Paul is not just another Canadian rapper: he is someone who lives, breathes, and feels music in every way, shape, or form. He is deeply involved in his creative craft, and he consistently sets the bar higher with everything he sets his mind to. This, of course, involving working with other talented artists and helping them reach a broader audience, but also creating some fantastic original music. Hailing from Vancouver, Canada, Paul created a name for himself and made a big impact on the local music scene and beyond. Although he did not have a formal musical background, he discovered his calling for music through attending Church. His local Church had many artists and DJs, and Paul was immediately fascinated by what they were doing. The Church became a place where he could connect with like-minded creatives and other individuals sharing the same beliefs and passions in life. He found an encouraging environment, which led him to keep exploring his creativity and develop his musical identity. It didn’t take long before Paul had the opportunity to try his hand at rapping and eventually singing, performing, and creating his own tracks!
To this day, Paul actually produces most of his music, and he really feels very involved in the whole process of creating his songs, at times even starting from something as simple as a voice memo on his phone! The creative process can be very fluid this way, and the best part is that Paul doesn’t have to be confined to waiting for someone else to send him a beat or work within some pre-defined constraints. By producing his own tracks, he is able to ignite the spark of his God-given creative vision and let the energy of the moment and the flow of his emotion dictate where it’s all going to go. His lyrics are just as important as the quality of his productions since they are so central to spreading a positive message with people of all walks of life. He loves to endow his songs with a positive message of faith but also with a universal message of hope that anybody could relate to. His sound might remind you of some of the best Christian rappers, but his diverse production approach echoes the work of generational icons such as Mac Miller, Juice WRLD, or Post Malone, only to mention a few.
Paul is not only interested in making his own music. He loves to work with other artists and support them by giving them the tools and know-how that are so necessary to stay afloat in the treacherous waters of the music industry. As a budding artist himself, he noticed that so many artists simply do not know what to do if they want to reach an audience or get noticed themselves.
He is on a quest to lift up and reinvigorate the Canadian music scene, not only by creating more amazing music but also by catering to many other artists. He is making plans to expand globally, continuing to offer quality services and working increasingly with international artists.
We had the opportunity to catch up with this eclectic Canadian artist and ask him a few questions about his music, life, and background. Keep reading to learn more!
How would you describe your sound and influences?
Hey thanks for having me! With grassroots in the Church, my sound has been a blend of inspiring anthems and melodic impromptu – with a cinematic twist. Think of Eminem and Sia’s musical baby! Or perhaps, a big salad where the main ingredients where Macklemore, Drake, Bastille, and Imagine Dragons! LOL!
What are your other influences, and what music did you listen to while growing up?
I found a walkman in my house when I was 8. It had 3 C.D.s with it, including A D12, Jay Z, and Ludacris album, even though I am not sure how I got away with that!
That was pretty much all I listened to while I was growing up. Once I began writing my music and had a spiritual encounter, it was artists such as Lecrae & Trip Lee (Reach Records), S.O. (Lampmode), Braille (HumbleBeast), and Andy Mineo (Reach Records) that really got my attention. They sculpted my songwriting and essentially put wind in my sails. I probably wouldn’t be the same artist as I am today without them, and I am so grateful I got to know their music at a younger age!
Do you have any special method to approach your songwriting?
If it’s the beat first, I start rapping/singing gibberish to get the circulation going, and eventually, I get something and plug them in. If I don’t have any beat, I might work off a voice note I recorded and beatbox to that to get a rhythm going and build it in Logic from there.
I find that songwriting for me can be a lot like acting out a scene in a movie. You want to capture as much meaning in the expression as possible so that It comes off as authentic and believable – for me; genuine lyrics tend to follow. In the same breath, I write in the perspective of how I envision myself delivering, whether it’s up close and personal over a cup of coffee or shouting from a stage with high energy to an audience below, whatever the case, I want to be mindful of the performance behind it. After all, once I’m done with all the writing, we need to perform the piece.
All in all, a song happens more naturally once I allow myself to embrace the words so that they are believable, regardless if I’ve experienced the lyrics or not. My song might be the soundtrack to somebody’s season in life, and I want to ensure I incarnate their experience as best as possible.
Do you also work on your own production?
I produce roughly 90% of the songs I’ve released, so the majority is self-produced in my home studio. My production process ranges from listening to the collection of voice-notes I’ve accumulated over the years to finding new sounds on Splice and manipulating them. I’ve personally found that beatboxing over a melody is the fastest way to determine a song’s vibe. From there, I can hang my hat on whether the track will be a fierce upbeat anthem or a laid-back and more reflective tune. The funny thing is that I have no musical training and know very little music theory. I translate what’s going on in my head to the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation.) Remember, if it sounds good, it is good.
Where are you from, and did the local music scene impact you in any way?
Performing in my hometown, Vancouver, B.C., will always be close to my heart. Vancouver is one of the most diverse cities in the world, so be able to come across and collaborate with a palette of divergent artists will always be thrilling.
If you had the opportunity to pick one artist to collaborate with, who would it be and why?
Ryan Tedder from One Republic. I respect him and his band so much. They managed to stay true to their values while allowing their music to grow timelessly.
We’ve all got a lot of time on our hands to listen to our music: What are you listening to these days?
When my wife isn’t listening to Luke Combs, I’m usually dabbling in some Kygo or Bastille. I love the adventurous spirit behind the songs they write. They always drive me. You can tell they are genuinely passionate about the songs they write and produce, which intrigues me as an artist.
Are you on social media, and what’s your take on the current way artists use these platforms?
Social media is one of the greatest tools at our disposal! If I abuse it, I could tear myself down.
I love that there are different avenues of representing myself and allowing fans to know me more personally. I’ve always been the class clown growing up, so incorporating funny stories and impersonations on my Instagram stories has served as such a great way to brighten up people’s days and encourage them. Someone told me that “We are a person first, and then an artist,” so inviting people to know the person behind the music allows them to engage with the song as well as the artist in ways they never would of without social media.
Thank you so much for being so generous with your time and your answers! Is there anything else you want to say to conclude?
You’ve helped me more than you know! Thank you for rocking with my music and trusting me to speak into your lives. Your feedback and personal messages have encouraged me so much and are among the main reasons I keep doing what I do. I know it sounds cliche, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without your loyalty and prayers! There’s nothing more fulfilling than to keep building genuine relationships with each of you. I love you all! Thank you.
Find out more about this artist by visiting his website, Paul Hernandez Music (linked below), and listen: