Sam Gellaitry never wasted time with school because “it suffocates creativity” and he realized that his true calling in life would not be affected by petty grades. Gellaitry was seriously unmotivated to achieve high marks in school and he found himself distracted by things like music.
I guessed I realized when I wasn’t doing well in school. My distraction from school was to make way for attention to other things, which turned out to be the music. School kind of paints the picture where if you’re not doing well in the academic side then you’re not doing well in anything else. I guess that really put me off and got me avoiding homework and stuff just to make beats. When I was 14 to 16 years old I was realizing that I don’t need the grades to do what I want to do in life. I don’t need to stick it at school and work hard, getting myself into that stressful situation with grades because it’s not anything that’s going to benefit my career and I knew this was the reason why I wasn’t doing well in school, the reason why I was put here and had to chase the dream which I was given.
Gellaitry left school at sixteen with “pretty standard grades” to study music production at a college. The program he entered dealt with the program Reason, but after three weeks his lecturer told him that he had nothing to teach him. The aspiring artist essentially mastered the art of production through excess use of Fruity Loops. After that year of college, Gellaitry’s whole life changed.
So then, after that year of college, a week after I left college, all of this attraction on Soundcloud came and I got like 1.2 million plays on all the songs in one of the first months. It was like ‘Wow, something’s going on here.’ That really got me thinking that this is it. So, I left collegeand I’ve never looked back ever since. I’ve never had a job, I’ve never had anything this is it.
Suprisingly, his parents were totally cool with it. Gellaitry’s parents noticed their child’s obvious dissatisfaction with the education system and they allowed him to pursue what he wanted. Gellaitry’s parents did experience a slight learning curve at the beginning in which they thought he was “a 14-year-old making the wackiest music you’ll ever hear”, but they eventually came around.
I have incredibly supportive parents, my dad is here tonight, he travels with me a lot, and they really let me do what I want because they’ve seen how unhappy I was at school. Most parents would be doing the same kind of thing when they see their children unhappy they just don’t want to put them through it no matter the stigma of not being good at school. They had my best interest at heart, they let me leave school.
Gellaitry grew up in Stirling, a rural setting in the hills of Scotland and he really enjoyed it. The young artist used his surroundings as inspiration and it helped with the development of his own sound. Although, according to Gellaitry there isn’t a big music scene in Scotland. He says there is “not much demand for that type of music despite Hudson Mohawke and Rustie coming from there.” In the end, Gellaitry enjoyed beginning his career there because he wasn’t bombarded with mainstream styles of music.
It definitely helped me develop my own signature sound because I wasn’t surrounded. One problem I have with LA is that everyone is trying to do the same thing, therefore it becomes a trend and you get a lot of copying of other people’s style and there’s not much distinction. But for me, I’m in the middle of East Hills, rural countryside. My town center is five minutes long, you could walk across it in five minutes. It wasn’t a small city but it wasn’t a big city.
Although Gellaitry enjoyed growing up in Stirling, he needed to get out. He feared the “problematic” lifestyle that many of his townsfolk observed, which involved getting wasted at the same two crappy clubs every weekend. Gellaitry’s hometown didn’t really allow “ for people to spread their wings” and he wanted more out of life.
Gellaitry recently found himself far, far away from Scotland making his debut in the city of angels, Los Angeles. The artist’s vibrant following in the area necessitated a two night run of shows at El Rey and he was extremely humbled by the experience.
The show on Friday sold out in a day and that’s crazy, not many people in my position can just say that, especially coming where I’m from… I feel so blessed to be in a situation where I don’t have to work to do what I love. I do what I love as work. I really believe that’s what life is about.
As for the future, Gellaitry has cooked up some next level sounds for his newest project Escapism II. Gellaitry named the project Escapsim because of the way he “would escape from school, the pressures of the government and everyone around you to do well.” The first portion of Escapism was dedicated to the landscapes of Scotland but the upcoming project is inspired by other worlds.
I’m really excited to bring it out, it’s definitely my most solid project to date. And it keeps changing. I see music in color and each track has a different color, a different approach. On this EP the soundscapes are like places that I’ve kind of thought of in my head, almost different planets. It’s all soundscapes and places I’d like the listener to be taken to rather than the listener hearing the inspiration of it. So this is more of an Escapsim for me because it’s completely alien kind of stuff, a lot of different sound design. I really try my best to put in sounds that no one has ever heard before, there are some weird samples in there.
Check out the first track from Escapism II below. Also feel free to peruse some shots taken at Gellaitry’s sold out show in Los Angeles.