Latina Music Sensation paopao Talks Redefining Boundaries with Unique Fusion and Harajuku Style

Puerto Rican singer-songwriter paopao has carved a distinct niche in the music scene with her fusion of Reggaetón and Alternative Pop. In a recent interview, she shed light on her creative process, drawing inspiration from her life, shaped by the sounds of reggaeton and her parents’ diverse music tastes. A music college graduate, paopao’s sound reflects a blend of genres like classical, jazz, rock, indie, soul, and funk.

“Being Puerto Rican, you come out of the womb listening to reggaeton. My sound is a blend of everything I’ve been exposed to, mixed with oversharing,” says paopao.

Her creative process has evolved over time. Initially using a guitar to write songs, paopao now often starts with producers’ loops, recording melodies and lyrics until a compelling hook emerges.

“I’m very lyric-driven, so until I come up with a good line/hook, I won’t start writing the rest of the song,” she explains. A pivotal moment in paopao’s career came when global sensation Bad Bunny endorsed her work. “To know that an artist like [Bad Bunny] knows you exist, let alone fucks with your music, is insane. His support led to collaborations and exposed me to many people who are now genuine fans,” paopao expresses.

Collaborations are a significant aspect of her career strategy. She collaborates with artists who inspire her and have their own musical identity.

“I try to work with artists that inspire me, people I fuck with, and have their own musical identity. I have so many people I’d like to work with, some of them being Rosalia, Eladio Carrion, Jhayco, Odd Liquor, C. Tangana… I could go on and on,” she says.

Being part of TIDAL’s RISING program has been a noteworthy experience for paopao. The platform’s support has been consistent since the early stages of her career. “It’s an honor to be a part of their RISING program. Jesus and the gang are my musical family at this point,” she states.

One of paopao’s recent hits, “en guerra,” is a collaboration with Dei V. “This song fell on my lap. I had a session with Jeremy Ayala, and he said ‘Do you know Dei V?’ and I was like ‘Of course!’ and he goes ‘Well, we did this song together that I think you’d sound great in. Let me know If you like it but if not, we could work on something else,’ and as soon as he played it I was like ‘say less,'” she recounts.

With a style that embraces the influence of Harajuku street fashion, paopao brings a unique and edgy flair to the Latin music scene. Drawing inspiration from the 80s grunge movement, blended with a touch of London punk and Harajuku aesthetics, paopao’s fashion choices have sparked both admiration and controversy. “I love dark, edgy, loose-fitting clothes. For most people, it’s either a ‘you love it or you hate it’ kind of thing, but I love that it’s so triggering,” she shares. Embracing her individuality, paopao challenges conventional norms, making her mark not just through her music but also as a style icon who fearlessly embraces the unexpected.

Navigating the pressures and expectations of being a rising artist in the Latin music scene has been a learning experience for paopao. “I consciously know this but the anxiety is def still there. Journaling, meditating, eating well, and going to the gym help,” she shares.

Looking ahead, paopao has exciting plans for her fans. With a focus on experimenting with the Latin Urban genre, she aims to challenge expectations and redefine perceptions of female artists in the industry.

“My ‘tiny’ long-term goal is to change the way people think of female artists in the industry: from what they sing about to how they look,” she declares.

In essence, paopao’s strikingly different approach lies in her musical experimentation, authentic songwriting, and unique sense of style. Her journey from a Puerto Rican talent to a global sensation reflects not only her musical prowess but also her commitment to authenticity and individuality. As paopao continues to evolve and redefine the music landscape, her impact on the industry is bound to grow, making her a distinctive and influential force in Latin music.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Contrast Magazine.


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