Born, raised and residing in the Cayman Islands, Josh Pearl presents “Emotional”, the new Taylor King-produced single from Pearl’s forthcoming EP Lost In Eldorado. Jamaican singer Mavado can be seen cosigning Pearl in the music video for his 2015 single “My Homies” (watch) which still receives radio play in the Caymans. Pearl writes and directs most of his own music videos, including “Night Rider” (watch), the first single from Lost In Eldorado, shot in Los Angeles, and “First Mill” (watch), shot in China. In 2014 Pearl also wrote, directed, and edited A Savside Story, which was premiered in the Caymans to a sold-out theatre audience back to back on the same night (watch). Pearl says the inspiration for “Emotional” came after he relocated temporarily to Los Angeles. “I felt like no matter how much I would show and prove to people how serious I was about everything I was doing, I still never got that same respect back. From being betrayed by a radio station back home that I built years of a relationship with, who falsely advertised my name at a event that I had no consent to, to someone I had love for not feeling the same way as I did towards our relationship. It all melted into me letting all of my emotions go onto this song, which is something that was new for me.”
What made you decide to become a rapper?
Ever since I can remember I would always write stories in school as a kid. At the age of 15 my friend Dominick and I found out about this one track recording program on my computer. We started freestyling without a instrumental using my webcam microphone. I downloaded a Lil Wayne instrumental from “Limewire” the same night and I placed the speaker right beside the microphone and started recording a song to the instrumental. After hearing myself rapping over the beat, it instantly sparked a flame for me to continue. The thought that I can sonically paint pictures with my words was everything to me. I love to just create anything. Period. That was just the first initial process that I found worked for me.
What’s the first rap song you ever heard? Describe the moment.
My parents are Christians so growing up they never played any music outside of Christian and Country music. Music was never apart of my upcoming as a youth. The first time I can remember anything regarding hiphop was the night of the MTV awards and I remember sitting with my older brothers watching Eminem perform “The Real Slim Shady” with the hundreds of Slim Shady clones following him into the arena and I thought it was really dope. I never witnessed anything like that until that moment. Shortly after he was the first artist I remember actually paying attention to waiting for TRL or MTV to play his music videos.
How did “Emotional” come together?
Emotional came at a time of confusion and let down for me. I recorded the song literally the day after I found out a radio station I had a very close and family oriented relationship with, was using my name to promote an event that I had no consent to. That created a public feud between us after I addressed my fans that I would not be attending the event which in return they dis credited my name to the public using their platform. At the same time a friend of mine that I really grown to love started acting like a total different person towards me. The day after the drama I downloaded the instrumental from Taylor King, and when I heard the piano ballet at the beginning it really hit me hard. I instantly came up a melody to ride the piano and started writing how I felt up until the beat actually dropped. I started a new track to record for when the beat dropped and I legit had put down my phone and let out every emotion that was inside of me. It ended up being a freestyle and I took the best pieces from it and completed the song. Even though the lyrics of the song had nothing to do with how I felt about the radio station, that energy traveled into me speaking more about the situation I had with my friend. Its funny because in the song I asked “why you acting so emotional” when really I was the one that was acting emotional.
What’s the Cayman Islands hiphop scene like?
First of all the Cayman Islands has a population of 60,000 people and most of that population caters more to soca and dancehall music of the caribbean. The hiphop scene is very small and hasn’t really had a space to call its own as yet on island. We mostly look to the internet for exposure and creditability. I really plan on bringing my experience to the hiphop scene on island with providing the people of my island with concerts of artist who we all love thats current in hiphop right now. All the hiphop artist on island are definitely growing which is helping grow the culture on island and we are learning to come together to make a bigger impact on the world.
What do you think the old school can learn from the new school and vice versa?
Recently I have been playing JayZ’s 4:44 repeatedly every day. His music was so needed at this time in the hiphop culture to me because it is very saturated with music that has nothing to really say. It was a breathe of fresh air for me and I feel like what we can take from an older artist as himself is that we can still build our own lane and create what we want instead of falling victim to whats popular. Vice versa I feel the old school can learn that the new school is within the internet which is controlled by no one so we have to accept that anything goes.