The moment he walked into the restaurant for an interview, Davao-based singer-songwriter Paul Pablo gave off a balanced vibe of quiet confidence and shyness. The rising Warner Music recording artist was in Manila last week to promote the release of his latest single, “Kaya.”
This fifth track remains consistent with what Paul is known for—“hugotronic” sound—a distinct mix of melancholic and electronic pop music.
Clad in a skirt and long-sleeved top, Paul is strikingly unique and authentic. This observation resurfaced as we delved deeper into his personal story of wanting to represent the LGBT community well and keep his androgynous fashion style.
“My personal experiences serve as my guide,” Paul said in Filipino as he spoke about his inspiration in songwriting. “For me to feel whatever message I am trying to convey in a song.” He added wanting to bring to life not only those that connect to his soul but also ones others may find relatable.
Proving his claim right is his newly launched single and personal composition, “Kaya.” In the local language, the word means can or able to do something. Paul explained Kaya through the song’s context. He said, ‘Kaya’ is about adulting. I got inspired to tell my listeners that when there is too much on their plate, they need not feel bad about letting go of some that they can’t complete and prioritize what they can do.”
Throughout the track, Paul Pablo reminds listeners to take things easy and carve their own paths.
Paul’s life is a series of evidence that anything is possible. With a career launched at the height of the pandemic, when live shows were temporarily put to a halt, the young artist powered through. His music began hitting the numbers, with “Bangin” reaching 1.2M streams, his other songs played over a million times collectively on Spotify, and raking in thousands of Youtube views. To add to that, Paul was also named Spotify Radar artist and is currently releasing “Kaya” exclusively on Apple Music Spatial Audio.
“I guess that it is really important that the people you work with let you express your ideas and creativity with freedom,” Paul emphasized, speaking from a place of gratitude. He added, “This helped me to stay true to my musical and artistic identity, and people from The Sound House, Warner Music PH, and BigseedX helped me embrace my uniqueness and let it take over my songs. I’d like to turn the pain of what I’ve been through in the past into something beautiful that would fuel me in times of struggle. I hope this song will help people struggling with adulting to feel better.”
In parallel, Paul’s loving family, friends, and new recording label provided him with similar support. With his powerful voice reaching more playlists and personal brand making stronger recall, I asked Paul if he is open to giving acting a try. His face brightened and his eyes lit up as he revealed, “That is my ultimate dream, but as of the moment, I still find acting difficult but I am very eager to learn.”
When someone from his team reminded him, “What you did in your Kaya video was acting,” Paul was quick to reply. His honest response was, “I was asked to give ‘More! More!’ [during the shoot], I feel I still need to undergo workshops to enhance my acting skills.” With his consistent streak in making things happen and a display of passion and grit, crossing over to television or movies would just be a matter of time. Without a doubt, Paul Pablo can.