Visuals are important. So important it can make and break an artists career, as their visions are executed to either perfection or failure, and the sooner you connect with someone who gets your vision, the quicker your on your way up. DJ Smokey, one of Canada’s top producers, has made serious waves in the underground hip-hop world, and as he wanted to become more of a full artist, he needs a camera man to cook up some fire with. Positive Pabs is just that guy, as he gets Smokey‘s vision, going back many years, working tirelessly on project after project. I got the amazing opportunity to connect with Pabs, and get to know him, and he’s a super cool dude. Check out the Positive Pabs interview below!
Maccadelic: Who are you?
Positive Pabs: The name’s pablo aka positivepabs.
Maccadelic: Where are you from Pabs? Born and Raised?
Positive Pabs: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. People call it “The Hammer” or “Steel Town”, been here since day one bud!
Maccadelic: What’s the city of Hamilton like for the viewers from the states who might not know?
Positive Pabs: The city is built on a mountain. The culture & city life is mostly downtown around James street, King William street, and Hess village. You got the Bay front area with Toronto in the distance, as well as the industrial area with all the steel factories. For music, the rock/metal/hardcore scene was more relevant during my high school days and a lot of great bands came out of here with fan bases nation wide. These days I hear about DJ events either at Hess village or Club 77. All along James street & King William street you’ll find a range of bands, solo artists, and collectives throwing events at venues, store fronts, or even the odd pop up. Hamilton is a comfortable city with a little bit of everything. If you get bored you can always go t-up in Toronto, its only an hour away.
Maccadelic: How did you and DJ Smokey link up? And what’s your relationship like with him?
Positive Pabs: Smokey and I met in high school, he was a gnarly dood who shred the guitar and he would always show me the most innovative music. Smokey‘s the homie, we hold each other down and keep each other motivated. I’m grateful to have a friend to work with creatively while having fun as we go.
Maccadelic: Your videos are insane, how’d you discover your talent for making videos?
Positive Pabs: A few years back I was starting a Twitch Channel, and smokey saw an edit I was making for it. He digged it so we decided to use it for a music video on his channel, then made a few more with him and decided to get back into editing videos. It wasn’t until then that I decided to push myself creatively.
Maccadelic: Who are your inspirations to get the visuals you do? They are phenomenal.
Positive Pabs: Baker 3 is a big one, Million Dollar Extreme, Cowboy Bebop, Heavy Metal, René Laloux animated films, A Scanner Darkly, The Twilight Zone, video gaming culture. I also was diggin’ the show Vinyl before it got cancelled.
Maccadelic: What’s Positive Pabs listening too right now?
Positive Pabs: These days mostly Nookie, Photek, LTJ Bukem, Source Direct, Artemis, MF Doom, Madlib/Quas, Goodie Mob, Frank Zappa, Tears for Fears. Also more recent music from Animals as Leaders, chon, Mitch Murder and Smokey‘s new tape!
Maccadelic: What’s your stance on Toronto’s rap scene as a whole?
Positive Pabs: In my opinion the Toronto underground rap scene is on its way to being the next wave of artists everyone will be listening to and talking about. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them make the 2019 XXL freshmen list. The scene been buzzing for time which is getting me excited for whats to come for all artists involved, and the light it will shine on other rising talent from the area.
Maccadelic: There are many videographers in the game now, who I think have used some of your techniques and styles, not saying any names, but how do you stay original and creative, knowing there are guys who will use your template?
Positive Pabs: Honestly, I’m just focused on molding a look for Positive Squad‘s visual content. I respect originality and don’t wanna bite another artist’s style so I stick to interests outside the game. It doesn’t bother me if people use my ideas, I cant control that but ill always be changing it up and pushing my creativity.
Maccadelic: Your trip to LA to do the No Jumper interview must have been amazing, what was that like for you?
Positive Pabs: It was pretty cool being there in person. I chilled in the background with everyone else that was there, and let Smokey do his thing on the show. After that I mucked a couple greasy street tacos then we headed to the Ham on Everything show.
Maccadelic: What’s your take on BSMNTWORLDWIDE, and what we are doing in Canada and the rest of North America with the underground scene?
Positive Pabs: You guys are tight, I respect your devotion as well as your ideas that help build awareness for Toronto artists. BSMNT also put me onto some dope artists from Toronto, so you guys are doing things right for sure.
Maccadelic: I don’t want to give away your tricks, but what camera do you want to get for videos that will take your videos to the next level?
Positive Pabs: I’m Currently upgrading my gear, 100% getting the Panasonic GH5 !!! I need dat 4k 60fps goodness. That will definitely take things to the next level.
Maccadelic: How do you stay creative and keep your videos interesting for the fans?
Positive Pabs: Surrounding myself with those who care about me keeps me motivated. Creatively, me and smokey throw ideas back and forth, then I usually build off those ideas. Spare time I’m just messing around with different programs and plugins coming up with new techniques or effects. I’ll go skate with my gimbal, film around the city then load up the footie and edit random shit.
Maccadelic: You mostly shoot for Smokey and he’s a producer first, do you think it’s harder to shoot a video for instrumentals, or when there are lyrics to get a story down?
Positive Pabs: I take the same approach really, the song has to be thought provoking and take my mind on an adventure. If the song doesn’t move me in anyway then its harder for me to have a creative vision for a video. Lyrically or instrumentally, if its on some flex shit I’m gonna ball out the video with effects while complementing the artist’s style, and if an artist is telling a story I would also incorporate that into the mix as well.
Maccadelic: Where’s Positive Pabs going to be in 5 years from now?
Positive Pabs: Who knows, hopefully involved with game developers more but I know my goal is to do whatever I can to bring Positive Squad to a wider audience and new heights.
Maccadelic: Your a very funny guy, do you incorporate comedy into your work?
Positive Pabs: Ya for sure, I get a kick out of making people laugh XD
Maccadelic: And finally, what’s next for Pabs? Any projects your willing to release some info on?
Positive Pabs: Right now I’m working on some new ideas for the next episode of Positive Squad Adventures, a new visual direction for future music videos, and get the merch going for the fans.