When a friend asks you to do something for them, you’d do it in a heartbeat. So, when a close friend asked me if I could write about them and their new song—I was quick to say yes. Although a part of myself was wondering if I was qualified to do such a thing, this friend assured me that they trust me enough to be the one to introduce this new piece of art into the stratosphere.
GARBIELLE, also known as ELLIE to her friends, is a singer-songwriter, a self proclaimed cook, a girl who’s obsessed with her dog named Ginger, came on our Discord call looking like a superstar. With a new funky hairdo and usual laidback attitude, you knew this was an emergence of someone’s new beginning. This is how she’s beginning her 24th year around the sun.
GABRIELLE, or as most people used to know her as “Elle Sebastian” on all platforms, with
tunes such as “Bahaghari” with over 5 million streams on Spotify, decided that it was time for a change–on all forms. When asked about why she found the need to change her name–it was not merely just for the sake of changing her branding but more of a change of who she was as a person. Like most people in the world, Gabrielle or Ellie, grew up; mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
This was not something the 24 year old singer-songwriter did on a whim, this was a carefully thought of change that took a lot of time and an amount of “hard lessons” to get to. This is something that would represent who she is now as an artist and as a person “It just made sense that if I’m going to change sonically, then the name needs to align with the music.” Elle explained. When I asked her about why she chose the name “Gabrielle,” she explained that biblically, “Gabriel” is one of the messengers–”GABRIELLE” is a messenger for the women who are struggling to find their place, someone who is a source of hope and of love.
So what makes GABRIELLE different now? While “Elle” was her journey of discovery, with a sound that was “all over the place” going from ballads to folk, to even theater, Gabrielle, on the other hand, is an artist who knows what they want, with a more jazzy, R&B, soulful edge.
Which brings us to her first single as GABRIELLE: “Do It Right”
Produced by Almond Louis Mendoza, a person Gabrielle trusts and knows the artist’s heart; Do It Right on its own is a soulful powerhouse of song that deals with themes of a very crushing heartbreak, a retelling of a bittersweet relationship, a story of heartache, and the difficulty of navigating the aftermath of it all while learning to be your own person.
Gabrielle stated that this song was her way of allowing herself to open up about her past relationship; allowing herself to realize and accept that both parties of the relationship messed up, admitting that the title of the song actually came from her former significant other, saying that that was him giving his truth. “We can do it right,” two people who love each other can keep fighting to make things right.
Do It Right is a work of many layers, from lyrics to musicality, a lot of heart was put into it.
When asked about how the creative process of making this record was like, Gabrielle admits that writing this song was “easy” and took her 20 minutes to write after a burst of wanting to be able to let out the feelings she was overpowered with because of a break up that happened only three weeks prior. She needed this as a place to heal.
A typical Gabrielle music-making session goes with her writing her draft, recording herself playing it, and sending it to her band, which seems simple enough, but like the song, there are so many factors at play, as she says there was an “anxious feeling knowing that people (in her band) know what happened.” She says that she was guarded at first, but eventually learned to trust herself and honored her feelings even if she felt like people were “going to say things about it.”
Do It Right is organic, angsty, sexy, and captures the nuances of an intense relationship. Going into this song, you’d think it would be a song of hopeful love and dreams.
“It was a dream
To be this close to you
Your lips on mine without thinking
Our eyes were locked in from the beginning”
Only for it to crush your heart with a line saying that “some dreams have to end.” This is when you realize this song is not just some words with a tune–this song is vulnerable, this song is real.
“Oh this breaks me but we got things to learn
It’s better now to crash and burn”
Through Gabrielle’s impassioned voice, you can feel the need of wanting things to work out and the frustration that comes with the question: Why? Why won’t it work out?
One of the pillars that make this song great is the two solos that Gabrielle specifically wanted on her record. It was important that the musicality was in touch with the language she uses. She states that two guitar solos were directed by giving her two guitar players (Sisley Paul Paras and Calvin Borja) two separate words, like it was a game, to help further understand what they needed to play. The two guitar solos were a representation of both members of the relationship. It paints a picture of what the relationship was then.
Do It Right is a confession of someone who was so in love with a person, that the love they had or have scared them.
“Someday we will find it again
When we are older
When we are wiser
If you got the help you need”
Do It Right is a reflection of two people, showing that love is going to be difficult if you don’t love and care for yourself. Love is not merely enough to sustain a relationship.
The song ends with haunting voices (GABRIELLE, James Lanante, Ria Manuel, Mary Michael Zacarias) harmonizing the lines “Save Yourself.”
This record is a cry for help–but not a cry for attention. It is a song of grief, and learning how to deal with that grief. It is a message that reminds you that just because we hurt, love, and make mistakes, that doesn’t mean we are monsters–it means we are growing–even if that means we had to break, crash, and burn before we got to that growth.
Do It Right by GABRIELLE is a song that will surely be a companion to those who are struggling with love, whether it be a relationship with another person, or a relationship with themselves. As Gabrielle continuously wants to be a safe space for women, this song is a brilliant introduction to the space that she is opening up for women looking for comfort.
Elle is older and wiser, and Gabrielle is here to give her the help she needs. This is only the beginning, I am looking forward to more stories and more magic that she is going to be sharing with us in the near future; but for now, we know that she did it right.
My friend, you did it right.