Solo hip-hop act PM Lowe is on top of his game with a brand-new album Vengeance that’s simply a must-hear. The rapper and producer has spent much time honing his craft and mastering music-making, now presenting to his audience the pinnacle of all the diligent work – an album so classy and timeless yet oddly raw and familiar- you won’t know what hit you!
We’ve had the greatest pleasure interviewing this awesome artist about his art, Vengeance, the fascinating stories of childhood and his very own stage name. Enjoy the read!
Let’s talk ‘Vengeance’! How did you come up with such a powerful title for your latest album? What does this collection mean to you personally?
“Vengeance” came about after my tape, “Thank You & You’re Welcome 2”. After that tape, I had a good thing going, I was getting more looks on my music, just signed up to a multimedia and sports agency and I guess in an indie setting, with the scale and budget I had at that time, it was starting to all make sense, like a door was finally being opened. Then, I couldn’t really pinpoint it, but I started to lose my confidence. Maybe I can attribute it to me thinking this is all a fluke. Once you’ve been denied to the party so many times, once you finally get to the doors, it’s almost like it’s a prank in a way. So, I just went back to where I grew up, just walked around the area and it all came back to me. I look for the messages and lessons in every event that happens in my life and to tie it with the next topic, these songs, this album, what it means to me is that no matter what, you got this. Can’t nobody take what’s yours. Every day is a new opportunity to make an impression. This is your moment so make the best of it, hold on to it and fight.
We really enjoyed “Back At It” and “All On Me”, two tracks off the album. Tell us a bit about the message behind these two and how you went about creating them.
Thank you for that and I’m beyond grateful that you enjoyed those songs. Every new ear is a blessing. “All On Me” was recorded during a slump. I sent the song, which had just the first verse and my demo hook to Mika, who is an absolute sweetheart and an amazing singer from Australia, and when she sent those vocals back, she just drove it home and it just shook me back into the zone to finish that song. Ironically, that song is about confidence and perseverance. “Back At It”, stemmed from a conversation me and the homies would have from time to time, just to remind ourselves where we were and what we had to go through and having the confidence to keep it going.
Motivation-wise, where do you get your daily dose of inspiration, especially when you don’t feel particularly excited to create?
What inspires me is the fact that I’m alive and I have a chance to do what I couldn’t do yesterday. Even when I’m not in a creative mood, I get in my car and just drive. Just sightsee, and just be in awe of life. That and I call and hang with my friends, some are fellow creatives, some aren’t, and just live life. I think because life is literally moving so fast, you don’t really sit down and just live in the moment and be thankful, because someone isn’t alive or as fortunate to see what you are seeing, to eat what you are eating or experiencing what you are experiencing. That’s what inspires me. My life, my family and the experiences.
Tell us a bit about your childhood and adolescence years and how you began rapping, writing music. At what point did you start producing music as well and is there any other skill in music-making you’d like to add to your portfolio?
My childhood, even up to my adolescent years, wasn’t the safest environment but we were protected, if that makes sense. As kids, you don’t really know the full extent of danger because you are shielded. As you grow, you start to explore and realize things aren’t as clean as you thought. Growing up, it was music everywhere, you can walk outside and they’ll be blasting Hot Boys out their trunk. My dad would be the most diverse, he could be playing Busta Rhymes in the car or Bone Thugs, you’d never know. My grandma, rest her soul, had the soul music on lock. I’m talking, boxes of vinyls. Johnny Taylor, Sade, Al Green, Otis Redding. You named it, there was a high chance she had it. Now, at 6, my cousin Illdon introduced me to beat-making. I think my first rap was a freestyle battle rap when I was 11, 12 at the oldest, my first written was after that though. I just can’t remember. After my grandma got me a computer, I was producing like a madman. Me and my brother Curt-Co., who still raps with me, we started when I was around 14. He was the rapper, I was the beat maker at the time. When the opportunity comes, I’d really like to compose something for a movie or a video game. Metal Gear Solid is my favorite franchise, and I just always took to how they made every musical piece stick to that scene.
How did you come to decide your stage name? What does PM Lowe signify, if it’s not a secret?
Over the years, I couldn’t stick with a single rap name to save my life. At first, I went by Kaiser, who was a Yu-Gi-Oh character. Not necessarily my proudest choice but it was 2004 and Yu-Gi-Oh was popping, so cut me some slack. Then I went with Lil’ P. Lo, I had the name growing up around the hood because my dad’s nickname was that, eventually I dropped the “Lil’” because it was a mouthful. Then I thought about it, that’s my dad’s nickname and his legacy and identity and I want to make my own. Then it was C4, then it was P. DiBiase, then DiBiase, after the Million Dollar Man himself. That stuck for about 6 months, but it wasn’t authentic to me. I just didn’t want to hide behind an alias so I just used my first and middle initial and my last name. There you go. PM Lowe.
What is the most exciting collab you’ve had so far? Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
The most exciting collaboration is the ones with my friends, honestly. We’ve all been making music together since 2009. I might be off a year but it just blows my mind every time how everyone has evolved. They are my family at this point. I’m sure when I’m called to the stage to collab with some big names, I can add them to the list. In the future, I’d like to work with Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Tinashe, Beyoncé, Eminem and Mariah Carey. There’s more, but I’ll stop there. Some of those are long shots but anything is possible.
What is your one piece of advice to someone who is just starting out as a producer? What are some challenges you yourself had to face, and how did you manage to overcome them?
Keep going, no matter what, keep going and don’t stop creating. Be yourself, stand up for yourself and don’t break your moral compass. The challenges I faced were, in all honesty, probably part of the course, in both that career field and just in life. Scams, bad managers, internal conflicts, getting booed, getting ridiculed. You name it. It’s going to keep on keeping on. You just have to remember what you are doing it for. Remember your why. And have a great time doing it.