A sonic storyteller inspired by a long and winding life, St. Pablo combines the crisp bars of the Windy City with a southern insouciance straight from the streets of Atlanta. The Pink Prince is on the prowl: for money, for love AND for clout. Inspired by the new generation of greats, St. Pablo crafts razor-sharp, whip-quick narratives based in the back-and-forth of lived experiences. This isn’t the music you swipe past on SoundCloud; these beats bury into your brain, sinuously slithering between the trap house and the bedroom. If you thought you were ready, you weren’t. If you thought you knew bars, you didn’t. If you thought you’d seen it all, just wait.
- Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started?
St. Pablo: I was born in Detroit but moved around a lot, I didn’t really find my footing in music until I moved to Chicago. I used to go to You-Media and some other writer’s workshops and that took my love of writing to a whole new level.
- Do you handle both the songwriting and beats on your songs, or do you collaborate with others?
St. Pablo: St. Pablo is technically a duo, it’s me and my guy Marcus. He handles the whole production aspect. We will be in the house and we catch a vibe or a feeling and we go from there, everything happens very quickly, it’s an amazing process to be a part of/
- Who were your first and strongest musical influences that you can remember?
St. Pablo: Man… first influence? Fall Out Boy, but from there Jay-Z and big Sean. Currently my strongest influences are G Herbo, Lil Durk, King Von, Mac Miller, and Mick Jenkins/Earl Sweatshirt
- What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners?
St. Pablo: the Bittersweet nature of my music everyone knows what it’s like to be hurt while you’re in love, or to be hurt by those close to you. And if it’s not the subject it how I choose to tell my stories, the lyrical nature behind what I’m saying, I love sneaking in clever triple and quadruple entendres.
- For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you? How would you describe your own development as an artist and music maker, and the transition towards your own sound and style?
St. Pablo: Well I used to do remakes of old Frank Ocean and Mac Miller songs, and if I hadn’t begun to make music with Marcus I’d probably still be doing that. Marcus makes the whole process easier to create a unique sound. It’s safe to say St. Pablo wouldn’t exist without Marcus. I think the development came from the quantity of music we make though. We have at this point nearing 300 songs and the creation process is nonstop. We love what we do.
- What’s your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative and entertainment?
St. Pablo: I think music is a lane for self-expression I think whatever is on your mind you should express, I think sometimes trying to curtail your music to a certain lane or viewpoint can run uniqueness right out the door.
- Do you write a song with current successful musical trends and formulas in mind, or do you simply focus on your own personal vision and trust that fans will empathize with your sound and message?
St. Pablo: I don’t really look to other artists for formulas, I think most music is really, really bad. I know people out there are like me and I know I like what I do as does Marcus. And if we like it? Others will like it too.
- Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a beat, or a narrative in your head?
St. Pablo: So Marcus usually starts sampling or makes a melody, I catch his feeling off his starting point and I just start writing until I’ve nothing more to say then we record, the whole process takes about 30 min – 60 min. Sometimes we’ve tried to take longer but the music usually comes out worse.
- What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or career so far?
St. Pablo: Homelessness, being hungry, being abandoned. Having to figure it out on my own,
- On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or career so far?
St. Pablo: Being in the moment I’m in right now, just dropped 2 projects doing crazy numbers, hell even this interview, all my success is due to me and that’s such a crazy feeling. I came from nothing.
- Putting aside the accolades or criticisms that fans or the media may afford your releases, what’s the one thing about you, or your music, you think people may overlook or misinterpret most often?
St. Pablo: Probably how misogynistic I am or am not. I hate men way more than women. But women don’t be believing me so we don’t usually last long
- Do you think is it important for fans of your music to understand the real story and message driving each of your songs, or do you think everyone should be free to interpret your songs in their own personal way?
St. Pablo: I write my music to be applicable to multiple scenarios, I want people to hear my story but also hear they own story that’s really important to me.
- Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much satisfaction as the amount of work you are putting into it, or are you expecting something more, or different?
St. Pablo: I only make the music for my pleasure hearing me drop bars is forever enough.
- With social media having a heavy impact on our lives and the music business in general, how do you handle criticism, haters and/or naysayers in general? Is it something you pay attention to, or simply ignore?
St. Pablo: I love haters, I love em bring em on, lets talk! Y’all prolly like lil yacht anyway
- Could you tell us something about your latest project and what the highlights are to watch out for?
St. Pablo: SLF CNTRL just dropped on April 30th it’s the second project 4 tracks to keep it short sweet and to the point. Some video content is coming very soon.
- Do you have a personal favorite track amongst those in your catalog that has a specific backstory and/or message and meaning very special to you on a personal level?
St. Pablo: N’Zion was written for my lil brother and so that song hits a little different.
- Creative work in studio environment, or interaction with a live audience? Which of these two options excite you most?
St. Pablo: Studio.
- Do you have a favorite motto, phrase or piece of advice, you try to live or inspire yourself by?
St. Pablo: nothing is stronger than me. What you are seeking is seeking you.
- How essential do you think video is in relation to your music? Do you have a video you suggest fans see, to get a better understanding of your persona and craft?
St. Pablo: Na not really just listen and be open.
- What do you find most rewarding about what you do? And do you have a specific vision or goal set in your mind that you would like to achieve in the near future?
St. Pablo: I want to pay my rent off music, that’s the ultimate reward lol. Once I cannot think about money as a need and music can be all I focus on I’ll be complete or something.