One of the easiest ways to find new music for me these days, particularly independent music, seems to be scrolling through Instagram at 3:00 am. I'm tired, impressionable, and looking to soothe that Millenial Anxiety. I get loads of music suggestions from the playlists that I curate, from music-loving friends and connections in my DMs, but I find a certain level of satisfaction when I hunt down a well-mixed melodic rap with solid bars all on my own (with the help of the algorithm). While I didn't find the artist I am sharing today through a late-night scroll, I did connect with him through the 'gram and have loved every post and reel since - for real.
Meet Pap Star. He is a recording artist and producer out of Mobile, Alabama. I came across Pap Star through his profile on Instagram but was initially drawn in by his social media before his music. We have several musically inclined connections in common, so of course, his content was suggested to me. Well done, algorithm. Pap Star cleverly shares music in interesting and eye-catching ways. In one quick scroll through his IG profile, you will be entertained, educated, and inspired - all while hearing his music over and over again. The benefit of hearing his music clips over and over again? They get stuck in your head, and you want to listen to the rest.
After a few exchanges, I have come to like Pap Star, not just as an artist, but as a person who is just out here sharing positive energy and making great music. Pap Star tells me that he started his career in music earlier than most as a third-grade poet with publishing credits in the Mobile Press Register. It is no surprise that Pap Star chose to pursue a career in music, given his musical roots with a father in the industry (who taught him to play the guitar) and his heavy early influences in the church.
Pap Star has his own sound, and baby, it is spicy. No longer an elementary school poet, the all-grown-up version of Pap Star is a creative songwriter who has learned to produce his music with a signature sound he formed after transitioning to secular music. Melodic rap, a unique voice and intonation, influences in rock and soul combined with uptempo beats build the recipe for the bouncy singular Pap Star audio signature. As a songwriter and lyricist, his work touches on sexuality, romance, happiness, mental health, and other threads of the human experience.
Pap Star's knowledge of music production has led him to create music for film and television and collaborate with other artists. His production style is a mix of deep bass, trap sounds, smooth, soothing melodies, and tracks layered to feel relaxed even when they are doing the most.
So, what do I think? To date, my favorite track from Pap Star is Half Past Demon Time. It's blunt, sexually charged, but not so aggressive that it's off-putting. There's a rhythm you can dance to, and the vocals are reminiscent of T-Pain. His latest single, Frozen Heartz Pinedes, is worth mentioning. The melancholic melody, Pap Star's distinct vocals clear and melodic over the beat, and stand-out drums bring the whole piece together with that signature fast but slow experience I have come to know and love from Pap Star.
The most surprising thing about Pap Star is his versatility. In listening through Pap Star's catalog, I had to open up my music player to check that it hadn't skipped to another artist or album on more than one occasion. Pap Star is diverse in production, lyrics, and overall sound, transitioning from hip-hop to rap to R&B and back with hints of Caribbean vibes.
Stay tuned for his upcoming projects: an EP this spring with visuals for every song on the project! For now, go stream 'Frozen Heartz Pinedes' and get a deeper understanding of this new-to-you artist.