“It’s music I can refer to as catchy”, Nicolas Pablo Munoz tells Clash pragmatically as we sit down to discuss what has come to be his widely successful musical project, Boy Pablo. The algorithm-DIY-pop group has in just over a year gone from one-hit-wonders to Norwegian Grammy winning, Coachella- playing champs.
But, how do you go about creating lo-fi magic out of a tiny YouTube spark? The ‘Everytime’ video certainly gave the boys a boost, but they haven’t exactly been resting on their laurels. “I think we’ve been good at purposefully use the attention that video gained us. We’re not just a video on YouTube, we’re also a band who actually does good live shows and make more good music”, Munoz tells Clash.
Through extensive touring across the globe, Pablo and co. have managed to reach fans far outside the Scandinavian borders. However, despite what their joyous live shows may indicate, it’s not all completely carefree.
“I tend to be really nervous before the tours because it’s so weird to be staying away from home that much. I bring my friends. They play with me live and it’s been such a blessing cause we have each other and we can talk about anything. That really is a safety for me - that I have good people with me.”
Though Boy Pablo now surf comfortably on the low-fi slacker-pop wave, Munoz admit he didn’t know of the genre that would inevitably lead him to fame. It wasn’t until he unexpectedly gained recognition that he understood the impact the soundscape seemed to have.
“When I put out that music video I started to watch the videos that were related to my video. They had a lot of views as well, like Clario and Rex Orange County, they all had a certain amount of fame already. It’s funny, cause I was looking for that kind of thing – and suddenly I discovered it after.”
He might be late to that party, still Munoz have a pretty clear idea why this music seem to resonate with so many young people. “The music kind of gives me this nostalgic feeling. It’s not sad, but it has some melancholy, and that’s the thing that maybe a lot of people at our age are feeling. It’s gotten really popular. So maybe that’s a thing that people are feeling strongly and connecting with.”
Boy Pablo certainly have a flair for nostalgia, however Palo himself has made cheering up people his mission, and so the sad songs are strictly avoided. “I decided to purposefully make music that is not depressing”, he tells Clash. “A lot of times I thought: maybe I should do a more sad song because this is how I feel... but I decided to not do it because I don’t want my music to be the kind of music you get depressed to.”
Depressing songs may be out of the picture, but Pablo definitely has a soft spot for love-songs. Though turns out it’s just as much practicality as subject matter that draws him to the love-tunes. “I don’t see myself as a good writer. Words don’t come easy to me so I try to make it easier and I write things as a love song. It’s not necessarily about love but I write it as a love song - it’s just easier.”
Munoz tells us that Boy Pablo are steadily working towards a full-length album, but that he’s not one for rushing things. In the meantime Boy Pablo will keep spreading good vibes and fun times through infectious live shows.
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Words: Aurora Henni Krogh
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