"Too many people are just about the money and not about the best interest of the artist. But, with that said, you got to have a good sense of business plus talent. I look at my industry like a banker looks at his. We are both in the biz that involves people's emotions."
When it comes to keeping business in check, Gelow (nicknamed by his Dad and short for Angelo) has risked a lot to keep it honest, to keep it true, and keep it in his circle.
At the age of ten, the Los Angeles representative started playing trumpet...piano and dreaming of becoming a performer and record producer. "My earliest musical influences were back in '87 with Run DMC's re-make of Areosmith's Walk this Way, Kurupt and WU Tang, Kool G Rap. And of course, my Dad, Tony Costa, one of the mighty jazz pianists with hands of gold," as Gelow states. "Today, I am motivated by my own inborn drive to make good music. You gotta make hits," he added "Bottom line is you have to make hits and you just never know which one is going to take off."
Gelow defines himself as producer who has sensitivity to the artist and the message they are trying to get across. "There's a lot of great undiscovered talent just waiting to pop. Working hard towards the day the public say it's Platinum. It's a good feeling I get when I finish an album for a new artist and it's hot. That makes my day."
Gelow got his start while in his early teens and absent of recording equipment. He would layer one track on top of the other by recording back and forth between two tape decks until he got the effects he liked. In the early 90's, after performing as DJ at Hollywood and Valley parties he got his feet wet producing friends, he moved to the East Coast where he started his career.
After several years in New York and Pennsylvania he returned to LA to build his home based studio. - "Westbound Studios," it is full service recording studio complete with vocal booth, control room and state-of-the-art equipment. Sitting opposite him while he punches in multiple tracks he explained, "The word has spread about my tracks and artists come to me through word of mouth. I have had music on the big screen...to HBO...to albums and demos. I also have a mad catalogue of tracks and songs and now I am looking for a manager."
In the background a hot tape was playing. I asked Gelow about the rapper I was listening to and he stated, "That's me. I write, rap and produce my own songs and it's because of this, I have the connection to other artists. My songs are personal like To Be Me and On with the Show and I did a Hip Hop commercials for Budweiser, Seagram's and 180."
Gelow continued, "I have performed at the Viper Room and House of Blues as the other half of the group Caliban. The only other thing that beats the high I get from performing is my passion for writing."
With a name like Angelo Rosita Costa, there is no mistaking he's Italian. I find Gelow to be an open, low-key person who has self-confidence and intensity. I was surprised to learn he is only 26 as he speaks with experience - someone who knows the ropes. When I asked him what he likes to do for fun, he pulled out a Glock .45 handguns from under his desk and placed it carefully in my hands. It turns out he is an expert marksman who goes to the woods and firing range when he gets the opportunity. Finishing up my interview with him, I asked where he saw himself in three years. He turned back to the board and hit another track and answered, "I am working on several new projects and have a movie in the wings for tracks in a Disney film. Tough to say, as things can change in the next three hours!"
More information about Gelow - Samples and Studio
Westbound Studios (310) 985-5509
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