Gregory Michael Wresilo, aka Rezlo (which is not just the name he performs under, but also the correct pronunciation of his surname), started writing music at seven, when he started taking guitar lessons. Luckily, while growing up in Shelton, Connecticut, his interest in music was fostered by those around him.
"I had some really wonderful people who encouraged me," he says. "My elementary school music teacher, my guitar teacher outside of school. And then when I reached high school, I was recruited to do theater, and that was something that really broke me out of my shell, and I suddenly became a little bit more comfortable with sharing my original music."
Now, at 24, the Denver-based Wresilo is gearing up to release his debut album, Young and in Love. To tease the nine-track project, he's started dropping singles off the album every month for four months leading up to the release. The title track came out Sunday, March 21.
Wresilo first came to Colorado in 2015 to attend the University of Colorado Boulder, but dropped out after a semester and returned home to Connecticut. Two years later, just weeks before classes started, he discovered the University of Colorado Denver's esteemed music-business program and applied. He was accepted and returned to Colorado, where he attended the program for two years. However, Wresilo realized that the business side of the music industry wasn't where his passion was, and in 2019, he left to pursue his dreams of being a musician. Still, he credits his time in the music program with providing some important lessons and connections.
"I really did learn so much in the program and met so many amazing people, including my producer, Blake Shimoda, who is just an absolutely wonderful human," he says. "It was a really valuable time, but I also think that it had had its time, and I was ready to move on."
"About a year and a half ago, I separated from somebody that I was very involved with and that I really cared about," he says. "He was someone that I absolutely adored, and things ended very poorly. After a while of me putting in so much of my time and effort into the relationship, I made the decision to disengage, because I was no longer taking care of myself," he says. "It felt like I was giving pieces of myself up each day to try and fix this, and it became no longer worth it. It never is worth it to do that."
Writing new music became a healing process for Wresilo after the breakup, and the emotionally charged time helped him push his art in a new direction.
"In terms of the music that's coming out, I want my music to make people feel seen and connected to each other, and to themselves," he says. "Whether that's a fun song that makes you want to dance and makes you feel goofy and positive, or if it's something deep and vulnerable and hard, I just want people to see themselves in me. I like making fun songs, but this new album is going to be very emotional. They might be fun here and there, but I think the lyrical content really dives in deeper."
When Wresilo wrote the single "Young and in Love" last summer, putting out an album was the last thing on his mind.
"I came home from work one day, and I was just so stressed and emotional, and I heard the song in my head before I wrote it, got home and wrote it in like fifteen minutes," he says about the track. "It was like this waterfall. It needed to come out, and it came out. Then I brought it to my producer, Blake, who helped flesh it out and make it what it is."
It was Shimoda who actually suggested that Wresilo form his therapeutic musings into an album. "The more I was writing and working on songs, I started to see the through line between all of them, and started to realize this could potentially be something really special and really cohesive. I didn't have any intention of making an album, but later when we started working on more things, Blake said, 'Maybe you should just put it out as an album.'"
The first single off the album, "Young and in Love," is an upbeat ballad and a thoughtful contemplation of the artist's past romantic endeavors, from the standpoint of an older and wiser Wresilo. It recognizes the unintentional damage sometimes caused by young lovers while on the journey to finding themselves.
Like the album as a whole, the title track invites us into Wresilo's space of personal growth, through the lens of past, present and future relationships.
"This album is really inspired by being this age, and not only learning from that romantic relationship, but also learning from the loving and kind relationship that I have with myself, and the lack thereof sometimes," he says.
He released the second track in the series, "Think About You," on Thursday, April 29. As the title suggests, it's also a reflection on a past relationship, this time brought on by a rebound one-night stand.
Shimoda's minimal, melodic beat perfectly complements Wresilo's dreamy falsetto on this second single, which will leave you eager for May's release. Together with "Young and in Love," it sets the tone for the full-length project as an earnest exploration of why and how we love.
"This album has been about processing the demise of a really important relationship in my life, and it covers a lot of facets of that," Wresilo explains. "It covers the longing for someone. It covers the excitement about meeting somebody. It covers the heartbreak beyond that. It covers the resolution of when you come to a place of realization."
Stream "Young and in Love" and "Think About You" on all major platforms.
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