Breakout artist Pablo Dylan talks artists, politics and making it big


Photo by Gerry Garcia

By Katherine Ellis


Photo by Gerry Garcia
Photo by Gerry Garcia

Written by Bernie Garcia


Last Sunday while attending Sundance 2015 I walked into Music Lodge, a private venue that highlights some of the best in today’s music scene, and ran into an old friend by the name of Kwasi Asare. Mr. Asare, who has a distinguished ear for talent having previously worked for Sean “Diddy” Combs Bad Boy Entertainment Label, was on hand with his up and coming nineteen year old protege, Pablo Dylan. If the last name strikes you as an homage to the legendary Bob Dylan, it is not a tribute at all; Pablo IS the son of iconic music video director/activist Jesse Dylan who just happens to be Bob Dylan’s eldest son. Much like his famous grandfather, Pablo brings an articulate and intelligent voice to a genre that needs fresh talent and a fresh face to keep it moving in an artistically sound direction. But his unique style is not limited to witty lyrics, political consciousness and clever rhyme schemes. At the tender age of nineteen, he has already worked with the likes of Gucci Mane, collaborated with Dirty South legend David Banner and produced a bonafide banger hit with eighteen year old soon to be superstar Gia’s “Only A Girl.” His vision is further cemented on the politically charged track “No Religion” , which is as controversial as one would expect from a member of the first family of music.The future looks luminous for the immensely talented musician, and as I learned in sitting down with Pablo, fortune does indeed favor the bold.

Bernie Garcia- How does your upcoming album differ from 2011’s mixtape “Ten Minutes”?

Pablo Dylan- “Ten Minutes was as you know done when I was like fifteen. I think with Ten Minutes I had a vision in mind, but didn’t really have the technical skills to execute it. I have spent the past four years working sixteen hours a day so now I’m getting closer to the sound I want. Hopefully people react to it well, so far people have been reacting a lot stronger to it.”

BG- So perhaps maturity has been the predominant factor in getting your sound to where you want it to be in regards to your new album?

PD- Yeah definitely maturity. For me personally, I’m kinda ashamed of the Ten Minute songs..I don’t feel like they are up to par (laughs)

BG- (laughs) I liked them!

PD- You know, like my New Song No Religion, I think you heard it, I played it at the show.

BG- Yeah absolutely!

PD-That’s a real song with real topics, it deals with real societal problems, (i.e. corrupt governments and politicians.) I think that there’s a difference between the importance of that and “Sittin On Top of the World” which doesn’t address such issues, man, [email protected]*k that shit.

BG- Right, I get you, I get that. Obviously you are at where you are at because you have a James Brownesque work ethic. From what Kwasi has told me and what I have read about you, you are one of the hardest working men in show business. How do you keep yourself balanced and focused? What are some of your other creative outlets besides music?

PD- You know man, I was born to make music. I was born to create other worlds sonically and to express how I feel thru words. But yeah, I am really into fashion and art. I am on the blogs looking at what is new and go to galleries to find inspiration.

BG-That’s cool.

PD-Honestly though, my life is kinda unbalanced. I basically just wake up and start making music. (laughs)

BG- You did look pretty fashionably fresh on stage, your threads looked tight,I loved your presence and energy. I also read, either in GQ or Rolling Stone that your influences are as diverse as The Clash, W.A. Mozart, Eminem, Jay-Z and Kanye West. What are some of your favorite works from one of those artists? What stands out in your mind? What connects most with you?

PD-London Calling by The Clash. It is one of my favorite albums of all time! Like that was one of the first albums as a young kid that I connected with and got, you know what I am saying? That was the first piece of work that I gravitated towards in the sense where that was all I listened to for awhile.

BG- I feel that London Calling is something that the youth of the past, present and future have a deep connection with. It’s something that is timeless I would say.

PD- Yeah Exactly! That is something that I am trying to bring back, like that punk energy meeting the modern sound. That’s something that I am actively trying to merge because I did grow up on that. I did grow up on The Sex Pistols. I did grow up on The Beatles. That type of song writing, those type of chords, I think that’s the really classic stuff. It’s some of the best works ever made. How do you?… (Pauses) My goal is to modernize that energy and make it cool for people to listen to and embrace once again. I am a huge Yeezus fan, I love that sound.

BG-Wow! That makes total sense. Tell me more about some of your work with one of my favorite producers, David Banner. What other notable artists do you have on the upcoming album? Can you say or is that hella hush-hush?

PD- I don’t wanna give away the track-list just yet, but just know that there will be a lot of dope artists on there.

BG- Nice!

PD- I am really excited about it!

BG- Obviously everyone knows about your famous granddad (Bob Dylan) so I am not gonna go there because I feel like you have already answered all the pertaining questions in relation to him in previous interviews. You are trying to be your own artist and I really respect that. As a film student, I really admire your Dad. (Jesse Dylan)

PD-That’s dope.

BG- Visually, that’s the branch of art that I gravitate to. Film and music videos are what I am into. Jesse is pretty iconic in his own right both politically and artistically. What are some of the things that he does that has an utmost influence on you?

PD- “My Dad taught me about work ethic. He made that make sense to me. He taught me that if I work sixteen hours a day on music, then eventually I will be good at it. “

BG-That transitions me to my next point. You have mentioned in Rolling Stone that you wanna be “the greatest, the best that has ever been.” You also have said that it is a lot of pressure to want to accomplish that and to be compared to your famous family. Is that pressure off your shoulders a little bit? I think that more and more people are realizing that you have poetic lyricism,and solid people behind you. Has some of that pressure been lifted off now in 2015?

PD- I would say yes and no. I would say yes in the sense that people are finally really reacting to it. When Ten Minutes came out, a lot of people said that this kid is a joke. And now people are saying that he is the real deal. It’s an incredible feeling. People don’t laugh when they hear the name Pablo Dylan. They know I am saying something real. I won’t consider myself successful till I have reached the level of Kanye West, Bob Dylan, or John Lennon. I am not even close to that mark.

BG-But at sixteen hours a day, you will be there soon. That is also what my dad taught me; that if you really want something you have to get down and dirty and never quit. You gotta work really hard. Are there any plans to work with your dad and have him do one of your videos?

PD- It has been talked about, but I really want to carve my own path. Maybe in ten years, but at this point I don’t feel like it would be right. I wanna do everything on my own with my friends and my people.

BG- That does keep you true to your own individualistic, artistic vision. No chance of being distracted there. People will respect that, especially since you are not leaving the studio till three in the morning. You still on the grind that hard or do you schedule in a break here and there?

PD- I haven’t taken a break since before Ten Minutes. But I don’t really see it as a grind honestly. This is what I do and there is nothing I rather do. You know what I am saying? I mean I guess it is work in a sense but I have somehow become lucky enough to have my passion and dream become my job.

BG-It is a part of you…

PD- It’s the most incredible thing. Because even if I wasn’t getting paid to produce for artists like Gia or make music for myself and others, I would be doing it regardless. I would still be doing the exact same thing.

I just wanna say I am really excited for my upcoming stuff with OG Maco and a ton of my other production work, so yeah I want everyone to check it out.

BG- It has been an honor and a pleasure, lets catch up when I am out in LA.

PD- Sounds good, thanks for the interview.

You can check out Pablo Dylan on Soundcloud or his Twitter page.

[email protected]