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To Love Like Gatsby, Old Sport: A Conversation with Pablo



While Fitzgerald may have stolen the words of his wife Zelda, there’s no denying the cultural impact made through The Great Gatsby. Read the book or watched the movie – almost everyone can picture Leonardo Dicaprio raising a toast to Nick in his mansion of excess. After years of producing for others, Toronto’s Pablo is ready to become a Fizgeraldian legend with his release of Love, Gatsby. “When you’re making music and when you’re actually putting it out it’s like two completely different mindsets […] you don’t realize where you are in your journey until you’re getting that feedback from people.” He describes the creation of Love, Gatsby as a chess game where there are so many moving pieces to consider.

No different from other songwriters in the industry, Pablo uses his experiences as a vessel for his writing, allowing listeners a peak into his life. He tells us that “part of the goal as an artist is in some way to be able to accurately reflect those experiences into music and make people feel that way.” Music allows Pablo to share what he thought or felt about certain moments in his life. While it may be scary going into it knowing that the people he’s writing about may listen to the song not having those conversations with certain people. However, he tells us that it’s also been therapeutic because “some of this is so beautiful but so dark the only way for you to digest it properly is in song form.” But songwriting is not his only talent. Pablo produces his own music, engineers it, and even directs all his own music videos.

As a young boy, Pablo’s mom had a piano that he started playing with. Taking lessons coupled with teaching himself using other songs, he learned to play. Entering middle school, he discovered his love for rap through Lil Wayne and Drake. Later in university, Pablo felt like he couldn’t find the beats he was looking for so he started making his own beats. He credits Kanye, PartyNextDoor, and Noah “40” Shebib as being the biggest influences on his production side. He  became “so increasingly immersed in the whole creation process of a song” but writing and producing for other artists wasn’t enough; he wanted to create more.

“I thought, ‘okay now is the time for me to go back into the lab and start telling my story.’”


The word he uses in transitioning in writing and producing for others to himself is: freeing. With himself, he allows experimentation that is not always granted when providing for someone else. He can work on his own time and standard. He doesn’t have to think about what they may or may not like, it is all his own. “It’s just good to be exploring the passion in the way that I want to and to the depth that I want to.” He likens it to a high he’s never felt anywhere else. The first track Role Player and X’s and O’s, the last track in the EP could be described as his most personal, most explorative songs.  Pablo tells us that sometimes when he’s making songs, he can take on a new persona. Sometimes he’s Gatsby; lavish and colossal. Other times he’s Pablo; the kid from Toronto looking to tell his story and make some music. In these two tracks, he’s described as “straight up Pablo.” These bookend tracks are conversations, they are who he is: authentic.

“If this person was in the car right next to me in the passenger seat, it’s exactly what I’d be saying to them. But it just has a beat around it.”

Directing is another feat Pablo undertook in the creation of his music. While he’s doing a lot of things for the first time, Pablo is no stranger to being behind the scenes. Knowing about lighting and composition, he’d never thought these skills would come in handy with his music. Realizing he can’t stay stagnant, hiding in a studio, he put his skills to the test to release visuals to his tracks. Without a camera or the position to be able to get one, he made use of what he did have and created iPhone visuals and got to work. Not allowing the industry of perfectionism to deter him, Pablo allows himself to make mistakes along the way and the freedom to know when something is finished. He says, “I’ve seen so many people – including myself at times – get stuck in the same place for so long because they were just trying to “perfect” something.”

However, doing everything on his own is tough. Being his own team, Pablo has had to learn about the business side of the industry more than many other artists do. With aspirations of running record companies or labels down the road, he’s using his career as the opportunity to experiment. Managing and agenting himself, Pablo’s had to learn to put himself out there and actively seek opportunities that artists usually pay others to do. He refers to this as a beloved sport he plays. “It’s cut-throat in every single way.”

Constantly making more music, Pablo is excited to get more music out there to his loyal listeners. With the belief that the world rewards those who go after their dreams fearlessly, there’s no doubt about Pablo’s growth potential and work ethic. “It’s like seeing your dream come to fruition in real life.”


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