Gyasi (pronounced Jah-see) Ross blends hip-hop lyrics and R&B/Soul vocals with acoustic guitar, delivering a unique sound that has been described as a cross between John Legend, Jason Mraz and The Roots. Ross, who holds a BA in Jazz Performance from San Francisco State University and recently entered into a publishing deal with CatBeach Music, is gearing up for the release of his second studio album If You Really Knew Me, set for release later this year. Gyasi Ross is originally from the Bay Area and now lives in Los Angeles.
His first defining moment occurred one day, in Pasadena California, in a smoke filled room with high school gangsters, musicians and poets. Gyasi recalls, “I idolized my brother and his friends as they created music in circle, they called it a cipher. I was a fly on the wall in the 7th grade and desperately wanted to participate. At the time I didn’t understand how. My voice didn’t move or sound the way theirs did and I nearly gave up.”
In high school he was tricked into joining the marching band by a friend who asked, “Hey can you come up to school and hold some instruments?” I went to a predominantly African-American school and most students didn’t play music so the band director did all he could to make the marching band look full.
Not the type to fake anything, he started taking jazz trumpet lessons from Nolan Shaeed, an amazing trumpet player who was the musical director for Marvin Gaye. From there, he transitioned to guitar and hasn’t put it down since.
Gyasi’s diverse influences include: John legend, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, The Roots(Black Thought), Dashboard Confessionals, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Pass, and John Coltrane.