VMEN: Tama Gucci
Getting to know the R&B artist with technical stylings
“My style is very clean. Even if it’s messy, it’s clean.” Tama Gucci is all about those contradictions. Oxymorons, if you will. But every word he sings, every beat he drops, every note he switches through, it’s all measured. Having grown up in Miami, where he couldn’t relate to much around him, Tama was forced to make his own way with foreign sources of inspiration. Finding a home in the vast embrace of the Internet and SoundCloud not only allowed him to develop a cult following through his cover of pop staples, but also embed himself within the underground queer scene.
Even his name is this high and low culture mesh, a morphing of two of his favorite things from his youth—the Tamagotchis he bought from Walgreens every Thursday and Gucci. His music also exists in this space of blending themes that shouldn’t go together. As he describes, “It’s romantic but dark. Very emotional, but also honest. I guess you would call it R&B. But also pop.” It’s all about taking one thing with Tama and then adding something else to it to create his own unique formula. His latest EP, Almost Blue, is dedicated to Tama’s “comfort color” and being where he wants to be in life, love, in general. But it’s about almost being there, it can’t be that simple!
Living in this space of vulnerability and openness that pairs with a ‘90s techno-pop sound, quickly flitting through words of pain or words of passion, like a rave that’s giving you all sorts of confusing feelings, Almost Blue is just the latest in the run-up to Tama’s long-awaited debut studio record which he, in usual fashion, is meticulously thinking through. But what he really wants to do is let the music take him wherever it wants to and just have fun with it. “When I put out my first mixtape, Out of Order, I felt like I had so much fun because I was just making sure I did everything.”
“I want to just stretch out making these tracks and then choose, so that I can hear where I was emotionally and mentally throughout.” But he still holds a fondness for his classic themes in a digital-age vibe. Even his foray into fashion embraces his thought-out madness, like his recent collaborations with industry titans like Telfar and Hood By Air, which have made him consider entering the modeling industry, or his own handmade apparel hustle with @ tamascorner. “I’m a very particular person. If you see something looking crazy, it’s probably because I wanted it to be.”
With more music and visuals in the books for 2022, it’s time we bow down to the contradictory crafted madness that is the Tama Gucci wave.