EXCLUSIVE: Paul Phamous: Producer For Zendaya, The Jonas Brothers And More!
Hey Buzznet Pals,
I have gotten to know the incredibly talented and overall lovely human, Paul Phamous. He has such an incredible story and has worked alongside some of my favorite artists producing their music! Here is an interview we did that I guarantee you will love!
For those who have yet to check out your work…what is it that you do?
I am a producer/songwriter/vocal producer but a “producer” in a traditional sense where I assist the artist in developing a sound that is truly unique and identifiable to them.
When did you first realize you had a passion for music?
Early on in life, but I don’t think I am any different from most people there, I think it’s one of those things where everyone has a soundtrack to their lives. Music is such an integral part of most people lives!! I started on the business side but I always wanted to write but it was a very scary thing for me to put myself out there like that, so I finally got brave enough to really start about 4 years ago.
Who has been your biggest inspiration throughout your career?
My family and friends who have all believed an supported me when I told them I was switching from the biz to the creative side and not embarrassing my Grandparents, Mom, Dad and sister is a huge inspiration as well. Haha.
I was able to take my parents to the Grammys this year and them being there to see me win was the biggest win for me!! My biggest musical inspiration is Damien Rice. He is the artist that made me want to start writing. But looking back Smokey Robinson (who is one of the greatest concept writers of all time), Prince, Counting Crows album August and Everything After, Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, Bobby Brown, 90’s hip hop and R&B and anything and everything on MTV during the late 80’s and early 90’s have a hug influence as well. My parents, grandparents and older sister truly listened to everything growing up from Led Zeplin and Jimmie Hendrix to Motown to Country/Bluegrass music, Run DMC to Prince.
I am truly a fan and respect every genre of music and understand the feeling that each evokes and I draw on all those influences when the song calls for it, sometimes you even use it all in one song like Kanye did on his new album Yeezus, which is very brave and I love and how Avicii is mixing country with EDM is very cool as well!!
You have worked with some pretty big artists like Frank Ocean, The Jonas Brothers and Zendaya, tell us more about that!
I have been blessed this year after working on Frank. A lot of people were fans of his album and I knew Joe Jonas through our mutual friend Jason when he asked me to come in and write with him, Nick and Kevin for their new album. This is when I discovered the musical genius that Nick Jonas is, the range vocally that Joe has and the true musical talent all 3 brothers posses. They’re real artist with true artistic integrity and sophisticated musical taste and I have no doubt the world will recognize them as such after they hear what we’ve been crafting.
Their truly just getting started. Around that same time I was introduced to Zendaya through a friend Don Ray Von and I can say I have never met an artist at such a young age that has such a clear vision and truly fights for what she believes in musically and morally and wants to be unique in her field!! She’s a once in every 10 year type of artist a true entertainer and triple threat!!
What are your main goals for the rest of this year?
I’m working on some very cool projects at the moment with some exceptionally talented producers and writers including Malay, Justin Stanley, Nick Jonas, Ana Diaz, The Strz etc. My mission is to not work on everything but to work with artist/writers/producers that I feel are special and dare to be unique no matter what field there in pop/rock/R&B/country whatever. There are some great new acts out there such as John West, Zendaya, Bebe Rexa, Banks, Jessie Malakouti, Trevor Jackson, Borns, Grace Mitchell and Tyler Lyle to name a few that I feel will make some real noise and that get me excited to create.
I love where music is right now and how all different genres of music are co-existing at the top of charts. It’s an exciting time and I’m happy to have the opportunity to be part of some of it and be a fan and inspired by the rest!!
What is one song you heard this year that you wish you wrote?
I’m a huge fan of this new band called Linus Young and their song “City of Sin” and Danielle Mason “All I Want”. I’m a big fan of what Lorde, Avicii, Haim, The 1975 and Passenger is doing and digging Drake’s new album as well!!
Do you have any moments from the studio that stand out to you the most?
Of course. Too many to name I have had the opportunity to meet and work with so many people this year but the time I got to be in the studio with sir Paul MCcartney and Chaka Khan this year definitely stand out and were a bit surreal!! But other times you have those moments where you’re working on something and you know you created some special that you can’t wait for the world to hear, there is no better feeling!!
What is the most challenging part about being a producer?
I would say coming up with a unique sound for an artist. See, everything has pretty much been done before, so it’s about combining those different sounds and influences that keeps the artist true to their vision, that compliments their voice, while pushing the limits creatively that will allow them to stand out in the extremely saturated music industry. The only saving grace is that most artist aren’t willing to push the envelope and dare to be unique, but when you meet the ones that know what that really means it’s very inspirational and I enjoy the challenge.
If you could put together a dream tour of your favorite artists who would be on it?
This question took me the longest to answer because It would truly change everyday but today I’m gonna say Damien Rice, Prince, Bruno Mars, Stevie Wonder, Jonas Bros, Sade, Foo Fighters, No Doubt, Pink, New Edition w/Bobby Brown (and his hits) , Adele, Kings of Leon, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Killers, The Black keys and so many more. I would of love to have seen Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, The Rat Pack, Billy Holliday, Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston (in her prime), Led Zeppelin, Queen, Kiss, Ray Charles, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Louie Armstrong and all the greats in their field. This question is to hard because there so many more so let’s just stop right there for time sake!!
Lastly, any advice for the fans of your work and our readers?
Study your craft. Even if you’re not a fan of a particular kind of music study the best in that field and figure out why everyone else does love it. It will make you a better writer/producer/artist. Secondly, don’t let the industry pigeon hole you and let stereotypes determine what type of producer/writer/artist you will be.
I often feel like I’m ice-skating up hill not fitting the description of a traditional alt rock or pop writer/producer, but you have to do what feels natural to you and whatever it takes to be the best at it!! No matter if you’re trying to be a black guy that does alt rock music, an asian guy that does country or a white female that does rap and R&B. So fight the good fight, work to be the best, and stay the course!!
What did you think of this interview?