LADYGUNN INTERVIEW: PELL
photos / Lloyd Pursall
styling / Jessie Jamz
story / Koko Ntuen
When Jared Pellerin, otherwise known by his music moniker Pell, was displaced from his hometown of New Orleans to Jackson, Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina hit he used his budding frustration, empowerment, and energy and started making music experimenting with personal experiences and a wide variety of sonic influences that he gathered over the years. What transpired was Pell’s ethereal, introspective approach to the craft that leaves a bouncy zenful feeling in your body.
In his short time in the music world, he has already made iconic alliances working with Dave Sitek’s label, Federal Prism, chart topping features with Bridgit Mendler, and G-Eazy, as well as being part of the dream team soundtrack to the Academy Award winning La La Land. Pell is on a meditated rise destined for the top, one flow at a time. We get to know the bright musician who flooded playlists everywhere with his charming mantras.
What was your first experience like trying to make music?
The year is ’05. Katrina had just hit. My mother, brother and I went to Jackson Mississippi to stay with my grandmother and other relatives fleeing the storm. I was actually trying to make beats for me and my cousin Jonathan to rap over using this Korg beat pad that my pops had bought me. It came out like trash, but we thought it was hot. Plus, we didn’t really have much else to do while waiting to hear back on whether we could go back into our homes or not.
When was the moment that everything clicked and you thought, ‘I can really do this’?
When my mom saw me perform at Tougaloo College and cried. It’s her alma mater and I shut it down.
How does Hurricane Katrina influence your music to this day?
Helps me to realize that pain brings people together. You find how close you are to someone once you experience the same struggle. Finding a home is one thing – being uprooted and having to relocate your life is another.
Can you tell us about other major inspirations you have in life right now?
I have received major inspiration in providing for others. It’s become an addiction of mine to be the “plug” for my friends who wanna connect with others and do good business. That’s really why we do this – to connect. I’ve also been listening to a heap of Stevie Wonder, using a typewriter to write lyrics, drawing more, and trying to listen to more movie soundtracks. Also I’m living alone for the first time so I’m learning how to deal with the space I’ve always wanted. ha.
Did you ever think your music would reach millions around the world? What does your family think of all your success?
I would say I knew it, but not from the very beginning. In entertainment, at least from my personal experience, you just get these little samples of success that make you want another bite. Then one day you look up astonished at your appetite.” Did I just eat (accomplish) all this?” I don’t look at numbers as much as I do song lyrics so as long as I’m performing towards a masterful level, I’m good. As far as my family, I think their very proud of me and want to see me win. Sometimes I have to tell them to chill out before they have me performing or play all my songs at every family gathering. Haha I’m not embarrassed it’s just interesting to see how we developed.
HAT: PELL YEAH! SHIRT: FAAN: SHORTS: PHLEMUNS GLASSES: THOM BROWNE SHOES: NEW BALANCE
Any plans to collaborate with your mom on music? I read that she was an opera singer!
Haha we’ll have to wait and see. If she pop up on an album though, I might give you some A&R cred.
Where any of the songs on Floating While Dreaming actually heard in your dreams and you had to wake up and write it down?
As romantic as that sounds, no. These were all the dreams I’ve had while awake. lol
What is your go-to karaoke song?
I love how your music takes away heirs of idolizing fame and money and fake life and conveys positivity, growth, and truth. As you grow richer and more famous do you think these messages will change?
They couldn’t. While I love claiming to be different most, I want to be known as a man of the people. We may all have different experiences but it’s my job to make sure what we have in common comes through my music.
Have you gotten to meet any of your serious music idols while you have been on this journey?
Yes, probably meeting Drake when i was like 18 was cool. A family friend of mine had heard from my pops that i wanted to start doing music and producing beats, so he took me up to Canada for OVO Fest and I nearly lost my (expletive). I saw stevie wonder, j cole, rick ross, fab and some of my other favorites. Also, I met Nesby Phips who is one of my favorite producer and even more recently, a mentor. Dave Sitek too! There’s many other names, but these were some that were a major part of my overall musical diet.
Can you remember the first song that you heard that made you want to make music?
Kanye West ft. Adam Levine “Heard em Say”
What was the hardest part about putting our a debut and getting tossed into the major music industry?
I think the hardest part was not getting distracted by the perks and paying attention to your business. The money in this music industry is not what it used to be, so it’s imperative that you count your gold. I also have to watch my back a little bit more than I used to but that’s just adulting. The music part was easy.
Where is your head now? How are you feeling?
I feel like I’m still learning. sounds cliche but that’s all I can do. I’ve accomplished a lot of things I wanted to and now I’m moving on to the next chapter of goals, so I’m applying the pressure on myself to be better.
Can you tell us what you are working on now?
I’m producing more. New music coming asap.