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Slidin Thru’: PayAttention

PayAttention proves talent goes far within the industry. The Miami native has produced and engineered for the likes of King Combs, Diddy, Thugger, Chris Brown, and served as Flo Rida’s producer and engineer for almost 2 years at his Poe Boy/IMG label. His motto? You’ll never hear anything twice. Read more..

While being the genius behind the beat of King Comb’s “Love You Better” featuring Chris Brown, PA proves he can do everything from the pop to the hip-hop. Developing artists for damn near his whole career, the hardest part now as he transitions from behind-the-scenes to stepping into the limelight.

Most recently, he delivers his newest single “Back To You,” dedicated to the one special female in his life.

For those who don’t know, who is PayAttention?
I’m from Miami, Florida, born and raised. Born in Hialeah, raised in Opa Locka in Little Haiti. Ended up going to school in the suburbs after my mom was doing well as a nurse. I went to Coral Springs High School with Andrew Bachelor, which everybody knows as King Bach. Known him since 7th grade. Matter of fact, our high school principal called us to this little pep rally a year or two ago. [laughs] It was cool.

I’m a producer first, I’ve produced and worked with Chris Brown, Diddy. I’m an engineer as well. Engineered Young Thug, Trippie Redd, Christian Combs. I’m a producer, engineer, songwriter, and now artist. And actor. I actually have a film that’s coming out later this year.

Where do you fit in the realm of hip-hop and R&B?
[sighs] I’d say R&B and pop to be honest. I produce a lot of hip-hop but me as an artist, I’m definitely more R&B/pop.

How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
Very important. Super important. Compared to Miami where I’m from, LA is night and day. I can get done in 6 weeks what would take me 6 months to do in Miami. [laughs] Probably longer. I’ve been out here for 3 years now.

What’s your favorite part about the West Coast?
That it feels like Miami. The vibe is like Miami but the pace is like New York.

What’s the inspiration behind your name?
I went to Full Sail University for an engineering thing. While I was at school, I got my first placement which was Maino “Let It Fly” featuring Roscoe Dash. I used to have a whole bunch of people in my dorm room just want to watch me make beats. [laughs] One day, I had a little sample in front of the song that said “pay attention. Somebody in the room said “Yo, is that your name?” I was like “… yeah!” It stuck with me and actually became the meaning of my name.

At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
When I was in high school and used to be a beatboxer. Started in the game as a professional beatboxer, that’s when I really took the music seriously. I went from beatboxing to actually making beats.

You just dropped “Back To You.” What was your mindset creating this one?
I produced that record with Mark Batson, he did all the Eminem “R” Albums: Revival, Relapse, Recover. He did Beyonce’s “Halo”, Anthony Hamilton’s “Charlene.” He produced the whole Dave Matthews Band album that just came out. I’m actually headed to his house after this interview. [laughs] He’s Dr. Dre’s music consultant. He’s top notch. I was privileged enough to produce this record with him.

I was thinking big, explosive, musical. I really wanted to make a statement with this record coming out of the gate as a vibe, and really showcase my vocal ability. Any love song that you hear from me is really going to be about my personal life. My personal situation. [points to girlfriend]

What is it you want fans to get from your story?
I want fans to really understand they can do anything they wanna do. I’m working on an album I’ve already completed, and I have a full movie. A 90-minute feature film. I shot it in Hong Kong, Guilin (which is China), and LA with a star cast: Trevor Jackson, Michael Blackson, I’m fighting Danny Chan in Hong Kong. Danny Chan plays IP Man that’s coming out. Bruce Lee’s coming out with their 80th anniversary Enter The Dragon type of movie, and he plays the lead role. I have a full movie with him, the whole album is called Coming Out of Someday Isles.

What is Someday Isles?
It’s a place in the brain. A lot of people say “one day, some day, I’ll do this, I’ll do that.” This is me coming out of my own Someday Isles. Within my music and in the physical film, you can see a blueprint of how you can come out of your own Someday Isles. I want them to see themselves and how they can better themselves. How they can come out of their own Someday Isles. Use my story as a little kid coming out of Little Haiti in the hood, and now I’m doing international music.

What is your take on the music industry?
2018 and this year so far, the music industry is definitely improving when it comes to music. It’s getting a lot better. There’s a lot of really good artists out there right now, some who I’d love to work with. Probably about 3 years ago, music was in a weird space. Musically, we’re doing really well right now.

How important is social media for your career?
Your Instagram is your brick and mortar. Your storefront. Without social media in the millenium right now? You don’t have anything. Really, social media is super important. It’s how people get to know you and how you get to know them. I’m on Instagram all the time to be honest.

What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
I wake up, thank God for waking me up. Definitely go hit the gym early in the morning. Every day, except Sunday. Sometimes, you just gotta do it. I wake up at 7am. After that, I’m scheduling my day. What meetings do I have to go do, who do I have to talk to, what do I have to reply to my attorney? Who am I getting in the studio with? Am I done with my album? After I figure all that out, I’m in the studio constantly.

3 things you need in the studio?
I always need candles. I need lights. Candles is a whole vibe. I need a vibe, period. Maybe something to drink. Or my lady. [gestures to partner] Ying definitely needs to be there. [laughs] I’ve made my greatest records with her being there for sure.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
Acting! If I wasn’t doing either one [music or acting] I would be doing voice overs. They make a lot!

Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Right now, I’m playing a lot of Davido. It’s a vibe!

Dream collab?
Dua Lipa, Halsey, Kanye West!

Anything you want to let us know?
Just to Pay Attention!

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