Premiere: Meet Powloh, who dedicates the clip to 'Now and Then' to his best friends
The Melbourne-based musician is blossoming into a recent favourite, with his new single being three-from-three.
While the pseudonym Powloh may have only just popped up on our radar, the person behind it - Philippines-born, Melbourne-based Paulo Guina - is certainly not new to the music space. Over the last decade, the musician has become a multi-disciplinary force with an imprint spread across DJing, songwriting and production; finding a break-out as a touring member of Allday's live show before using that as a propel to immerse himself in the worlds of production and songwriting, where he's been honing in on his crafts ever since.
Powloh is an end product of the last few years he's spent experimenting and learning, and by the sounds of things thus far, it's all come together as best as it possibly could. He made a quiet debut back in 2018 with an introductory single titled Animal, but earlier this year he made a strong-armed return with Way Away - a break-out moment that felt truly reflective of Powloh's status as a burgeoning new star within the Australian pop scene. Now And Then, released last week as his second single for the year, made it two-from-two - and by the sounds of things, everything's coming up Powloh.
Now And Then feels like a breakthrough moment for Powloh that unites his long-winding journey - and the many facets captured within that - together, better than anything else he's put out thus far. It moves between his changing influences and tastes both past and present, veering between stylings of hip-hop, electronica and pop to create a mix that feels like something in-between it all, brought together by a uniting sense of freeing euphoria that really defines the single's uplifting pulse.
"Now and Then was inspired and written after reconnecting with a group of old friends at a house party in Sydney," he says on the single. "I wrote this about my crew past and present, the ones I love and the ones that have stood by me even for just a moment in time. All of my upcoming releases are about different experiences at varying times in my past but Now and Then is the only song that's written about my present. I often find myself romanticising the past and one day I will likely romanticise this time too."
Today, he doubles down on the single's connection to his close friends as he welcomes the video clip for Now and Then, which premieres on Pilerats alongside its release today. It's a heartwarming clip that taps into that gentle euphoria as he welcomes you into the world that revolves around him; the clip being an ode of-kinds to Powloh's close-knit friendship group and - as he mentioned in the single's theme - the uplifting sense of support and elevation he is surrounded by.
"Now and Then is a dedication to my friends past, present and those I’ve lost that will be in my heart forever," he explains. "I wanted the video to capture this but being in strict Melbourne lockdown meant making a video was pretty tough so I decided to go through some footage I'd shot from the past two years and create something from there. It was pretty special to be able to look back through everything. The video features a bunch of footage captured of my Melbourne crew, I guess if the song is 'then' the video is 'now'."
The single feels like the opening of a chapter in a way, but at the same time, it's the closing of one too. Some of the video's shots were filmed in a sharehouse that may be familiar to Australian music fans; the home being where Allday recorded his breakthrough debut album, where Mallrat recorded her earliest work, and where plenty of music videos have been shot for developing Australian musicians. Unfortunately, due to COVID, the sharehouse is being vacated - but its legacy lives on, one last time, through Powloh's new video clip.
You can watch it below, and while you're there, better introduce yourself to Powloh as we get to know the person behind some of 2020's most brilliant new songs:
Tell us about yourself?
My real name is Paulo and I’m a Filipino-Australian, based in Naarm/Melbourne. I’m a producer, songwriter, vocalist, audio engineer and filmmaker. I also play in another band called Little Elizabeth and I’ve been Allday’s tour DJ for a while now.
What’s the vibe music-wise?
I like to write about personal experiences, moments in my past and feelings pulled from deep inside me. Basically a bunch of happy-sounding songs that are actually kinda sad and some sad sounding songs that are actually sad lol. I grew up on hip-hop, I love electronic music and I play guitar. I listen to a very wide range of music and I don’t particularly subscribe to any certain genre so my sound often ends up bending in different directions.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
I always start with production, if it sparks anything then lyrics usually come easy. Sometimes I already know what I’m going to write about before I start producing. Sound-wise I never really know what’s going to happen, I’m not one of those artists that hear something in their head and then create it. I hear something in my head and something completely different always comes out so I just try not to fight it.
Can you tell us a bit about the song, Now and Then, and it’s video clip?
Now and Then was inspired after reconnecting with some old friends who are very dear to me at a house party in Sydney last year. Most of that fam are now living across Australia or around the world doing a bunch of hella interesting shit, chasing dreams etc. which is real cool.
The music video features a bunch of footage I shot of my current crew who are also super special to me. I love filming them skate but never really knew what I was going to do with that footage until I was stuck in lockdown trying to make a music video. A lot of the crew were based in a sharehouse in Brunswick around the corner from mine. A couple of years ago we lost someone really close and important to us, so looking back these skate sessions were a really nice form of therapy.
During COVID, the sharehouse has started to come to an end as most have moved out with a couple of our friends left in there looking to move soon. That house has so much history, there have been so many musicians and artists to come through either living there, recording or collaborating. The concrete backyard has gone from basketball court, to boxing gym to skatepark. Some of my favourite tattoo’s I’ve gotten were done in the lounge room and I’ve spent many hours in the studio there jamming. Although I never actually lived there it’s felt like my home for a really long time because of the people who were always there.
I love to romanticize the past, I guess I’m just one of many who have a slight addiction to nostalgia. If the song is about ‘Then’, the music video is about ‘Now’. The music video is a bit of a timestamp, something I get to look back on, a little snippet of what my life is like at a time when everything is changing forever.
What does the rest of 2020 have in store for you?
I’ve got some more music coming with a bunch more in the chamber, plus I’m itching to get back to writing more music as I’m feeling super inspired at the moment. Melbourne has also just come out of lockdown too so I’ll be getting out of the house a lot, hugging my mum, chilling with the crew and falling back in love with this beautiful city. I think balance in life is important especially for staying creative.
What do you want people to take away from the project?
My music and my art is quite personal, most of the time I’m just making it for myself and by myself. I want Powloh to be authentic and real to who I am because if I do it like that I guess I can’t really get anything wrong.
I write from my own experiences but I try to do it in a way that allows others listening to inject their own personal experience into it. Even if what we’ve been through might be very different, the feelings surrounding those times can often be easily related to. I think it’s important for our emotions to be shared and universalised, it stops us from feeling alone and allows us to empathise with one another. If people can take something as simple as that from my project I think that would be nice.
Where can we find more of your music?