Invigorating the Canadian music scene with his innovative melodies and quick-wit, the singer-songwriter, rapper, and influencer Paul Hernandez brings us back to the good old days with his latest single, "94' Altima."
After his last release, "Deeper Things," was recognized by iHeartRadio's Emerging Artist program, which led him to achieve Shifter Magazine's Artist of the Month spot, Paul Hernandez has proven himself to be an artist to stay. Aiming to change lives through his music, Paul Hernandez encourages his listeners to connect with his vulnerable and thought-provoking lyricism.
Through his latest single, "94' Altima," Paul Hernandez shows us a more personal and reflective side of himself as he raps about his upbringing, his past mistakes and achievements, and the memories that makeup who he is. The supporting production is incredibly modern and uplifting, as we find ourselves floating with the soothing vocal chops and melodic keys that keep the song's energy at a high.
"94' Altima" opens with energetic synth bursts that set the song's upbeat and exhilarating atmosphere. As modern Hip-Hop drums come in and push our speakers' low-end, Paul Hernandez brings in all the melodies with his warm and catchy vocals while singing a personal yet content message.
He brings an incredibly passionate performance while rapping about his upbringing with his father teaching him how to ride a bike, drive, change a tire, and how grateful he was for the experiences he was blessed with. Paul Hernandez has our heads bopping with the beat, and furthermore, connecting deeper to his relevant bars.
Don't miss out on the authenticity that is Paul Hernandez and his recent single, "94' Altima," as he brings us into his past and expresses a deeper, more personal side of him.
What inspired you to write a more personal, nostalgic, and reflective single like "94' Altima”?
Throughout my musical career, I’ve always had to remind myself that I am a person first, and then an artist. When you mix up those two, you will almost always run into problems and lose your identity quickly. My approach has always been to preserve my personality and never let it suffocate under the label ‘artist’. Only real-life experiences breathed into lyrics can create a powerful connection with fans, as well as draw them into the music in a much deeper way.
A little backstory, there were so many nights where I locked myself out of the car (cause uh, a 94’ didn’t have a key fob). I had to call my dad in the middle of the night to come to pick me up on the other side of town. The influence he played in my early-teen years was crucial for this song, primarily because I started living with him when I started high-school. Although our relationship started late, he had a profound impact on my life and I wanted to ensure I captured those moments in this record.
I just wanted to tell a story, and that story eventually became a nostalgic landmark I know many can relate to.
Did you produce the beat for your single "94' Altima," or did you team up with any producers to help you find the sound you were looking for?
Yeah! I did produce the beat for the song. I went through about 3 different moods before I settled with the driving synth you hear in the intro. With most of my production (including 94’ Altima) I find that beatboxing over a melody is the fastest way to determine the vibe a song can go. From there I generally hang my hat on whether the song will be a fierce upbeat anthem or a laid-back and more reflective tune, in this case, I wanted 94’ Altima to be a combination of both.
Could you take us through the writing process for your single "94' Altima"? Was it easy to write about your upbringing and your past experiences?
I remember putting my head down in the studio, closing my eyes, and being silent. I pictured myself living with my dad again and reliving the moments in my childhood. It was almost like looking through old photographs, I was so overwhelmed with memories that lyrics began to spill out.
As I started writing, I wanted to keep listeners in the picture, I want them to always have a takeaway when a song finishes. I know some of my fans grew up without a mom, so their dad is all they know or vice versa. Some don't talk to their parents anymore, some or even both of their parent(s) have passed away. Regardless,I wish that they hear the lyrics and are triggered to think about them or even give them a call, and say “Forgive me." “I forgive you” "Thank you. I love you.” “I appreciate you.”
Writing this song was therapeutic for three reasons: One, I never wrote a song about something my dad gave me and the lessons he taught me. Two, I know that I would inspire someone out there to think about their parents and cherish them. Three, I truly came out of this appreciating my dad and treasuring the little things in life that teach us so much.
How would you describe your music to a new listener? Do you often rap about more purposeful and relevant themes, like within "94' Altima”?
This can be tricky! I don’t know, maybe if Eminem got baptized? Or maybe if Macklemore, Drake, Bastille, and Imagine Dragons started a boyband? Maybe you would find me somewhere in there. Inspiring anthems, melodic impromptu, and cinematic emotion are always ingredients I tend to use when I’m cooking something up. I heard Jesus say “out of the abundance of your heart, your mouth speaks” - so I just rap, sing, create and produce with what’s inside me and often times that leads to something meaningful.
What is the main message are you trying to deliver through your music?
This culture is so loud, everyone is making noise. I don’t merely wanna make noise to change moods, I wanna make noise to change lives. Everyone is on a journey, some use music to drown out the pain, others are drowning in their pain and trying to find a fresh start. You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. If my music in any way can be a catalyst to help you do that, then I know I’m doing something right - I just play the notes, God makes the music.