TODAY Saturday 8/08 Nathaly Charria joins John Lovell in Portland on XRAY FM at 4PM PST for SAVAGE BEAT. Please tune into 107.1FM or live stream for the best of 60s underground alongside a Miami-style conversation about upcoming projects, collaborations, and the influence of punk in contemporary culture.
Pablo Dylan, better known as Pablo, is an American artist and producer whose work is fueled with the teenage angst and dissidence of a nineteen year old growing up in LA. Pablo was born with an ear for music and an innate understanding of the industry. Most recently, Pablo has been collaborating and producing with the likes of A$AP Rocky, OG Maco, and Rome Fortune who share similar views on culture and creativity. His personal work is lined with rebellion, experimentation, and radical self expression. There’s a meticulous attention to detail in his production, which he says stems from intention and planning. I caught up with Pablo last week for a studio visit and interview at his home in Laurel Canyon. We spoke about the creative process and collaborations, alongside the art and fashion that inspires him. Although he’s been making music for years, Pablo is at the very beginning of his career and I am excited to see his creative evolution and the many shapes it will take.
Pablo is releasing his solo Darkwood EP this week and hosting a private listening party on Tuesday July 14, 2015 at On the Rox from 9pm-11pm. If you are interested in attending, please reach out to me for password and guest list (firstname.lastname@example.org).
How was your day?
Legendary. They just get a little bit more legendary every day!
Tell me about your upcoming Darkwood EP release and the personal significance it has to you?
This whole project was about making something that took the feeling of being young in America. My generation is very misrepresented. Everybody says, “Oh, we’re so stupid - you’re on our phones all day!” Well what if I feel like that makes me smart; who are you to tell me it doesn’t?… The whole project kind of stemmed from a place of anger - turn on the news a person gets shot by a cop every day. Every time I try and speak my mind, people tell me I can’t because I’m nineteen. This is the way life is and I feel like it’s not being exposed. I felt so strongly about what I was trying to say, so I wanted to take time away and really make something that says exactly what I want to say.
Would you say this can be that be attributed to the final years of teenage angst and the sort of punk rock mentality many of us have grown up with?
Yeah, definitely. At nineteen, I’m lucky enough to know what I want to do for the rest of my life. I see all my friends struggling with this weird point in time where we aren’t kids anymore, and we’re expected to really do stuff.
How long have you been making music?
My whole life. Professionally? I’ll never feel like it’s “professional” even if I had a hundred hits; I’d just feel like some guy trying to represent the way I feel the world should be seen. But I’ve been playing music seriously since I was about fifteen or sixteen.
You’ve been working with some pretty major artists. What’s that process been like and what have been some of the most rewarding experiences with those collaborations?
Working with OG Maco has been the most rewarding experience as a producer. We have a really great relationship. We trust each other so much. He never really has to tell me what he wants and vice-versa. When Maco recorded Vanity, we got to the studio and he started recording the lines, “I got hate in me” - it was crazy. When he finished recording he like passed out on the couch; I literally thought he was going to die it was so crazy.
What is it about hip-hop that draws you to use it as your creative outlet?
I don’t really feel like I’m “hip-hop”. I’m definitely not a rapper, and would never claim to be a rapper, which is a huge misconception. But what is cool about hip-hop is how open it is to possibilities. All the kids coming up right now are making such amazing stuff, and I think it’s because we’re the first generation with the internet. We could listen to whatever we wanted to. We’re no longer just influenced by what’s happening regionally.
What name would you give the genre of music you produce?
What besides music inspires you?
Fashion. For sure. Margiela, Margiela, Margiela.
Growing up in a family where creativity and entrepreneurship seem to go hand in hand, Pablo is inspired by his dad's collection of fashion photography books and the complexities of being a kid. Like the deconstructed, raw designs of Martin Margiela, "I’m not a perfect person or who people consider me to be. I’m very flawed. I’m just trying to create and share my view of the world.” The Darkwood EP presents Pablo’s view of the world through the unexpected sounds that resonates with what Davie Bowie once described as “a voice like sand and glue.”
James Bouché (b.1990) is one of my favorite rising artists in Baltimore. The work above is excerpts from his solo exhibition Not Yet in Ruin at Springsteen Gallery in Baltimore, MD August 2013. Bouche received his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2012. Congratulations James! I'm looking forward to working together in the year(s) to come.
Magnus Sodamin is a psychedelic journey in the form of a person with a hint of Austrian country club and Lisa Frank. When I'm with him I know I’m in the presence of a genius, but it’s secondary to the full-hearted energy in his laugh. He’s crazy in the best of ways, but mostly just a curious and dedicated explorer of his craft. Sodamin himself is a work of art and his art reflects that. Developed from an exploratory nature, Sodamin has created a body of work with a visual language that communicates what is difficult to put into words. (excerpt from my piece Into the Rainbow Vein)
Since my last visit with Magnus, his painting “Magic Garden 3 (GAIA)” was acquired for the Boca Museum of Art’s permanent collection, he debuted his first mural at Jose Diego Middle School in Wynwood lead by Patrick Walsh of the Wynwood Arts District Association, and began a new Artist Residency at the Deering Estate alongside creating new works, exploring with wearables, and hopping around Norway and Austria in his most dapper attire. Florida is home and its ecology is an essential element and source of inspiration in his work.
This visit we explored the Deerling Estate, its environment, sacred burial grounds, and the wonders of the residency program that inspire Magnus’ hypnotic landscapes. I invited Neil Vasquez from the Miami New Times to join us. He’ll be writing a profile on Magnus, scheduled to be published early next week. In the meantime, below are photos from our studio / residency visit and adventure.