Pell: Existential Rapper

On “Floating While Dreaming,” rapper Pell channels his vivid visions to create an entrancing musical experience.

On “Floating While Dreaming,” rapper Pell channels his vivid visions to create an entrancing musical experience.

Rapper Jared Pellerin, or "Pell," may be the new rapper on the block, but his album, "Floating While Dreaming," is a testament to his style, creativity and depth as a songwriter. Pell, 22, says writer-director Richard Linklater's 2001 film "Waking Life," which deals with existentialism and different concepts of reality all encountered in one man's dream, inspired his latest work.

"I started trying to write down what I could remember from my dreams to help me write my songs," Pell says.

He then used the basis of his dreams to create the songs on the album, saying that nothing he experienced in his dreams was far removed from what he experienced in his daily life. In "Waking Life," the people who change their goals are called dreamers.

The title came from Pell's realization that in the time it takes to achieve your goals, you are floating. He wanted that title to also act as a description of the music. As a result, the songs on "Floating While Dreaming" have a light, airy feel to them, giving the sensation of drifting on a cloud.

Both performing live and working within a studio come naturally for Pell, though recording takes a bit more effort. He says that during his performances, mistakes can give way to on-the-fly improvisation, which makes each show different from the last. When recording, he can simply go back and do it over again until he likes the sound, but he says he finds the process more difficult.

Though Pell wrote all the music on "Floating While Dreaming," he allows his producers the freedom to add their influence but still holds the creative reins on the project. He makes sure to create the sound he wants to produce. "It's definitely my vision, but I make sure to surround myself with people who have the musical capacity to get it done," Pell says.

His favorite songs to perform live are "Eleven:11" and "Now You Know." "I believe those songs stick out to me because they hit the audience in a different way," Pell says. With every show, he attempts to place himself in the crowd's shoes and perform tracks how he would like to see them performed.

Pell's largest fan bases are in Houston, New York, Los Angeles and his two hometowns: New Orleans and Jackson. A New Orleans native, Pell moved to Jackson after Hurricane Katrina. He began making music in the ninth grade and performed with a group called Homesickk Astronautz during his sophomore and junior years. Unlike the his mother and brother, who both attended the University of Southern Mississippi, Pell attended Mississippi State University, studying finance until he made the decision to quit school to pursue his music full time.

Although he is a rapper, his music can branch from any story-telling or poetic base. Many musicians influence his creative pursuits. Pell says that artists such as Erykah Badu and indie band Vampire Weekend inspire the way he layers his harmonies and the way he tells the stories in his music.

While Pell believes that he's reached a level of success within his music career, he knows his journey is nowhere near complete. "I would describe success as the point where you've reached your dreams and you've accomplished everything you've set out to do," Pell says.

"I still have a lot I want to accomplish."

Pell will perform at Hal and Mal's (200 S. Commerce St., 601-948-0888), Aug. 7 with Cardinal Sons. Download "Floating While Dreaming" at his website, Pellyeah.com, or stream it on Spotify and Soundcloud.


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