Interview By Kim Coco
Introduce yourself to our readers! Let them know your name, where you’re from & the name of the project you dropped.
My name is Gino Mondana. I’m from Brooklyn, New York. East Flatbush to be exact. I’m the newest drill artist to come out of Foreign Side Records. My newest single is entitled Top Ten and it’s out now on all platforms so go check that out. Oh- I’m also the younger brother of Brooklyn drill artist Fivio Foreign.
Gino- you recently debuted your single entitled TOP TEN and it went viral. Tell the readers a bit about that single. It’s not your typical drill song.
For this single Top Ten, I did what I wanted. Whenever I make music I go where the beat takes me ya know? Top Ten is a drill record for sure but the vibe is completely of its own. You know why? I’ve never been one to care what anyone else is doing. I do things my own way. That’s what I’m good at- being different. That’s what makes me creative as an artist. I do what’s called MELODIC DRILL. If you listen closely to this record, you’ll actually hear that there’s a ukulele on the beat. The vibe is fun and you can dance to this track. What I’m doing is storytelling over a melodic drill beat. I’m in my own genre and bracket.
Stream TOP TEN: https://music.apple.com/us/album/top-ten-single/1535310427
Gino – Why did you name the song – Top Ten?
I named it TOP TEN because you know- in life people always make a list of their favorite things. Like- their top 10 favorite things of a certain category. You know- the best of the best. When people make a list they always make a Top 10 for whatever reason. As an artist, I don’t care about making it to a Top 10 list or even the Top 5. I don’t even care about making it to THE LIST. I never cared about fitting. That’s the exact reason why I stand out. I wouldn’t know how to fit in even if I tried. If they gone tune in to me and feel me – feel the music- then they going to. Those are the types of fans I want. The genuine ones that get it and that really rock with me.
Without spilling too many secrets, what can your fans expect from the music video for Top Ten? You never do anything predictable so I know you must have something exciting up your sleeve.
Oh this one is going to be way different. It’s not going to be your typical drill video you know that. Not your average music video but I promise you- you gonna see that ukele in the video.
Gino Mondana- I have to ask about the cover art. Is there a subliminal meaning to it?
(Laughs) That’s a good question. You know that there’s always a meaning behind everything I do. When I created Top Ten it was during the pandemic and the economy was going through the ups and downs of it. The pandemic was the gray cloud over people’s heads. So the black and white part of the cover represents the pandemic- over people’s heads. Then we have the colorful part of the cover. All those colors represent ForeignSide because during the gray times we kept on working and putting out music. Doing what we do best- creating and putting out color to the world. If you were around us you felt that energy. We put the color back into the world. Usually I would have made the rose red but I decided to make the rose blue because I’m unpredictable. The Brooklyn Bridge is self-explanatory- that’s where we from. Our home- our roots is Brooklyn. Then- did you notice that the cover looks similar to the logo for the show Seinfeld? Well that’s no coincidence. They still rerun that show today. You know why? Because Seinfeld is one of the Top 10 TV shows of all time. No coincidence there.
Gino Mondana – you and OT 9 Beno from ForeignSide Records put out a song called Woo Love recently. Of course that song went viral too. Tell the readers about Woo Love. It seems that the fans love when you and Beno collaborate together. You are both so different but have chemistry together.
Every time we do something together people go crazy. I think it’s mainly because we don’t sound the same and because we are opposites but together- we got something. That song actually I made a mistake with the ad lib. I was going to do it over but the engineer said “Nah- we keeping it. We gonna make it part of the beat now.” So if you hear it, what started out as a mistake became part of the beat on the whole song. It’s me saying “uh uh yeah yeah” but it’s incorporated into the beat. The part you hear in the intro? “Uh Uh /Yeah Yeah” That’s the mistake. I don’t know man. People love us. We are like the modern day Kriss Kross.
The fans are patiently awaiting the debut of your upcoming album Mental Funeral. What can we expect from that album? I heard you have features with ForeignSide Records artists Tommy Flee, OT 9 Beno and Fivio Foreign- your brother.
Mental Funeral is gonna be unpredictable because it’s not gonna be ALL drill songs. I think that’s why people are anticipating it. If I do have a drill song it may be one. I have a lot of drill songs in the stash but I don’t know yet which I’m gonna include. But what I am gonna include is a story line. I’m gonna tell the fans a story just like I did on my last EP. It’s going to be based on a true story. You know what? If I’m going through something in my life, all you gotta do is listen to my music because that’s how you’ll know. The lyrics will tell the story. My music is always based on a true story and what I’m feeling or going through at the time. The story line is real. I’m gonna let y’all know. You just gotta pay attention. When I write music, you can bet I wear my heart on my sleeve. Also- Mental Funeral you can expect that this album is going to be melodic drill. Not just regular drill. Different .
Follow Gino on Instagram for official announcements: https://instagram.com/officialgino8fs?igshid=ins9nigevncy
Gino- you are the first artist putting Melodic Drill Music on the map here in the city. I think you may even be the FIRST to bring it to the states actually. Can you tell the readers what melodic drill music is?
Melodic drill is straight melodies harmonizing only on drill beats. I add different instruments to the beat. For example, the ukulele on Top Ten makes it a melodic drill beat. I’ve added the piano to a drill beat. Or a guitar, you can add a flute, violin, even a harmonica! A drum or a trumpet could be included. I basically take a beat and add an orchestra type instrument to it. The first song me and Fivio ever did was Like Some Stars. That was melodic drill. I mixed it. We weren’t even ready – like these young kids but doing something totally different.
Is it true you play piano?
Yeah true! I use to play piano but I haven’t in a while. I can probably still play piano if you sat me in front of one. I use to be good.
Gino, ForeignSide Records was established in 2019 and it has taken the world of drill music by storm. Tell the readers about ForeignSide Records & why it the Hottest Record Label in city right now!
ForeignSide Records- We created something different and so solid. We are unpredictable; we stay viral and make a movie every time. We also stay true to us and our roots but we pay attention to what goes viral.
You are the blood brother of Fivio Foreign – one the Biggest Drill Artists in the U.S.- maybe even the world right now. He’s also the CEO and Founder of ForeignSide Records. You are alike but also very different. What makes you guys so different? And alike?
Well we are both artists, drill artists too but I do melodic drill like I said earlier. We each have created our own sound & our style. Even down to the way we dress. We are different. I’m a writer, that’s what I love the most- Storytelling. Also our patterns of rapping are different. He created the Drippiest Drill. We rap the same I just rap faster. Also my vibe is different because when I do auto tune I go high pitch. And I’m a little bit more daring and experimental I think.
Fan Question: Gino- Looking back at your career what has been your most viral moment to date?
Submitted by: Gabby Campisi -Staten Island New York.
Oh wow. I know it. My most viral moment is……….
So before the pandemic Fivio was performing at a bunch of shows across a 4 states in one day. But the thing is we had to be in all of those 4 places- in that one day. And I wasn’t gonna miss it. I HAD to get there. We started out at the first show in New York then the next to New Jersey, from Jersey to Boston and then to Virginia. The last stop was Virginia. I can’t even tell you how crazy it was traveling through 4 states in one day. All the shows were crazy but finally wound up in Virginia- it was pure pandemonium. When I tell you it was viral- IT WAS VIRAL. The energy from the crowd just waiting on us was crazy. I didn’t sleep for one second that day but I did take a long nap the next day (laughs)
Tell us about the ForeignSide Foundation. You guys have done some amazing stuff for the community and the city.
A lot of people don’t get the chance to make music and actually make a career out of it but we have. We know and see the blessings we been given and so that’s one way we like to return our blessings. You know- we are a bunch of kids from East Flashbush Brooklyn changing the game of Hip Hop but we don’t forget our roots and the place we came from. We are all about giving back to the community and making positive changes. Helping and improving the neighborhood we grew up in. We have done turkey drives, visited the schools, helped in the jails to spread a more positive message, pizzas to the homeless shelter, we did a peace walk through Brooklyn. A part of giving back is what we do because we don’t take for granted what we have.
OK Gino! RAPID TRIVIA! ONE WORD ANSWERS AND NO ELABORATING. READY?
Out of everyone in ForeignSide Records, management included- who is the best Woo Walker?
Whose got the Best Pizza in East Flatbush Brooklyn?
East Flatbush – TONYS!
How many tattoos do you have?
Biggie or Tupac?
What are 3 fun facts about you that are not music related?
1. I played piano. I learned that shit in school
2. I can read music
3. I am actually really athletic. I can play football, basketball, baseball.
4. Oh and how can I forget- I’m a Ghostbuster (laughs)
Sum up the current state of Hip Hop in just 1 word!
What was your first job?
Century 21! The clothing store
If you weren’t going to be a musician, what would Gino Mondana be?
A Ghostbuster (laughs)
If you could add 2 features on TOP TEN – BUT with one artist that is Dead and one that is Alive- Who would you put on?
Dead: Pop Smoke
Who are your TOP 5 artists of ALL TIME Dead or Alive?
Name one thing you think that even with all the riches and fame in the world, Money would still never be able to buy?
You walk down a long hallway and at the end you come to meet 2 doors. The door to the left goes to your past. The door to your right goes to the future. You get 24 hours behind either day. Which door are you opening?
(Gino Holds up both hands and shapes the letter C with his left hand)
I’m going to my Left because I’m Crip
Thank you Gino Mondana for taking the time to talk to me and Hip Hop Weekly Magazine today! Where can our readers find you on social media? Plug yourself in so we know how to find you for features, collaborations, more interviews, bookings and all things YOU!
IG: @officialgino8fs https://instagram.com/officialgino8fs?igshid=ins9nigevncy
YouTube: – CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE! https://youtube.com/channel/UCNB3SKEZICjZm3tWC4HQsig
Booking/Press/ Media/ Business Inquiries:
ForeignSide Records: @OfficialForeignsideRecords
ForeignSide Foundation: @ForeignsideFoundation
Music AVAILABLE NOW for download