Photo: Savanna Ruedy

Gabi DeMartino

There are many reasons why Gabi DeMartino is one of today’s most popular influencers. When she’s not creating and sharing fancy vlogs with her 3.12 million subscribers, she can also be seen making content on her joint channel with her twin sister Niki DeMartino, which too boasts a hefty 9.4 million subscribers and a total of over 1 billion views. As if there weren’t already enough eyes peeled on Gabi, she also featured in Ariana Grande’s iconic “thank u, next” music video, which set the record for the most-watched music video on YouTube within 24 hours, achieving an astonishing 55.4 million views.

Like the many boss babes that came before her (Paris Hilton, The Kardashians, Jennifer Lopez, etc), she’s ventured into the world of branding by launching her own perfume and releasing clothing collections. However, that’s not all Gabi has had to offer us. You may have noticed that she releases music and has already dropped an EP of Broadway covers (Gabroadway) and a debut album (Paintings of Me) in the past couple of years. 

With Paintings of Me released over a year ago, Gabi has already started to map out the next chapter of her music career. Officially kickstarting a new era, the 28-year-old is back with the single “Heaven,” an ethereal dance-pop track from the heart. Detailing her breakup from ex-fiancé Collin Vogt for the first time, Gabi arrives with a banger that taps into some retro sonics that are reminiscent of the ‘80s. If you’re like us and have been obsessing over the likes of Rebecca Black and Tove Lo’s new material, “Heaven” is worth your attention. 

While in New York, Gabi spoke to EUPHORIA. about the new single, what’s next for her music career, and that one 24-hour challenge she wants to participate in again. 

Photo: Savanna Ruedy

You have an exciting new single, “Heaven.” You’ve already expressed on Instagram that this is your favorite song. Is it still nerve-wracking putting out new songs?

Oh my god, yes. Especially this one because I feel like I went through so much in the past year and my music audience has been waiting for me to just drop something. But my YouTube audience and my influencing audience understand that I’ve gone through a lot. So, I feel like I’m just marrying the two and kind of just putting it out there in a musical form.  I’m sure my followers and my listeners are gonna learn a lot from it.

So, how long ago did you write this song? Is it relatively fresh?

I’ve been sitting on it for a while. I actually was listening to the demo recently. I wrote this song with Alina from Liar and I was listening to this demo that we made together and the date said June 22nd, 2022. So I’ve had this for a long time. I’ve been wanting to put this out for a while.

Sonically, the song takes on a more dance-pop sound, which is a genre that you have tapped into before. Were there any particular artists that influenced this sound this time around?

Musically, I would say there are some influences from The Weeknd, maybe some Dua Lipa, and Ariana Grande, but I always lean towards a synthy-pop, like Robyn or Lady Gaga. But this one I would say channels influences from The Weeknd.

Interesting. I don’t know why but I got Charli XCX vibes almost. Or other hyper-pop girlies like Slayyyter and Rebecca Black.

That makes me so happy just for you to say that and to be categorized with such amazing pop stars.

Lyrically, the song hears you address your previous relationship and your engagement that didn’t work out. Is it easier or more comforting doing that in a song as opposed to sitting down and doing a YouTube video where you’ve gotta like go into more detail?

I felt in the past of my 10 years on YouTube that I’ve had a bigger voice before on YouTube. But since the world and TikTok, it’s gotten a little different to be raw and real and speak your mind and speak your heart. So, I like to speak my mind now in my music.

Is this the first time you are going to be speaking on the subject?

Yeah. Well, it’s the first time I’m referencing musically a scenario that’s happened in my life. I like to make a real big separation between personal and work and I feel like that song kind of brings them together publicly, but at the same time, it’s very therapeutic, to say the least. I feel like I haven’t been as authentic to my audience as I want to be for very important reasons, like privacy. I was in a very, very public relationship, so my fans were his fans. I guess they finally are gonna get some answers.

Have you shot a music video for the song? Or are you planning one?

I have shot visuals. I’m gonna put up a whole visual on YouTube and then on TikTok, like the vertical form visuals, like Instagram Reels. I’m still debating if I’m gonna do a whole production for this music video, like a full 4K format. But I’d love to, of course.

Your debut album, Paintings of Me, was released a little over a year ago now. Can fans expect another album so soon? Is another project of some sort in the works right now or are you focusing on single releases?

I’m focusing on songs for now. I feel like that album was totally accidental. It was never the end goal to release an entire album, but I was writing so fast, so many songs in a matter of two or three years that it just collectively created an album. So I feel like right now I’m gonna tap into just a bunch of single releases and then a possible EP. I definitely wanna try new sounds and a new vibe for my album. I definitely wanna tap more into the extreme pop sound, but I still love my theatrical influences here and there.

Is the upcoming material going to be a continuation of “Heaven” or are there a variety of sounds we can expect to hear?

I’d say a continuation of “Heaven” is gonna be the next single that I’m releasing. It’s called “Highest” which I guess you could say is in the same family as “Heaven” and my album. And then after that, it’s pretty much gonna be more pop and more of that what you were saying, that Slayyyter, Charli XCX vibe.

I feel as if I already know the answer to this, but I’m going to ask it anyway. In the past, you have released a lot of music with your sister. Do you think you will ever again? Or are you happy doing your own thing, musically?

We’re definitely both happy doing our own thing. There was a time when we were putting out music together and it was just so hard to get us both on the same page. We just had completely different sounds.

I guess if people like seeing you guys together, there’s always the joint YouTube channel.

Yeah, exactly.

Do you think you’ll ever do another 24-hour shopping challenge? That one looked intense!

I have been wanting to do another one of those for so long, but it sucks being one of a duo because you have to get the other one to agree and she really doesn’t wanna do it, but I wanna do it so bad. That was the most fun I’ve ever had filming a YouTube video with her.

Isn’t it one of your most popular videos of all time too?

Yes, I know. It did so well! I wish she would do it again with me, but you know, I might just have to do it by myself on my channel.

I’m sure you’ll find another kiosk to shop at in between buying things in stores.

Yes, definitely [laughs].

Photo: Savanna Ruedy

As many people already know, you appeared in Ariana Grande’s music video for “thank u, next.” Now that nearly five years have passed, how does it feel knowing that you have been part of such a cultural moment and one of the most iconic music videos in recent years?

It’s funny you say that because just yesterday I pulled up stuff about me on the internet and I saw it with my eyes on IMDb that it was nearly five years ago. I was like, “Whoa.” To this day, it doesn’t feel real. I see myself in the music video and I dissociate myself from it. It’s that exciting. 

I remember watching that vlog at the time. It was all very last minute, wasn’t it?

I was in Home Depot when she started sending me voice memos to my Instagram. That was crazy. That was such a crazy day. And then I had to get on a flight a day and a half later. That was a great experience.

You’ve been in the entertainment industry for 10 years now. What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned or the best piece of advice you’ve received that’s really stuck with you?

If you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life. And I feel like with music especially, you gotta just do what makes you happy, what wakes you up in the morning. And if it doesn’t make you happy anymore, don’t do it. Even if other people want you to do it, don’t do it. If you don’t find any joy in it, there’s a reason.

And I feel like people can always tell when you’re not feeling it, which is worse.

Absolutely. You gotta be passionate about what you’re doing. That’s the only thing that’s been keeping me going through all the phases of the internet, honestly. It’s just my motivation and my goals. So yeah, I love what I do.

Lastly, what else have you got coming out this year? What else can fans expect from you for the rest of the year? Have you got things in the pipeline that you’re gonna be announcing?

I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say right now, but I definitely have something coming that’s a product. I believe it’s gonna be out in the next month or so. But I was not given the green light to talk about it. But I will tease that I have more products coming and definitely continual singles, one after the other.