career into the mainstream with her hit abcdefu the singer-songwriter quickly became a star. On writing the smash hit which has been sitting comfortably at #1 across charts like Billboard, various radio stations, and more, she shared,
“I wrote ‘abcdefu’ when I was trying really hard to be nice and considerate to my ex. Then I heard through some mutual friends that my ex wasn’t saying the nicest things about me and all bets were off. That song came from a place of trying so hard to be the nice, respectful ex-girlfriend, to the point where it was negatively affecting me It’s about asking, ‘Why am I being so nice to this person who completely took advantage of me? and allowing myself to express my anger about that.”
As abcdefu spread like wildfire across TikTok, “Gen Zers” latched onto the light grunge GAYLE brings to the table, decorated with youthful angst which makes her stories shine through to her audience. Following it’s mainstream pop, the momentum kept it going with a variety of remixes released – the Royal & the Serpent remix certainly stood out to us as we are a big fan of hers!
GAYLE’s first hometown headliner show is certainly one that should leave her smiling after a fun evening. Fans were eager to see her perform the hit, as they grabbed photos of the setlist before she took stage – trying to get a peak at what to expect for the night and groaning they’d have to wait so long to hear the song they came for. They were rejoiced as they recognized her other popular singles scattered throughout the set. Her set featured an array of grungy punk tracks and emotional ballads, which really rang true to her youth and also “coming of age” similarly to her friend Justus.
View the complete photo album here.
Fearlessly honest and undeniably magnetic, 17-year-old singer/songwriter GAYLE creates the kind of self-possessed pop music that’s empowering for both artist and audience. Since making her debut with the boldly confessional “dumbass”—a heavily playlisted track that premiered in early 2020—the Nashville-based musician has independently released a series of singles built on her unfiltered yet beautifully nuanced brand of songwriting. Now signed to Atlantic Records/Arthouse Records, GAYLE is gearing up to share a new batch of songs revealing her larger-than-life personality and willingness to expose her deepest insecurities and desires. Her now RIAA Gold-certified debut Atlantic single “abcdefu” has racked up over 925M streams to date and hit #6 on Billboard’s “Hot 100” after reaching #1 on a range of charts, including sitting at #1 for four consecutive weeks on the Billboard Global 200 and #1 on the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. charts for 6 weeks and counting. Recently featured as YouTube’s “Artist On The Rise,” an Amazon “Artist to Watch 2022,” an MTV February “Global Push Artist,” and one of Billboard’s “21 Under 21: The Ones To Watch,” further press highlights include a Billboard magazine Chartbreakers feature that highlights GAYLE’s chart-topping success with “abcdefu.” GAYLE made her late night network TV debut earlier this year with a captivating interview and electrifying performance of “abcdefu” on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Her follow-up track “ur just horny” is set to be another success, amassing over 15M streams in just the first month of its release. Currently at work on her debut project, GAYLE is intent on making music that offers her listeners a certain emotional freedom.
The tour continues tonight in Nashville, Tennessee for another show at Exit/In. You can buy tickets + view the complete list of tour dates here.