Gagnez

Share

Gagnez, AKA Glen Williams Jr., was attracted to writing rhymes at an early age. He grew up in the rough Los Angeles suburb of Compton, California –at one time known as the murder capital of the U.S. (but now going through a renaissance) – and for a brief time participated in the street life. While still in high school, he and a close childhood friend produced and released a “angsta rap”CD entitled “hey Don’ Understand”under the name Gee Dawg n Joe Boy. Their CD contained some very haunting lyrics that unfortunately foreshadowed Joe Boy’ death. After losing his childhood friend to gang violence, Gagnez decided to shift his focus to art and technology and leave his street-affiliated past behind.

Gagnez assisted instructors at California Institute of the Arts and the University of California with several art and multi-media projects, including “.A. Link” funded by the Annenberg Center for Communication at USC. For this project, Gagnez worked as a consultant with USC Professor Michael Reynov (now Assistant Dean) and independent video artist Wendy Clarke, Ph.D. in developing, producing and editing a documentary about connecting youth through videoconferencing. Then-Governor Pete Wilson and the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) recognized him as a California Arts Scholar.
Gagnez teamed up with the Los Angeles Hip Hop Poetry Choir to write poetry and perform at schools, universities, festivals, and conferences. The group’ debut performance at UCLA’ Royce Hall received a standing ovation, the first time in the venue’ history that a debut act was given such an honor.
Gagnez also trained numerous youth in the use of computers through the Los Angeles Youth Opportunity Movement and the Bradley/Milken Youth and Family Center. He served as Site Coordinator for the Digital Arts Network (DAN), a Multi-Media /videoconferencing collaboration between California Institute of the Arts and The Watts Towers Art Center.

Working alongside CalArts Film & Video Instructor Ben Caldwell, KAOS Network, and Plaza de La Raza, he served as class coordinator and instructor for Digital Playground, producing a visual multi-media project that featured various youth art.

Gagnez produced music for and was featured in the New York Times Television/Showtime
Networks documentary “Gangs: Escaping The Life”, which is currently being used as a teaching tool in schools around the world. Current projects include the All I Ever Wanted Youth Campaign, which aims to positively
impact one million young people through positive hip-hop music and spoken word poetry. He has also been making the rounds visiting local schools with The Dream Project, an organization spreading awareness about the United Nations’Millennium Development Goals.

In the last year alone, his spoken word poetry and music was viewed, downloaded, and streamed over 1,000,000 times via YouTube, Facebook, and MySpace. Currently his music can be heard on “ingers Breakdance 5” an online viral video made with Israeli video maker Lilach Chen. His latest CD projects, entitled “The Beginning” and “a da da da (The Maxi-Single)” are currently available through multiple retail and digital outlets including iTunes, CDbaby, and Amazon.com.