PAOPAO Sits With The Garnette Report
Latin Grammy-winning singer-songwriter paopao, was one of the first artists to open the second annual Sueños Music Festival in Downtown Chicago this Memorial Day weekend. Her heartfelt performance gave us all the feels that paopao ‘s signature, self-described “sad-girl vibes” and the alt-rock undertones of her reggaeton songs suggest. Though paopao was towards the beginning of the first day of the festival and thus the crowds were much sparser than later on in the day, I believe this was all due to bad timing rather than lack of fans.
paopao provided the crowd with an authentic live performance that not only showcased her talent as a singer-songwriter but also as a caring human being. paopao, at one point in her set, completely stopped the show in order to bring much-needed attention to a fan in the crowd that seemed to be in an unknown state of distress. Nevertheless, once the crowd was taken care of, like a true performer she picked right back up where she left off and continued on looking truly at home and like her best self.
After paopao’s performance, The Garnette Report was able to sit down with her and talk about all things music.
Q: What do you want fans to take away from your newest single “Te Kiero Ver” (“I Want To See You”) by paopao and Jay Wheeler?
A: “‘Te Kiero Ver’. What can we take away from it? I’d say two things, one musical and one not. I think it’s [first] that major artists are collabbing with up-and-coming artists and I think it is great to keep pushing the culture forward. So, I think that’s really cool. And the other thing is, I like the message of the song a lot. I think it’s like, guys just being guys. But [also], being regretful and the texting while you’re drunk ‘Oh I wanna see you…I’m sorry’, and the girl being like ‘Nahhh’.”
Q: What made you gravitate to Reggaeton and Alternative-Pop styles of music?
A: “It’s crazy, I’ve had a lot of musical influences throughout my life. Like, my dad listened to a lot of soft rock when I was a kid. And then my mom was very singer-songwriter. So, I got my love for lyrics through my mom’s side where I was listening to a lot of Puerto Rican singer-songwriters when I was growing up. And then in college, I studied music [there], and I got a lot of that U.S. music, or, I say general market, like Pink Floyd, The Beetles, I got a lot of classical music, jazz music. So that’s like where I learned the musicality from. And then when it came down to [my personal style], I was trying to figure out where I fit in the industry in general, and what my sound was gonna be. It took me like 10 years I think to develop my sound. But then, me starting to song write to where I am now it’s been easily a couple years [to develop, but] I love the ‘sad-girl vibes’. Like that’s just always been me, so I just kinda like, naturally evolved into this.”
Q: When did you know this was something you wanted to do?
A: “Always! I say I’m like the black sheep of the family. Like, I come from doctors, engineers, lawyers. But I’ve always sang. [My parents] put me in piano lessons since I was a kid because they knew. I don’t know if they knew if I was going to do this for a career. But, I feel like it’s the most present [I ever am]. Like when I’m writing, and performing, it’s like, that’s the only thing that makes me happy, and it gives me a purpose. So, that’s never gonna change.”
Q: What goes through your head when you’re writing a song?
A: “Depends on the day. It depends because sometimes I’m just chilling or cooking or taking a shower, and then I’ll be like ‘Oh’, and I’ll think of something or like hum or whatever. Sometimes I’ll go through something, and like, I’ll start writing about that and see where it takes me. Sometimes I’ll just listen to a beat and start humming a melody and then whatever line I grab that I like, I’ll keep developing it, so it depends.”
Q: What is one thing you want your fans to know about you, your music, or something that’s upcoming?
A: “I’m excited about the music that’s coming out soon.”
Q: So your working on something new?
A: “I’m working on a new project. I’m gonna start releasing it really soon. And I think that, for me, it’s like 2.0, you know? I keep evolving, I keep discovering who I am, and I think [the fans] are gonna like whatever’s coming up.”
Q: Can you give a sneak peek of the vibe of the project?
A: “Oh, I’m trying to [decide] if it’s happier or darker. I think it’s a little bit in between. I think it’s like a more mature version of “Diamantes y Espinas” (“Roses and Thorns”), which was my first EP.”
Q: What was your favorite thing about your latest EP “Dimantes y Espinas” or “Diamonds and Thorns”?
A: “I love that album because I think it’s the first project that I’ve done, as a solo artist, by myself, without it being a collaborative EP. That for me was my passion project. That was like my first, [it’s like] my resume is in that. That was the first time that I was able to show, like, this is one hundred percent who I am. This is what I wanna bring to the genre. Like, that was my baby.”
Q: What would you like to experiment with more within your music?
A: “I wanna experiment more with different genres of music. Because in the Urban genre, I already experiment a little within that, but I would love to try doing an Alternative-Bachata or Corrido. Like that kinda stuff. I really wanna like mess around with those kinds of genres that are like already so happy and have such a party vibe [and incorporate the sad-girl vibes]. Like I, I’m working on it, but that’s gonna be like a future thing. But I’m messing with musical genres a lot. I’m working on one that I’m really pumped about.”
Q: What is the biggest takeaway you’ve learned from your time as a rising star in the music industry?
A: “I think my biggest takeaway is that patience is key. I think that it’s also, as humans we try to compare ourselves to other people in the industry. Literally, as people, we always want more, but I found myself comparing myself to other people, and life had other plans for me that were even better than [those comparisons]. So, I’m just being present is something that I’ve learned [to do].”
“It’s a mixture, it’s like you always want more, but then we forget to be ‘here’. And it’s like, maybe that was your peak and you never enjoyed where you were. So, I think it’s being present, and it’s just doing your thing and being happy. That’s what I’m working on.”
More coverage of Sueños Music Festival can be found on the Garnette Report’s website.