Hip-Hop isn’t Just My Passion. It’s a Way of Life,” Says Giorgi Okuashvili

In contrast to most other hip-hop artists, Giorgi Okuashvili comes from an affluent background. His father, Zaza Okuashvili, is a prominent businessperson, while his mother, Nato Chkheidze, is a Georgian parliament member. His family has also been involved in the entertainment industry since they owned a TV station called TV Iberia from 1998 to 2004. The Georgian government then shut down the TV station before it relaunched in 2015. However, it was once again illegally shut down in 2018.

As a result, Giorgi grew up with access to Western entertainment. He loved listening to Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, when growing up. The hit maker’s silky vocals, electric dance moves, and stage presence captivated him, inspiring him to pursue music. His parents enrolled him in a piano school where he received a certification. He also credits his piano teacher, Marina, for his success because she helped him get started by teaching him to play the instrument and hit the right notes.

Today, Giorgi Okuashvili is one of Georgia’s most prominent hip-hop stars who looks set to make a name for himself globally. He has eschewed his piano and pop background for hip-hop, targeting an audience between 18 and 30 who can relate to his life experiences and enjoy rap music. 

Getting started in hip-hop wasn’t easy, especially as someone who wasn’t from the USA. The rap and hip-hop scene is well established in the United States but not as formidable overseas. Moreover, Giorgi had to encounter several challenges and obstacles in his journey to becoming a hip-hop sensation. Despite these hurdles, this ambitious artist never backed down. He faced them with all his might because he knew being a rapper was what he truly wanted in life. 

Talking about music, he shares, “Hip-hop isn’t my passion. It’s a way of life. I love everything about the genre because it’s raw and authentic. It’s honest. I had so many chances to give up on my dream.” The musician further went on to say, “People often say that failure isn’t an option, but that’s not true. Failure is the most readily available option that you can take at any moment. But it’s the coward’s way out. I believe you should never give up on your dream. You might sometimes need to take a step back and re-evaluate things when life isn’t going your way. But you only need a year or two to readjust. Don’t ever give up on your dream.”

Artists today face various problems when trying to ensure their music reaches the masses. Releasing music to a global audience has become easier than ever, particularly because of the internet. Services like TuneCore and Bandcamp allow artists to release their works on all major digital streaming platforms for a small annual fee and with the click of a single button. This ease has also resulted in the market becoming saturated. Platforms like Spotify, Deezer, and Apple Music have over 100 million songs on them cumulatively. Most listeners will never hear more than a few thousand tracks. Thus, reaching your target audience has become challenging. 

Hence, artists spend more money than ever on promotion to ensure they get listeners on their tracks. Giorgi details artists’ struggles by saying, “I think everyone in this industry faces the same challenges, such as finding true talent. There are many good and professional singers around the world. However, we don’t know them because maybe they don’t have financial independence or big record labels haven’t found them yet. Being a singer nowadays requires money to share your music or to promote it.” 
This revelation also prompted Giorgi Okuashvili to start his own record label, GSquad. While the label hasn’t made strides since its formation in 2016, the musician believes 2023 will be a pivotal year for it. He plans to kickstart the careers of many promising artists by featuring them on his latest upcoming album, which will also showcase a different side of the world to hip-hop fans.