Levi Gilles (aka Gilles Casanova) is a Brooklyn, NY native born in Cumberland Hospital. Growing up Bushwick, he was bless to witness the culture of b-boying, cyphers, DJ’ing and graffiti (what is known as Hip Hop culture) in its early stages in the local parks. Gilles was immediately consumed by its aura. Music making for him began in his early childhood years, as he is the son and nephew of guitarists/musicians. When Gilles was attending Catherine & Count Basie (JHS 72), he and a friend would write songs in the morning and perform on lunch break. Beating on the tables and delivering lyrics of energy, ultimately being disruptive to the everyday norm. As the days went the crowds grew and so did his confidence for standing in front of crowds performing.
In 1999, Gilles was approached by a rock band wanting him to be the lead singer and songwriter for the group, his capabilities and the many different gifts and musical skills he possesses makes him stand out. At that particular moment in time, hewas headed to college and declined from the offer. Gilles thought his future lay amongst the field of computer technicians. Gilles by himself is a handful riot, so when the opportunity presented itself to collaborate he didn’t hesitate. In 2001 having earned a small role in a NY based Indie film “Pressure” it opened the door a few extra roles (non-speaking). In 2014, Gilles featured in the Indie film No Plan B Pt 2 the follow up to “No Plan B” featuring many of the talents in VA, masterminded by Hampton rapper Sho-Flacco.
Musical influences include Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Mobb Deep, Naughty By Nature, Busta Rhymes, Lost Boyz, Tribe Called Quest, DMX, Tupac, Boot Camp Click and various other golden era artist to say the least. Gilles looks to leave a positive and lasting mark on millions through the culture of hip hop as many pioneers have done so. A creative genius to say the least, his work ethic sets him apart from many. Gilles believes a promise is a comfort for a fool and breaks are earned not taken. With that mentality anything can be accomplished by the Gilles Man. The dedication and ethic he possesses has caused him to lose jobs, friendships and relationships. As many people will never understand that sacrifice is part of the game. Gilles is nomad minded and respects that people come and go in your life, those who will be there will be there.
In the latter months of 2001, he and a group of 3 individuals went for an audition at a label function. After his performance Gilles was offered a recording contract on the spot. He was given a grace period to get his legal side in order, not knowing how to properly insert himself, he went passed that grace period and had to forfeit the contract. The following year, another opportunity presented itself to Gilles. While riding the NJ Transit a conversation began with him and an engineer from Asbury Park, NJ which led to a meeting with a subsidiary label rep. After a few months of being there label issues caused Gilles to move forward.
Since releasing his 2012 debut, The Garden of Hip Hop,. which didn’t do well due to lack of support, Gilles has cranked up the ethics and grind. When he steps on the stage you are sure to feel his aura almost immediately. The music he brings forth makes you want to hear more, as he drops jewels left and right in his music. You never know what he’s going to say in his music or do in a video. Gilles believes the key to great music is to not play with the opinions and emotions of the people. He says television does enough of that. Just give it to them raw uncut direct.Having performed in various open mics, Indie concert series and showcases stemming from Boston to Atlanta, Gilles is sure to feed you his energy one way or another. He’s appeared on music video countdowns Rep Ya Set Show & Video City TV Countdown. He’s also appeared on Just Gimme The Mic & Video Music Box with solid performances each time he’s been up there.
With the release of his new project called THE GILLES-DOMINI PROJECT, Gilles is sure to capture a wide variety of fans, both new and old can look forward to ill joints by the artist known as Gilles Casanova aka King Johnny Appleseed. The project is produced by Anno Domini and executive produced by Official Wu Tang Family Member & Brooklyn Zu Dirty Clanzman, Dungeon Masta. The album is out now and ready to download at audiomack.