The pop singer brings her energetic, vulnerable feminist anthems to Governor’s Ball.
Wearing a black and white patterned set with deep-v cut-outs and donning shades that look like they are straight out of the 90s, powerhouse singer/ songwriter and musician Gale (pronounced Gal-leh) looks every bit like the pop star that she has been described as by Rolling Stone. However, the pop star is approachable: she makes jokes about the heat, hugs those she meets, and has a warm demeanor during our interview. A mix of Bad Bunny, Dua Lipa, and Avril Lavigne, Gale’s debut album Lo Que No Te Dije ( Things I Didn’t Tell You) serves listeners an eclectic combination of feminist punk anthems, pop, Eurodance, and an urban flow. A vulnerable record, the 12-track effort reveals Gale’s journey through heartbreak and finding her way back to herself, which can be seen on the reflective single “La Mitad”, a song that illustrates life before and after the loss of love, revealing the independence and strength that comes from surviving it. Directed by Mateo Garcia, the track’s music video further establishes the disequilibrium that Gale feels throughout the poignant track. Of the album’s searing honesty, Gale says “It was all part of what happened. This is what I have to say.”
Hailing from Puerto Rico, Gale is more than a newcomer to the pop scene— she is an accomplished songwriter. Earning a Latin Grammy nomination for her songwriting credits with Christina Aguilera and writing for artists such as Shakira, Anitta, and Cardi B, Gale knows the formula for pop perfection. Lo Que No Te Dije shows Gale’s impressive range, highlighting her ability to switch from punk to pop and electro beats. Crowned the “Act Set To Make It Big in 2023” by Rolling Stone, Gale’s music discusses a wide range of relatable subjects such as the toxicity of a connection based on physical attraction on “Problemas” — it soared to no. 15 on the Billboard charts—and the feminist “ D– Pic.” Gale’s debut album recently landed in the “Best Albums of 2023” issue by Rolling Stone with the star pictured front and center on the article’s front page. With her vulnerability, musical knowledge, and wide range of influences, Gale proves she has the making of a pop star.
Gale caught up with Substream to chat about her new album, being a songwriter for Christina Aguilera, and her upcoming projects.
There are so many feminist anthems on this album, all of which are incredibly empowering. What made you emphasize vulnerability and freedom on this record?
That is so important to me. It’s a big responsibility, but to write songs that are honest to me and what I stand for, like “D Pic”, a song about unsolicited photos. I was like ‘I need to write about this. I haven’t heard a song about this because my friends and I have been through these uncomfortable situations so many times in this digital era. The best way for me to express myself is through music and through songs. It’s the same thing with everything, I’m not afraid of being vulnerable and you can hear that in my music.
The title of your album is “Things I Didn’t Tell You”, which points to openness and honesty. What made you want to be so personal?
I feel like I didn’t want to hold myself back and that’s what happens when I put myself first and trust myself. I was in a relationship that was kind of toxic and I stopped being myself for this person to be happy. I was like ‘ No, enough, this is where I draw the line.’ Then all of these songs started coming to me post-breakup and it was this terrible, crazy momentum of feelings and understanding things about myself and getting to know more about myself. I was like ‘I just need to put it in writing and put it out into the world’ and it turned into this cathartic pop. It’s called “Things I Didn’t Tell You’ because it’s everything that I went through and that happened post-breakup for me. It’s all of the ups and downs, like a rollercoaster of feelings.
You’ve written songs for the legendary pop icon Christina Aguilera. How did that project come together?
She’s been one of my inspirations growing up. I’m also a songwriter, so I write songs for other artists and I did a writing session via Zoom with a producer, Dallas Kaye, during the pandemic. She loved that song and we pitched that song to her because we know she wanted to work on a Spanish album. They loved it, she cut it, and that was the first song. Then I met her and worked with her on another song. It was an amazing experience.
I also worked with Shakira, who’s one of my influences, and I admire her so much. I love her so much and I can’t wait until that song comes out.
What else can fans expect from you?
I will be coming back to NYC for a performance at the LAMC (Latin Alternative Music Conference) in July. I was there last year and it was great. At this one, I’ll be doing a bigger performance, a bigger show. I’m very excited. It’s going to be the Sony [Music] live sessions, so it’ll be live performances with the Sony artists. I’m grateful to be a part of that.