Pablo Dylan wants to make it on his terms. He’s not relying on the fame of his grandfather, Bob Dylan. He’s carving a name for himself on his own.
On his latest EP, “The Finest Summersault,” Dylan eschews the rap genre for which he is known and focuses on a rock/alternative sound. The project is layered with dark, moody sounds and personal lyrics. He knows establishing himself will take a lot of work.
“I’d show up with my guitars at a bar and sometimes they’d say no and I’d play outside,” Dylan says. “I do that for long enough and they’d invite me inside. Then that would roll into bigger shows.”
Dylan is playing Last Exit Live with Ezra Bell on Thursday, June 6.
“Hell yeah I love Phoenix,” Dylan says. “It’s the Wild West. I don’t see many musicians talking about that. It’s a special thing to perform. Even if it’s only four people at the show, that’s still four people in every state of the union.”
Many have heard his music, whether they realize it or not. Dylan has earned production credits in collaboration with artists like Erykah Badu, ASAP Rocky, OG Maco, D.R.A.M. and Brent Faiyaz.
Disillusioned with the genre, he decided to embark on his own career. In 2018, Dylan returned with a slew of new musical releases.
“When I was very young, I was able to find work producing hip-hop,” he says. “I had to take a break from producing to figure all this out. It was a lot of the country, saying bigger and doing something more important.
“A lot of time in hip-hop sessions, they talk about whatever nonsense they want. They talk about money and gold chains and I just felt like people want something a little more serious. I gave myself to the cause.”
He adds hip-hop is an “astounding” artform with incredible results. It was hard for him, however, to find his own in that lane.
“Once I put a guitar in my hand, it all made sense,” he says. “It’s all about earning the right to play music. I like to think people chose me. I just worked as hard as I could so people could decide on their own. I’m saying something, while most of the other songs are about all sorts of garbage.
“This country is really special and very chaotic. We’re one people at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on when those words come out.”
Pablo Dylan and Ezra Bell
Last Exit Live, 717 S. Central Avenue, Phoenix, 602.271.7000, lastexitlive.com, 8 p.m. Thursday, June 6, $13-$15.