When I first heard glaive’s music, I had no idea what I was listening to. I thought I was having a stroke but like, in a good way. 17-year-old Ash Gutierrez, or glaive, quickly built a cult following after his first official releases in 2020. His music walks the line between punk and pop, in a genre now known as hyperpop.
After the success of his debut tracks, he signed to Interscope Records and really started blowing up. His life changed over the course of a year, and it’s not hard to see why. Here are 4 reasons why glaive will become a massive superstar.
Some of his tracks I’ll listen to and want to cry, and some I’ll listen to and think “I wanna slam my head against the wall.” His versatility is something that doesn’t come along often, and many artists aren’t able to write both heavy, aggressive songs and casual pop hits. His catchy melodies and unique vocal delivery are what originally got me hooked, and some of his tracks have been stuck in my head for days at a time. The music makes you feel something, and in simple terms, "it goes hard af."
Gutierrez has been rocking his own style since he first appeared on the scene with long, floppy hair and painted nails. At times, his Instagram looks more like that of a fashion icon than a pop artist, and he’s been open about his interest in pursuing fashion. On top of his unorthodox look, his music is different from almost everything I had heard previously.
One word used to describe hyperpop, and glaive’s music in particular, is overstimulating. With so many vocal layers and instruments, the music sounds so full at times that it seems to surround you. Gutierrez often records what sounds like dozens of vocal takes for the same verse or hook, all with slight variances in delivery. When mixed together, listeners hear the vocals loud and clear, despite chaotic production in the background. Listen to “lap #1” with a good set of headphones and you’ll see what I mean.
Music is therapy for a lot of artists, and that seems to be the case with Gutierrez, as most of his songs express negative emotion. “life is pain” discusses being “down bad and hurting” and frustration in being “always ignored.” His song, “pissed,” has a title that speaks for itself. He’s not the only person feeling these things, and he knows how to get these thoughts out. He also has no problem connecting with the youth because he is the youth. He’s all over social media and seems to do whatever he wants. In recent years, his confidence has skyrocketed, and he’s become a new face for "teenage angst" in pop culture.
When I was 17, my biggest concerns were next week’s soccer tournament and figuring out why my crush didn’t respond to my Snapchat. Gutierrez has blown my high school experience out of the water, having already worked with A-List musicians like Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker, toured Europe with The Kid LAROI, and racked up over 3 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone.
In a year, glaive went from making songs in his North Carolina bedroom to driving the innovation of a new genre on a major label record deal. With so much momentum so early in his career, the sky is truly the limit.
It’s cool to see new sounds becoming more mainstream, and it’s even cooler that literal high schoolers are leading the charge. I’ve had glaive’s discography on repeat for weeks now, and I can’t even explain why it’s so addicting. You’ll just have to see for yourself. Stream the song that first made me a fan, “detest me,” below.