Just The Beginning

Today, I was thinking back to when I began to write posts for Weekly Music Commentary. It was an exciting time because fresh, new ideas were flowing from my mind onto something tangible: an internet web site. Since that thrilling start I have found and shared information about established superstar musical artists, and have introduced many just beginning their careers. However, there is a certain feeling that rises within me whenever I hear music from an artist that I believe may later rise to great pinnacles. It is hard to explain, but I hear a voice inside that tells me I have seen and heard something like this before: similar to musical acts with humble beginnings that went on to reach a worldwide fan base and stardom. I’m not always correct, nor am I consistently wrong. My correct prognostications fall somewhere comfortably a shade better than 50%. A few months ago I heard that voice once again, and then decided on a future post. This week I decided to feature the young female singing group GUDGUD.
GUDGUD was originally launched as a six-month experiment by Jacksonville-based music entrepreneurs Michael Butler and Richard Johnson, who were looking to put together a teen group that could make music that was nostalgic, fresh and edgy and delivered a positive message. The first incarnation of the group garnered a healthy local buzz, but members did not click. Regardless the method used in constructing a group, the lack of chemistry can create problems that are impossible to overcome. When speaking of chemistry in a musical group, the evidence of its existence will appear in the way the group performs together. A few questions will help identify if the group possesses chemistry or not. Is each member of the group equally committed to the hard work of performing and recording music? Can they sing in harmony easily? In performance does each member understand the overall goal of singing in a way to achieve the desired sound? Are all members able to keep up with dance routines? Do they look good together in photos and videos? Last but most important; do they like each other? Artists may be extremely talented by themselves, but in a particular group they might not fit. GUDGUD has changed members several times like many groups before them, seeking the necessary “chemistry” that all successful groups must possess. They now appear poised to break onto the musical scene in a large way.
Much of the foundation has been laid for GUDGUD as they have made waves in the progressive R&B music world since formation. They have made the most of higher profile opportunities performing for packed houses at venues throughout the state of Florida and the southeast US alongside a wide range of artists including Fantasia, Chrisette Michele, Mali Music, Mindless Behavior, OMG Girlz and Jacob Latimore. GUDGUD’s original songs have also been heard on mainstream radio, as they continue to successfully build a strong regional following.
One thing I noticed about GUDGUD that really stood out, is their poise in live performances. Remember, the group members are all in their teens. Whereas adults readily commit to a particular job or way of life, a teenager may not be ready to make such strong decisions. It means that it is difficult to predict if the teenager will give the desired performance consistently. GUDGUD is consistently very good. As I watched videos of recent performances, the group incorporated back-up dancers and live musicians to help them showcase their immense talent. GUDGUD seems to be able to “shift gears” – or step up when an audience is present. This factor bodes well for the group in the future. If they are able to present good live performances, many more will be drawn to their albums of music.
The young women also are very intelligent and impressive when interviewed. They are able to articulate well exactly what they would like to accomplish within the music industry. GUDGUD has appeared on News 4 Jax and twice on Jacksonville’s First Coast News and each time they are as inspiring off stage as on. Members also share GUDGUD’s underlying message of positivity with their peers by speaking to young people in schools and by supporting music and arts education through the I Love Music Foundation. It is wonderful for the young women to communicate the importance of music education. They are walking, talking and performing testament as to the effect music and arts education can have on our children today and in the future.
GUDGUD has previously released two EPs and is in the process of recording a third. The EP titled 3.0 is the one I have been listening to for a while now. It is produced well and is a great launching pad for GUDGUD’s ascension to national and international acclaim. I encourage you to download the EP as it is available on gudgudmusic.com/music. GUDGUD group members Jatarra, Gracious and Auna are in the studio working with producer Rey Reel (Beyoncé, Will.i.am, Britney Spears, Drake, and Mariah Carey). GUDGUD’s new EP will come out Summer 2015, with a late Summer/early Fall supporting tour to follow.
Chelsea Entertainment Group recording artists GUDGUD has accomplished much in a short period of time. However, I feel that this is just the beginning.

GUDGUD is a proud supporter of music and arts education. All of the members are products of public school arts education. They do not know what they would do without music and the arts in our schools. Join GUDGUD and support the I Love Music Foundation. Click here for more info.

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