Sight Beyond the Surface: An Interview with Pachyman

By 26 February, 2024

Amidst Los Angeles’ immense blend of cultures and sounds, resides Pachy Garcia, better known as Pachyman, a visionary whose creativity resonates around the soulful beat of Puerto Rican reggae.

As if magnetically drawn to his keyboard right before our brief but weighty conference call, Pachy was rehearsing Roy Ayers’ timeless “Everybody Loves the Sunshine”, a prelude which nicely depicts his eclectic taste, and skill in the interpretation of the instrument.

Considered one of the finest ambassadors of Latin-America’s current reggae scene, Pachyman’s journey from the vibrant streets of Puerto Rico to the sprawling avenues of LA speaks volumes about his passion for music and the endless possibilities that thrive in the City of Angels.

Here are some of the highlights from our conversation:

So, how do you feel about the reception of Latin music in Europe compared to North America?

Well, it’s interesting because, in Europe, there’s such a diverse audience with a strong interest in world music and culture. Especially with genres like reggae, there’s a significant diaspora that has contributed to its popularity. For instance, in the UK, there’s a rich history of Caribbean music that has become ingrained in the culture. It feels like Latin music is generally well-received in Europe, perhaps more so than in North America, where the music industry is quite different and more focused on genres like country and others.

Interesting. Could you tell us a bit about your journey as a musician, particularly your transition from Puerto Rico to Los Angeles?

Absolutely. I moved to LA to explore new opportunities in music and immerse myself in a vibrant cultural scene. Coming from Puerto Rico, where I was involved in various music projects as a drummer, I wanted to expand my horizons and delve into production. Los Angeles provided the perfect environment for me to reconnect with my roots, while also exploring new sounds and techniques.

Speaking of that, your latest album seems to mark a sonic departure from your previous work. Can you elaborate on the creative process behind it?

With this record, I’m trying to push the boundaries of my sound and incorporate different influences. I wanted to explore the intersection of digital and analog sounds, paying tribute to the era when synthesizers began to revolutionize music production. The title, Switched-On, reflects this shift in sonic landscape. I drew inspiration from my upbringing in Puerto Rico, as well as my experiences in Los Angeles. The result is a blend of traditional elements with modern production techniques, creating a fresh and dynamic sound.

Yes, it definitely seems like you’ve found a harmonious relationship between old and new techniques. How has your approach to music evolved over the years?

My journey started as a studio project, and this was materialized in my album The Return Of…. . However over time, I’ve embraced live performances and contributions with other artists. I’ve learned to adapt and experiment with different styles while staying true to my musical roots.

You’ve mentioned contributing with other artists. How do these contributions impact your music?

Contributions have always been an integral part of my creative process. Working with other artists allows me to explore new ideas and perspectives, ultimately enriching the final product. Whether it’s remixing a track or producing a new song, collaborating with talented musicians brings a unique energy to the music.

For sure. By the way I really like that remix you did for the Buscabulla track a few years back.

Thanks! Yes, my relationship with Luis goes way back. We’ve known each other since high school, playing in different bands in Puerto Rico. I really respect what they’ve accomplished with Buscabulla, and though I normally focus on my own productions, I always like it when a chance like that comes along, to contribute with old friends. I normally try to make authentic versions when I do this, so after I was sent all the stems of the track, I kept the vocal section only, and did my own interpretation.

Looking ahead, what are your plans for the future?

I’m excited to embark on a series of tours, including stops in New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and Europe. These opportunities to perform live and connect with audiences around the world are incredibly inspiring for me as an artist. I also plan to continue exploring new musical avenues and evolving as a musician.

You’re also starting to build an audience in places like my home country, Colombia.

I’m totally looking forward to going there as well! I know currently there are direct flights between San Juan and Bogotá, so hopefully it will happen sometime soon.

That would be amazing! I’m sure it’ll happen sooner rather than later. For now I really hope the world tour comes along very well, and thank you so much for this chat.

Thank you for having me! It’s been a pleasure.

Pachyman is currently touring Europe and North America, in support of his latest album “Switched-On”. Click here for more info about dates and tickets.

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