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Paul Robinson: Merging Jamaican Vibes with NY Hip-Hop to Create a Unique Sound

Written by Alexandria Anglade

When it comes to music, blending different influences and genres often results in the most unique and captivating sounds. Paul Robinson, a talented producer hailing from Canarsie, Brooklyn, has managed to craft a distinctive style that fuses the vibrant rhythms of Jamaican music with the gritty essence of New York hip-hop. In this exclusive interview, Paul, who goes by the moniker "Paul Robinson," provides insights into his musical journey, his creative process, and the influences that have shaped his signature sound.

Jamaican-Inspired NY Hip-Hop: A Fusion of Styles

"I would describe it as Jamaican-inspired NY hip-hop. I try to incorporate reggae/dancehall into most of my beats, but the style of hip-hop is still NY."

Paul Robinson's music is a beautiful collision of cultures and sounds. His work bridges the gap between the raw, urban energy of New York's hip-hop scene and the sun-soaked rhythms of Jamaican reggae and dancehall music.

The Profound Influence of Reggae

"Reggae heavily influences my sound. I listen to Jamaican music of all eras and sample a lot of reggae, so that heavily influences my sound."

It's clear that reggae runs deep in Paul's veins. He draws inspiration not only from contemporary reggae but also from the rich history of this genre, which has its roots in Jamaica.

A Cultural Connection to Canarsie

"Both sides of my family are Jamaican, and I'm from Canarsie, which is a heavily Caribbean neighborhood. I remember a few years ago before drill took over NY, a lot of people were saying NY doesn't have a sound."

Paul's connection to his Jamaican heritage and his upbringing in Canarsie have played a pivotal role in shaping his musical identity. He seeks to create a unique sound that represents the rich cultural tapestry of his neighborhood.

Influences: A Blend of Genres

"I like producers like Sly & Robbie, Steely & Clevie, even dancehall producers like Notnice. As far as hip-hop, Diddy, Kanye West, and Pierre Bourne are big influences."

Paul's musical influences are as diverse as his sound. He draws inspiration from legendary reggae producers like Sly & Robbie and Steely & Clevie, as well as iconic figures in the hip-hop world.

Minimalist Setup, Maximum Creativity

"I actually don't use any equipment except my computer and AKG semi-open headphones. I use FL Studio to make beats and I actually mix full songs in FL too. I use a software called Acoustica 7 to chop samples and isolate sounds, too."

In a testament to the digital age of music production, Paul has mastered the art of creating his unique sound with a minimalist setup, showcasing the power of creativity over equipment.

Merging Cultures Through Music

"I try to merge the cultures together by using sounds from reggae, dancehall, and hip-hop to make unique beats. I really just make beats that I like and beats that I wish existed already so it's not that hard for me since I really like hip-hop, reggae, and dancehall."

Paul's approach to merging cultures is rooted in his genuine love for the music. His beats are a harmonious blend of these genres, creating a unique and infectious sound.

Collaborations that Carry the Cultural Torch

"SO4P is somebody I've collaborated with frequently, and he's Jamaican-American and from Canarsie, as well. So when I send him beats, he already knows the direction I want him to go in based on the sound of the beat, and he uses his lyricism to add the cultural relevance to the track."

Collaborations with artists like SO4P allow Paul to infuse his beats with the cultural richness he aims to convey. It's a testament to the power of teamwork in music.

Traditional Elements with a Modern Twist

"I'll use like maybe a bongo drum sound in my music. I might use a reggae bass groove but using an 808 sound. Most of the traditional elements really come from the sample."

While Paul incorporates traditional elements into his music, he does so with a modern twist. It's a delicate balance that keeps his beats fresh and exciting.

Keeping the Reggae Vibe Alive

"It's weird, but I think when a lot of people sample reggae music, they take the reggae out of it. It's hard to explain, but the feeling would be gone when I hear most people sample reggae music. It's like they just take a really popular song and use it. I always try to keep the vibe while using modern sounds so the beats are not too far away from each genre."

Paul's commitment to maintaining the essence and feeling of reggae in his music sets him apart from others who sample this genre. He seeks to honor the roots while adding a contemporary twist.

Charting New Musical Territory

"My most successful song to date is called Roots, and I released it on my project called The Collection, Vol. 1. SO4P is on it, as well. We have another song called Mixed Up, that mixes drill and reggae. I released an instrumental called Duck Jersey Riddim that mixes '80s Dancehall and Jersey Club. There's a song I produced with two frequent collaborators of mine, HuFlo$$y and JIJ, called Switch where I drew from reggae for part of the baseline. One of HuFlo$$y's first songs is called Open, and I produced it and it samples reggae. There's an artist based in the UK that I recently worked with named Andre Jahnoi that released a song called Kalahari, and that song is actually straight Dancehall but it mixes '90s Dancehall with modern dancehall. Jamaica will always be present in my music and will present in my next project titled The Collection, Vol 2 dropping at the top of the year."

Paul Robinson is an artist with a vision and a passion for pushing musical boundaries. His tracks, such as "Roots" and "Mixed Up," demonstrate his ability to seamlessly blend genres, creating music that resonates with listeners worldwide. As he continues his musical journey, we can expect more groundbreaking sounds from this talented producer who refuses to be confined by traditional genre boundaries. Keep an ear out for "The Collection, Vol. 2" as Paul Robinson takes us on another exciting musical ride at the beginning of the year.

Instagram: @pr1995

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