It’s A VIBE: New Orleans’ Pell Makes “Futuristic Soul” Music
Pell has already experienced a lot of setbacks in his young life. Born in 1992, the “futuristic soul” artist had to relocate from his New Orleans’ home to Jackson, Mississippi when he was a young teenager after Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana. However sharing an overcrowded house with a number of his relatives never put a damper on his spirit. Music has always been his one source of zen. Even if he’s having a shitty day, or the world seems like it’s stacked up against him, the studio cures all when he has the blues.
“The reason I’m in [music] is for therapeutic reasons. I make music as therapy for me,” explains Pell. “It’s expressive of how I’m feeling that day. Therefore I can’t constrict myself and confine myself, or take myself so seriously at times. It’s about experimentation and seeing where I can take this.”
A few weeks before annihilating the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas, young Pell sat down with VIBE ahead of his 3 Days in Miami set for a poolside chat. Not only was the excitement of the concert on his brain, but the sheer fact that it was his first time in Miami was enough to get the kid pumped up. “I used to watch Nip Tuck,” Pell admits. “That was one of favorite shows, so I always just imagined going to South Beach and seeing all these beautiful people. It’s really like that.”
“They’re a part of the culture,” says Pell about his bond with the Red Bull family. “A bunch of my favorite artists are a part of Red Bull Sound Select, and that’s something that made me believe in it more. The culture moves so fast that sometimes you have to be on things while they are young.”
With a gumbo of sounds fused together to create his own unique lane in music, the Red Bull Sound Select favorite doesn’t label his genre-bending talent with traditional titles. He mixes up a little hip-hop, R&B, funk, electronic and more, depending on the vibes that take over his mind when he hits the recording booth.
“I feel like my sound is ‘futuristic soul.’ I don’t really think it’s just soul, so I don’t want to leave that by itself,” Pell tells VIBE in Miami. “But I feel like it comes from the heart and it’s something that can be felt, that’s why it’s soulful. It’s futuristic in the fact that it can make you feel uncomfortable, or sometimes it has its ADD quality where it’s here—it’s there. We’re not stagnant people. We’re complex, dynamic individuals.”
Even with all of his recent success and online love, the eclectic star wants to remain grounded and close to his growing fanbase. The major labels may be knockin’, but Pell is still just taking it one day at a time.
“I just want to continue my movement, and keep doing what I do,” Pell tells VIBE. “You create your own world and you bring people into it, and that’s what I’ve done. Whether a partner comes along that can match [my vision], that has yet to be seen. I’m not the same every day, and I don’t feel the same way about the same situation every single day. That’s something I had to learn.”