The Beginnings of Pomo
David Pimentel is a young Vancouver native based out of Montreal who is quietly climbing the ranks of global beat music producers. Pomo, as he’s publicly known, has had quite the meteoric rise of late. He brought us up to speed on how it all came to be, where he’s going to take it, and the way he’s going to work along the way.
THUMP: 2013 was a big year for you, what would you say was the catalyst?
Pomo: I moved to Montreal to focus and work on my music. I saw Kaytranada play while he was still playing under the name Kaytradamus and I was blown away by his music. Soon after that I came up with “So Fine”, which I sent him, and he supported by putting it in his mixes. I think people recognized that and it opened the door for my HW&W signing. That was basically how it all started.
Kaytranada is not the only big name that has been supporting your music, do you want to elaborate on that?
Disclosure has been including“So Fine” in their sets, which blew my mind, but also guys like Gigamesh and Falcons. DJ Jazzy Jeff shouted me out about my Sade Edit, which was pretty funny.
How important is support from major players when getting started and who are you looking to give some exposure to?
It’s definitely a huge help having your music played to their audiences and of course I help out other producers. I’ll always help artists, I respect including their music in my live sets. A good example of this is Astrological, he’s been a good friend of mine and has taught me almost everything I know. He’s educated me on a lot about music and has to be one of the most talented producers out there, I mean he’s crazy, so I’ll always include his tracks in my live sets.
Speaking of your live sets, how do you differentiate your sets from the mass of DJs and producers in the game right now?
I’m really trying to work towards doing my shows with live instruments to make it more of a performance. I love DJing but I have the most fun when I’m playing live instruments, playing keys, or using drum pads. I think doing that combined with some lighting will make my show more memorable for my fans.
Have you looked into that at all? What inspired you to move in that direction?
What inspired me about it way back was a group called Soulwax. They have a YouTube video where they go through their entire set up and it’s so crazy. They use Ableton, which is what I use, as their centerpiece, and they hook up all the synths and all the lighting and it’s all done through the musicsoftware. I just thought it was really cool.
On the topic of real instruments, you don’t just use them in your live sets but in your productions as well. Do you think that dance music is making a move back to the sounds of traditional instruments?
I think its getting to a point where people are getting into actual instruments just because its more fun to watch and makes for a better live show. In the past couple years DJs were the big thing, but now it’s getting to the point where everyone is realizing that a lot of the time you're just watching some dude standing there. There’s a lot of room to bring that to the next level.
You mentioned an upcoming HW&W release, what can we expect for that project?
I’m putting out my EP on HW&W in May, which I’ve been working on for a while, and there will be some good collabs on it. I’ve been working on a track with Kaytra and I have this singer from Montreal,Andrea, on a track as well. So that’s the next thing with that.
Is there anyone else you’re collaborating with right now?
I’m hoping to collaborate with Astrological when he comes to Montreal in about a month or so. He’s one half of Potatohead People with another good friend, Nick Wisdom. I should be able to get some work in with him while he’s here and then of course Antony from my group Nouvel Age that I’m working with.
Tell us a bit more about Nouvel Age…
Nouvel Age is a group I started with Antony, he’s a singer, and we’re doing an ‘80s inspired synth project. It’s not necessarily dance music but more well rounded structured “songs”. The whole project will be ‘80s inspired with chord progressions,cool melodies, song writing, and stuff like that.
So now that we know who you are working with, whoare some of the people that you hope to work with in the future?
I would love to work with Disclosure, they’ve been a huge influence for me and I think that’d be fun. When it comes to singers I’d love to work with Riva Davito, she’s also on HW&W, she’s great, it’d be really cool to work with her.
So Pomo is a beat music project and HW&W is a beat music label. Beat music has seen a massive rise in the past year, where do you see it going and what’s your take on beat music?
I think it’s really cool. Beat music is a scene that’s run through the Internet, it feels more ”true”and more organic as opposed to traditional big labels and press machines. The tracks that are good will get the exposure through shares, it’s all-natural… I hope it gets bigger and bigger.
Everyone can do it, all you need is your laptop, more people are trying to produce music, and so, better music is coming out. The competition will just keep on getting bigger.
Whats next for Pomo?
I’m really excited about the EP release, that’s the first thing, and then after that I really want to start focusing on my live shows and getting on tour to visit new cities and reach new audiences. I would also love to start working with more singers.
There tends to be a divide within electronic producers, puritans who refuse vocals and new schoolers who like using them. Based on what we’ve heard, you definitely like working with vocalists and if anything, embracing that side of the production…
Yeah it’s one of my favourite things to do, I’ve played in bands for a long time so my background always had some songwriting in it. I love working with other people so we can collaborate to create melodies and bigger shit.
It’s funny because Iget stuck in my own head and I end up thinking that 90 percent of my shitis garbage. I’ll be fucking around at home and be all “aww that sucks” but when you are working with someone else it’s nice to have the singer recognize cool parts and give more instant feedback. You end up bouncing ideas back and forth because sometimes they’ll improvise on one of your pieces and it’ll give your part a whole new life.
Would you say you’ve helped the singers as much as they’ve helped you?
The bands I’ve played in have always been good friends, so it was always a group thing, but before getting into Pomo I was just getting intoproducing. I would show up to band practice with a beat I made at home and that would be my idea for a song, so that was different.
It’s funny because it was a way for me to control the song in a sense, I had put everything in the way I wanted and I’d show them that, rather than just describe it. Instead of saying I wanted this section to sound like this and that, I would just show them and they’d be like “this is sick, I can add on to this.”
You can follow Zach on Twitter: @MyronsFinest