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 (email@example.com).
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.”