Pablo Johnson interview by Andy Chandler

Questions -

Hi Pablo! Aka Joey Mercedes. As you know, I love your music and the new track is a welcome addition to NewRetroWave.
Lets start with the name. Why Pablo Johnson?

Thanks for listening! Pablo Johnson has been a nickname that was given to me years ago from my best friends, it stuck and pretty much became an alter ego. From now on though, Ill be writing tunes as Joey Mercedes, my real name. I just feel like its time for some change, and that it actually sounds much better, what do you think?

They both remind me of dope 80s names somewhow....
I find that your music often evokes images and vibes of warm 80s beaches...I know you
re a big Miami Vice fan as well. Anything behind this?

Miami Vice definitely has a part in it but, I just love good vibes, I want my music to evoke that, and for listeners to feel that. The beach has always been the epitome of good vibes, so I feel that its only right for those images to come to mind.

Some artists are hesitant to pigeonhole their music to a single label or style. Do you place yourself in the synthwave genre? Where do you see this scene going in the future?
I do think that my music is within the synthwave genre, just more on an experimental approach. I love synthesizers and the sounds of yesteryear. Its all very nostalgic for me, and brings me home. As far as the future? The future is now, Ive seen commercials with synthwave tracks, tv shows, and movies with synthwave tracks. Its everywhere. I think that this scene will be bigger than what it is at the moment,

Along the same lines--some artists dont have the same versatility as you, replicating nearly the same sound every track or using a signature sound. Would you say you have a signature sound or are you happy exploring?

Thank you for noticing. I think that replicating the same sound for every track, can be a bit boring and limiting. I definitely have go-to sounds and synths, but I think its how you use those sounds that really make them stand out. Im happy with exploring because Im still learning more and more daily, constantly researching different synths, production techniques, as well as producers and their techniques. I am basically just trying to figure out, whats going to make my music stand out.

Has your design of tracks or approach to music changed at all since the early days of creating tracks?

Definitely. When I first started creating, I really wasnt putting much thought into it, I wasnt as passionate, so I fell in and out of it. I also started working in the IT field, and feel that it has given me a different thought process on everything, not just music. I think that it has given me some structure, especially with time management. I also listen to music while working, so with that, I am able to dissect different tunes and try to figure out which synths or effects were used, its fun for me. I take the inspiration with me, and try to apply it to my music.

When you make music do you draw from 80s nostalgia or does the nostalgia draw from you? (Sort of rhetorical, no right answer here)

Good Question! I would say its a mixture if both really. Ill usually have a movie on while Im writing or experimenting, so Ill try to put my spin on what I think a particular scene sounds like. Life experiences also help, or just remembering Saturday morning cartoons, and watching VHSs as a kid.

Whats on for 2015?

Some vocal work is definitely on the table, remixing, as well as another EP.  Im also going to release more mixes, so be on the lookout for Public Access 2. Other than that, youll just have to wait and see!

Listen to his sounds here: