With a wildly diverse musical background, the Grand Rapids producer and drummer has made waves with his infectious tracks. See what else made the Hot Top 5 Chart for January.
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Grand Rapids producer and musician Pablo Eskobear has made waves as of late with his infectious “chill-hop” and instrumental hip-hop tracks, but it would be a mistake to pigeonhole his far-flung music in any single way.
After all, the self-taught drummer pounded the skins for the heavy metal band Look Left Swing Right for 10 years, he’s part of the indie/prog-rock project Signature Move, and he sells beats that he creates in his basement studio to rappers locally and elsewhere online.
“The majority of the music I make falls under the umbrella of instrumental hip hop or chill hop, though I venture outside of that umbrella quite a bit,” the Eastown neighborhood resident told Local Spins.
“I’d say the hardest thing for me is trying to stay in a lane because I love taking a stab at a lot of different genres and subgenres.”
That being said, Eskobear’s “Pool Parties” EP has caught fire with its chill hop regionally, soaring to No. 1 on the Local Spins Hot Top 5 Chart for January, representing the local or regional release that received the most radio airplay at Grand Rapids community radio station WYCE (88.1 FM).
“That’s crazy,” Eskobear conceded. “It’s gratifying to see that there are a lot of listeners here in the West Michigan area that dig my music. I’m so grateful for the exposure and the air time that WYCE has given me.”
Eskobear actually followed up “Pool Parties” with 2022’s “Champion Bangers” album which he describes as “sort of a hodgepodge of chill hop, hard trap beats, electronic and a few rap beats.” He also plans to release a new Eskobear/Signature Move collaboration single in coming weeks.
After spending about four months building a home studio, Eskobear now estimates he spends about 40 percent of his time on “artist music,” aka, stand-along instruments for streaming platforms and radio, 40 percent developing beats for other rappers and 20 percent on his Signature Move prog-rock project.
He’s also started writing metal songs again with guitarist James Townshend.
“It was always my dream to have a place in my house where I could play whenever I wanted and as loud as I wanted without the neighbors calling the cops and now I have that,” said Eskobear, who started playing drums at age 12 and attended Forest Hills Northern High School.
“It’s been really fun getting all my musician friends in there over the past few years and collaborating with new artists. I’m also a producer and recording engineer, so I love getting new musicians in my studio.”
While Eskobear doesn’t currently perform live, that could change.
“There are a lot of different ways I could play my Pablo Eskobear beats live between DJing and hybrid acoustic-electronic drum setups, but I haven’t had a huge urge to do it. I just want to keep creating and producing more and more music.”
Eskobear’s EP was one of four brand new entries on the Hot Top 5 Chart, with Grand Rapids pop/psych rock/alternative band Parlor Voice’s “PV” entering the chart at No. 2, followed by Sophia McIntosh’s “Set Me Free,” which was tied for No. 5 in December.
Bluesy Cadillac-bred guitarist and singer Luke Winslow-King’s latest album, “If These Walls Could Talk” came in at No. 4, followed by Allegan County’s favorite Americana/alt-country son Myron Elkins’ new “Factories, Farms and Amphetamines” at No. 5.
Listen to tracks from all of the releases below and check out previous Hot Top 5 Charts here.
THE LOCAL SPINS HOT TOP 5 ON SPOTIFY: January 2023
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