RGM Introducing: Our Interview with Israeli producer Pablo Embon
Hiya Pablo thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to become a producer?
Since I was a kid I wanted to create music albums as I’d hear on the radio. I’d paid attention to every detail in albums such as The Beatles “Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band”, “The Dark Side of the Moon”, “A Night at the Opera”, etc. Beyond music composition, there is a vast creative world laid out on how to make a piece of music flourish, take it to the next level, develop the right arrangement for it. I thought the sky was the limit. Every time I approach a piece of music I created, I project that potential. As everybody is aware, a good piece of music can become an amazing one and stand out when its production is on focus or rather stay just fair where it is. The art of manipulating sounds always fascinated me, the power to control how the music is perceived and the feeling it can potentially bring to the listener. This desire and focus in my music career also brought me to develop skills to play several instruments and learn music production and orchestration techniques which I use in my recordings.
Introduce us to you and your musical history, what you like to do for fun etc?
I was born and raised in Argentina, then later in life, I immigrated to Israel. I have released over 20 original albums to date since 2004. All my music is performed, recorded, mixed, and produced by myself. I typically use a multitude of jazz stylings and blend them with other genres including Alternative, R&B, Rock, Progressive, Funk, and even Classical Music.
Since both of my grandmothers were Piano teachers, the instrument drew my attention at a very young age. The second core instrument I picked up was the guitar, which started learning when I was 9 years old and later on continued perfecting music theory, technical skills as trained by famed classical guitarist Eduardo Isaac.
I continued developing my music career mastering harmonization, orchestration, vocalization, and arrangement techniques for several music styles, including Jazz. By the time I immigrated to Israel, I had already spent years creating and performing modern and alternative Jazz compositions. I used to play live in bands in my youth but at some point, I decided I wanted to dedicate my career to create music, since then my main music endeavors are the production of Studio Albums.
Who/what is inspiring you at the minute creatively?
Typically there are some specific moments or experiences in my life which could feed and drive creativity in my music, but for me, it is enough to sit at the piano or guitar as my main creative instruments to shape things up. Usually, a very simple idea or groove at these instruments can generate a solid foundation for a new piece of music. At every stage of the composition, the ideas evolve and sometimes I leave the creativity to lead the way to directions I’ve never planned to. Jazz has helped me to push the limits of music boundaries further. In a sense, everything is permitted as long as the context is right. I’ve never been a purist when it comes to Jazz so I have plenty of other tools to use to shape a piece of music, however, the pieces I create are considered to be approachable with the main intent of listener engagement.
How did you hear about RGM from over in Isreal?
Well in this time everything is globalized. Nobody really has to be in a specific place to have access to any resources around the world and in this case, it has not been an exception. So I’m glad I heard about RGM.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about?
I think that the fact that I have a severe hearing impairment in one ear, could potentially surprise people to know that I’ve been in the Music Production business for so many years. I came to realize that the impairment is not something that can be considered a roadblock for what I do from my perspective. I learned throughout the years to compensate my music perception even during the Music production, mixing, and mastering processes. Throughout the years I have developed special skills to overcome this condition.
Talk me through your creative process when writing new music?
Creative process happens spontaneously in me, could be triggered by just engaging with the instrument, occasionally some new sounds I discovered, restringing a guitar with fresh sounds, a groove coming into my head, everything is a candidate to develop things from scratch. I consider music to be a story to be told and this is clearly reflected in the music pieces I compose during which there are different moods connected to each other, pretty much like in a movie when a scene is changed to discover something new and fresh within the same context.
Do you like UK producers? If so who stands out to you?
I must admit I am old school. One of the legendary producers I’ve always admired is Alan Parsons, also by the fact he is also an engineer and music composer and performer. The orchestration schemes and the harmonies he uses in his compositions are simply brilliant. I’ve learned a lot from him in my early years. But in general, I consider music as universal so I also appreciate others in other parts of the world, including producers of Argentinian and Brazilian music of which I am so fond of.
I hear you have a new album what can you tell us about it?
My new studio album is named “Sunrises Every Night”, it is a collection of several Jazz stylings and Fusion Instrumentals. The new album concept wraps around the idea that people must find their own daily miracles in life in order to move forward and grow (as is the case that sunrises can’t possibly happen during the night). Since I consider my music as my own miracle to seek, the album tracks tell different pictures of them. Each one of them has a unique theme and characteristics. I use a quite varied set of instruments and moods in the production. I also added several vocals parts that circle back to my music roots when I used to sing in bands. Vocalizing and singing is a recent feature I reinstated in my latest albums since I consider it as an intrinsic part of myself. The album will be released on December 15 this year. I am really excited about it as I consider this one a real turning point in my music career.
Talk me through the thought process of the album?
Typically the compositions are focused on each track based on a given musical idea and concept. I usually work along with the arrangement of the tracks as I compose them since I am the only performer. The recording process involves several layers of productions in order to pave the instrumentation fingerprint to achieve the concept of the song. The already recorded instruments are therefore the reference for the next ones up to come. Also as I am my own Mixing engineer the mixing process comes hand in hand with some of the arrangements and circle back to perfect the original composition itself. It’s an iterative process. I spend a significant amount of time in pre-mastering the track. I need it to sound solid even before the final mastering process comes in.
Why record an album? A lot of artists are going down the road of regular singles, just interested in your thoughts on committing to an album right now.?
As I mentioned yearly, I am old school. In my early years in music, if you wanted to be a real musician you’d need to release an album. That was what people used to buy in the stores. I understand that this concept does not work like that anymore nowadays. But for me, an album is a conceptually new idea to bring to the world. I do believe in conceptual albums which bring messages and feelings as a whole to the listener. This has been the case for all the 21 albums I have produced so far. In my mind, the singles are just small peeking windows of a much vaster world. It’s OK for people to like specific tracks however I produce my music to bring the message as the whole piece.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the album?
I truly believe that from each album I produce I’ve learned something new, not just technically speaking , but something of myself which got uncovered in the process. I can safely say that this process makes me a better person. Now technically speaking, I self-learn lots of new concepts of music production, instruments performance and I really grow as a musician and producer by the fact that I do these things consciously, learning to maintain the objectivity of my own music. My biggest learning curve was the vocals parts production, both in performance and integration to the instrumentation parts. I am constantly developing my vocal skills which are, I believe, perceived in the different tracks I recorded along the way.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
The album and its tracks are kind of my newborn so it is difficult for me to think about changing something it had the purpose to be created in the first place. The only exception to this was in the final production stage. As I evolved during the process I came back and revisit the original production made several months ago and decided I wanted to give the album a different sound and tonal characteristics. My vision now was to achieve a warm sound and full of dynamics, especially in those tracks where solo instruments are featured. Hence the final production for some of the tracks was altered to achieve this goal. Now, by listening to the whole album, and even though the material is different, there is still a sense of unity belonging to a whole. So I’m really glad and excited about the way the final product came out.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
I have produced 2 albums this year which is quite a ride for a musician. So now I will be looking at continuing educating myself in several aspects of music, and I am strongly thinking about going back to do more collaboration work with other musicians as was done in my previous album “In my Skin”
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
No, for now. Would like to thank RGM for hosting me today and many thanks to all the listeners out there who day by day support my music.