This Black History Month, Atwood Magazine has invited artists to participate in a series of essays, interviews, reviews, poetry, playlists, and more features in recognition of, and out of respect for the symbolism and significance of this month.
Today, New Orleans rapper Pell dives deep into the music and stories behind his alluring, expansive, and independently-released new concept project glbl wrmng, vol. 1 as a part of Atwood Magazine’s Black History Month series. An active member of NOLA’s vibrant music scene since 2013, 28-year-old Jared Pellerin has long embraced his hometown’s sacred musical heritage in his own art – blending R&B, rap, funk, and more influences into thoughtful reflections on culture, society, relationships, and our everyday. Pell released the Floating While Dreaming mixtape in 2014 to considerable acclaim, and followed that up five years (and several song releases) later with 2019 highly-anticipated and deeply expressive debut album Gravity. Pell’s music spans the incredibly intimate and the captivatingly cinematic, and it is with this resolve that the rapper approached his most ambitious, provocative, and meaningful endeavor yet.
GLBL WRMNG is a new NOLA-centric collective launched by Pell and music professional Nate “Suave” Cameron of 20+ local artists and producers including Malik NinetyFive, Jzzle, Jelly of Tank and the Bangas, Lil Iceberg, Kr3wcial, and more. Their first release, glbl wrmng, vol. 1, is described as “an ode to the strength and resilience of their beloved hometown and emphasizes the city’s heroic survival.” At the heart of the music lies New Orleans’ resilience: It’s a city that knows the true, devastating reality of climate change, and surrounding that is a stunning display of the artists and producers revitalizing, reinventing, and redefining NOLA’s music scene. From the smoldering opener “Ivory” and trap-heavy “Well Shit,” to the soulful “High When I’m Around You” and buoyant lead single and closer “504,” Pell and friends take us on an adventure not only into the heart of New Orleans, but into universal truths about our life and times. An impressive sixteen-track undertaking, glbl wrmng, vol. 1 showcases songs of strength and fortitude, inner struggle and perseverance, real beauty, love, and much more. Pell once again embraces New Orleans’ vibrant community, and the result is as memorable as it is simply breathtaking.
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside glbl wrmng, vol. 1 with Atwood Magazine as Pell goes through the inspirations, influences, and stories behind seven of his favorite tracks!
“I wanted to make records with all my hometown friends that didn’t have to be just Pell records that could showcase the talent of New Orleans and what we had to offer. I wanted to executively produce this record and then give us all something to call back on whenever we were on the road or outside of the city so that we could keep connecting and building together.” – Pell
:: Inside glbl wrmng, vol. 1 ::
“The original song for this was written and recorded by Niyo Divinci’s studio by Kr3wcial and it was sent to me to feature on. There was a ton of internal conflict on whether or not I would move back to New Orleans for a period of time and sure enough, I was able to. The verse talks about that as well in terms of how hard I ride for my city and want to make sure I’m a part of what’s going on in it as much as possible. Initially, this song was a beat that Niyo gave to Kr3wcial. Kr3wcial sent it to me for me to write a verse to it along with Sleazy EZ. Time passed and it was revisited by myself when it was considered as a song for the glbl wrmng project because of its connection to New Orleans and the unity it signified. Soon after we had finished recording the record, Niyo passed. Niyo was a staple of the New Orleans hip hop community especially as far as producers go. It was a sad day for many people in the camp and it made even more sense for me to make sure that it was a part of the project. While making the Dominic-Scott-Directed music video for the record, we featured Ayo Scott, a New Orleans visual artist that painted a portrait of Niyo on film to showcase our love for the inspiration of the track. We had a second line as a part of the video which symbolizes a link in the New Orleans tradition of celebrating one’s life throughout the streets of the city after a funeral. I like to think we were second lining for Niyo. When we presented Niyo’s mom with what the portrait of her son would look like, she noticed that she was mentored by Ayo Scott’s father, my godfather, John T Scott when she was in college. This whole song and video has come full circle and was a sign to me that we are moving in the right direction. Long Live Niyo.”
When I wrote and recorded “Party,” I took a trip to New Orleans to start having some sessions with artists that I hadn’t collaborated with yet in person. We were at Ceaux Young’s Axiom Gallery and it was really just a way to play artists in the city what I had been working on. Trey Lbs and Malik Ninety Five started cooking up a beat and the next thing I knew Kenneth Brother already had a hook. Kr3wcial, myself, and Sleazy hopped on right after and that was it. The song makes me want to throw a party (masks on of course) and it’s really telling of the diversity in the rap community by how different artists approach the same record. It almost feels like cipher but, not serious – straight fun. My favorite lyric is “504 forever tell em take that to the bank – tell em tank that to the bank” because it shows how we ride for the city and bet on ourselves over anybody else. We originally were working on finishing the “504” record when we came into the session that became the “Party” record. We had so many people pulling up that it felt like a party so as soon as we started cooking up something new everyone just had their verse ready to go one after the other. It was magic. Afterward, we sat and played it a few times but we knew it was a hit.
“High When I’m Around You”
When I wrote and recorded “High When I’m Around You” I was in the studio at 4040 Tulane by Chad Roby. It was a bunch of cats from glbl wrmng that were vibing to some of the records we had while making mixing notes. I had dm’d Iceberg a few times before that day about getting in together for something for the project and he was able to link up that day. This session was the first time Chad, Malik and I teamed up on the production of a song so I thought that was cool. It was no egos just people creating something that the world can feel. When Iceberg laid down his verse though we knew it was a classic. This song was a bit more difficult, as I sometimes don’t like my persona life gets intertwined with my music so it’s difficult to talk about things that are too close to home, but nonetheless, it makes me feel optimistic and shows that players need love too (word to Iceberg).
When I originally thought of and wrote Technicolor, I was in LA recording in my basement with my friend Troop Brand. He had laid down a hook that was super nice to a beat I had made earlier that day or that week, can’t fully remember. Anyway, I played it a few times around Dominic Scott and eventually was able to get him on it. I sent it to Letrainiump too, ironically right before my hard drive crashed and I lost all of my files. But we thrived and made it happen. After I had sent the song out to Letrainiump, who was the last to add anything to the record, my hard drive crashed. I lost virtually everything I had been working on for the project at the time but the whole song was salvaged because I sent the stems to Letrainiump when I sent him the song. Thank God for foresight. This song makes me feel free and full of self-love and is also a way to cleanse the pallet from all of the rapping in the songs that preceded it. It feels like a breath of fresh air.
“What Is Love?”
When I originally thought of and wrote “What is Love,” I was at the studio with Chad Roby, Pro$per Jones, Kr3w, and a couple of other glbl wrmng affiliates. I was freestyling to a beat that Chad played me and came up with the hook in the booth. I don’t think I even wrote a lyric to it at first. It was my first time collaborating with Jelly and I couldn’t be happier. The first time I met Jelly was actually when she was performing with Tank and The Bangas in New Orleans. My Godbrother had made a nude painting of her for one of his exhibits which I saw before I met her. So when I met her for the first time I was out of my mind yelling “I seen Jelly naked” before I even knew her. Thankfully she cool and we friends cause that could’ve gone the whole other direction. Song dope too. The inspiration for this track was being separated from someone you’re involved with. It’s about not wasting someone’s time and really “showing up” in order to “show love.” The track makes me feel like making love and it plays that late-night “u up” text type song that that project was missing.
When I originally thought of and wrote “Well Shit” I was in LA in my basement. Kr3wcial had FaceTimed me and we were talking about what was getting us through the pandemic\/beats we were working on. He sent me the instrumental to “Well Shit” I had been watching a bunch of the Leslie Jordan videos where he would say “Well Shit” and thought – “oh this is what it would be like if he made a song”. Originally the times I said, “well shit” were samples of him saying it from his IG page. I hope he reads this. This song makes me feel great and it was probably the quickest to finish on the project.
When I originally thought of and wrote “Bad,” Neal, Kr3wcial, and I were by Niyo’s studio and were going through some of Chad’s beats. I recorded the original song for Neal and then we got Malik Ninety Five to lay a verse over it towards the end. This song makes me feel at peace and it tells the story of breaking generational curses.
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? © Tyler Roi Conde
:: Pell ::