Gustavo Treze has worked with names such as Criolo and Tropkillaz: today he’s a DJ and part of CEIA — an important label for the Brazilian Rap scene. He also has a great passion for fashion, and dreams of being a creative director in the area in the future. Gustavo chose these Adidas Orinals Stan Smith’s because he bought them on his first trip abroad and because of that it holds a special value to him.
“I’m Gustavo Treze, DJ, and today I’m a part of a label called CEIA, in which I’ve been a part of since its beginning. Besides music which is what makes our feeling s move, and what I live off, I have a great affection for fashion. I love this culture, I like to dress well, I have this concern and I think that music and fashion go hand in hand with one another. I live off music as a DJ, but in the future, I would like to be a fashion creative director.”
How was your trajectory within the world of music?
gustavoNowadays a lot of people see me as a DJ and have no idea how I starter, people think I was playing since the beginning… but that’s not how it happened. I work with music since I was 16 years old – this was my first and only job till today. I have a brother that has been active in the business as well, today he works with movies, but he was the producer of a Rap group called Pentagono, that was the group Rael was in at the time. I started working with them selling CDs, T-shirts, and stuff, but when Pentagono ended, I went to work directly with Rael. After that, I worked with Criolo, during 4 years I did all his merchandising from scratch, I created the whole Grajauex thing, that sold more than 20 thousand hats and that’s where I learned it all.
Later on, I met Cesão, that introduced me to the guys from Tropkillaz – Zegom, and Laudz. After that, I became their producer, and that’s where I learned to play, and I stayed with them for two years. Cesão was a part of the label Damassaclan, and after all that, he left that crew and started CEIA. I started with him as a DJ, it’s been a year and 6 months since we started the label and 3 years since I started playing as a DJ.
We know that CEIA is a label, a collective. But in your own words, what is CEIA and what is your role in it?
gustavoThe name CEIA has nothing to do with religion or anything like that, the name CEIA, to us, represents family you know? That whole braking bread thing. Today CEIA to me represents family, with people working together to help one another, that want to help those who there with them. And with that we’ve transformed into the professional part as well and made our own label, that is how we make money.
Together we are all parts of CEIA but each one has its individual thing going on, I have my own thing with DJ Nizz, and I play alone as also – I’m Cesão’s Dj. Besides having other projects with fashion, I did a collab with Other Culture last year in which we sold 100 hats in half an hour, it was a huge achievement also.
So, this is CEIA, it’s a collective, it’s family, it’s music.
Where did this desire of being an MC come from? Was it something you always wanted to do or something that just came up?
gustavoI started music from scratch, from ground zero. I always wanted more and more, until I became the producer for Tropkillaz, that to me was already a huge deal, and I wanted to be at that level as an artist as well. There are people who write, who are MCs, that have the gift, I don’t think I have that gift, but I’m hardworking. (laughs)
Last year, we dropped a song, and I only did the hook – I even joke around that I don’t even like it anymore because when you dedicate yourself to something you start to notice your own evolution. First I did Fé Pra Tudo Que É Lado, that dropped last year, and now we just released CEIA’s EP in which everyone rhymes, I also rhymed in Troféu and you can see there was the evolution not only on the writing itself but in the size of the track as well. Now I have another song ready to go, it’s me, featuring Lucas Lucco, Doncesão, and Clara Lima – Cesão and Clara are from the label, Lucas comes from sertanejo but we fight for something rid of prejudice, so we want to bring in other audiences.
I’m a DJ but at the moment I feel like singing also, so the idea is to not just be a DJ but to have something more – I do some remixes, I want to learn to produce, I’m a musician, I’m a DJ that sings.
How did you and DJ Nizz meet?
gustavoI met Nizz when he was a soccer player – for those who didn’t know, he played soccer. We had some friends in common from the north zone, we met many years ago, but back then each one headed a different way. In early 2017 I played at Lions and he was there, we were so happy to see each other again and from that day on we started to see each other a lot. At the time I was living alone and he was looking to share an apartment with someone, so we got an apartment together.
We became really good friends and we started a project together on the side – Timão & Pumba, and we’re going on tour together. It’s dope, but it’s what I was saying – it’s just a side project, he has his personal carrier as a model, as a DJ, and I have mine.
We’ve done shows in a lot of cities in São Paulo like Sorocaba, Campinas and we are residents at Lions, at the Turbulencia party, we’ve even done Audio. We went to BH for the release of Djonga’s EP, and we did Porto Alegre as well. And now things are really moving, with the release of CEIA me and Nizz are going to open every show on tour as Timão & Pumba, and we’re thinking of staying in this format at least till the second semester.
Nizz quando ele jogava futebol – pra quem não sabe ele jogava. A gente tinha uns amigos em comum na Zona Norte, nos conhecemos a muitos anos atrás, só que cada um foi para um lado. No começo de 2017 eu fui tocar na Lions e ele estava lá, ficamos super felizes em se encontrar e depois desse dia a gente nos encontramos direto. Na época eu morava sozinho e ele tava querendo dividir um apê com algum brother, aí a gente pegou um apartamento juntos.
Viramos mega brothers e a montamos um projeto paralelo – o Timão & Pumba e estamos fazendo essa tour juntos. É irado, mas é aquilo também – é só um projeto, ele tem a carreira dele pessoal como modelo, DJ, eu tenho a minha.
A gente fez shows em várias cidades de São Paulo, como Sorocaba, Campinas e somos residentes na Lions, na festa Turbulência, já fizemos até Audio. Fomos pra BH no lançamento do EP do Djonga, fizemos Porto Alegre também. Agora tá movimentando mais, com o próprio lançamento da CEIA, eu e o Nizz vamos abrir todos os shows de lançamento da tour como Timão & Pumba, a gente planeja ficar nesse formato pelo menos até o segundo semestre.
As you mentioned before you have great interest in fashion, where does your ideas and references to dress up come from?
gustavoI think that every person who really likes something has to do some research to know more about the subject. Besides music, the thing that I most like to know about, that I follow and look for is fashion. I think that the culture of music is completely connected to the culture of fashion, especially in Rap, which is where we come from.
If you look, we can see that our biggest references in fashion are music artists from abroad, like Kanye West, as a musician as well as in fashion, and creativity, he’s one of my biggest inspirations; Pharrell is dope as well. But these days who is leading the way is Virgil, with the whole Louis Vuitton thing going on, what he did with Off-White, well, he’s a reference for the way he supports music within fashion.
What’s your relationship with sneakers in general?
gustavoMe and sneaker go way back, when I was 14 my brother took me to Galeria do Rock for the first time, and I was more of a hometown kid, born and raised in Grajaú. And our references were very distant from people in fashion, but my brother always wanted to get my head out of that. He took me to Galeria and said to me “This right here is an Air Force 1 White/white, this sneaker right here changed my life, it’s the sneaker Jay-Z wears, that Notorious wore, anyway, this is THE sneaker.” And that was the first real dope shoe I got, I would think “These right here are beyond you know? These are off the hook” and from that moment on, shout out to my old my old man for coming through for me for so many years, but God bless, nowadays I can afford my own, but it’s just infinite spending.
People say that I’m addicted to this, but common, I’m not. It goes beyond any addiction, it’s a culture, the so-called sneakerhead culture. It’s trending nowadays, but for us who really live off this, it’s not just the latest trend, it’s a lifestyle.
Do you consider yourself a sneakerhead?
gustavoI don’t consider myself a sneakerhead, I’d say I’m more of a sneaker lover, but I think there are a lot of really dope dudes out there that are sneakerheads. At one point I had more than 100 sneakers and today I’m sponsored by Adidas, so I ended up distancing myself from other brands, because as you know, if you put away a sneaker for too long, it starts to get worn out, the sole gets busted, and there’s also the hydrolysis, that’s how I lost a Jordan IV Chicago.
Sometimes a sneaker releases and I need to have them at that moment because it’s going to be good for my image, for what I pass on to people, to my fans, I really like this. I pass on a lot of my old sneakers to other people who need them, I have this idea on my head, of doing a social project in Grajaú involving clothing and sneaker culture, with donations. I think that being a sneakerhead is more for those who like to keep their old shoes stashed away – of course, there are those sneakers you have a special attachment to and that there’s no way you are throwing them away.
The main sneaker collabs that I dig are the ones with musicians; my first Yeezy, the Turtle Dove, I will never sell those. Kendrick’s sneakers, he’s a dude that I think is off the hook, that I have tattooed on me, I have his sneakers and I have never worn them, and they’re kept away in an acrylic box – I even joke with my girlfriend that when we get married I’m going to be wearing those sneakers (laughs). But no, I don’t consider myself a sneakerhead, I consider myself a DJ that is in love with sneakers culture.
What’s your relationship with this Stan Smith?
gustavoI picked these for its main reason, obviously because they’re Adidas right guys (laughs), three stripes forever (laughs). But today I’m more into this cleaner fashion look, like basic, and I think that the Stan Smith shows just that, it’s basic and it goes with everything. This one right here drifts a bit away from all that because of the color, which is one of my favorites and because of the whole reflective thing also – back in the day stuff like that was a bit dumb right? Like something that lights up, it was just dumb, but nowadays it’s really dope.
I had never left the country and in 2016 I went to Amsterdam, which was a place I always wanted to go to. I looked through all the stores and I saw this Stan Smith, I thought they were dope and I’m never giving them away you know? I didn’t want to come up here with a hyped or an expensive shoe, I wanted something different, a model that I really liked.
Do you have any stories with them that you remember?
gustavoI was wearing this Stan Smith during Skepta show! It was in Holland, in Amsterdam and I was fortunate enough to get him on tour – I bought these sneakers there, they were new so I wore them. I’ve been to a lot of international shows that I like, but his was the best one. If you don’t know who Skepta is, you need to find out! He is from the London grime scene, he’s a reference – I think it was a dope moment and I was wearing this sneaker. It was dope!