NEWS: Pauli The PSM Drops 'Secret Life of a Badman Vol. 2'
LA & London based artist Pauli The PSM releases their new EP ‘Secret Life of a Badman Vol. 2’, out 21st May with new distributors, FADER Label, alongside focus track 'Don't Leave Me' featuring Elheist and Kelsey Lu.
Pauli came onto the scene as music director for Jamie xx and FKA twigs, then collaborating with an assortment of transatlantic outfits, including Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz Sound System. Their debut EP ‘The Idea of Tomorrow’ featured Idris Elba and solidified the launch of their live shows with an opening slot for Sampha’s Mercury Award winning ‘Process’ LP tour.
Following a string of releases, he’s caught the attention of FADER, CRACK and Wired. At the same time, they’re a model, as well as co-founder and resident DJ at monthly NYC party BackToLife.
Beginning 2020 by composing an original score and appearing in Maurice Harris’ award winning show ‘Centerpiece’, executive produced by Rashida Jones, they also released ‘Rescue the world, protect Black women’, an instrumental EP celebrating Black women through dance music alongside a run of merchandise raising money for African American Policy Forum’s #SayHerName campaign.
Pauli’s most recent role was Music Director and Composer for YouTube Original’s special ‘Black Renaissance’ featuring former President and First Lady, Barack and Michelle Obama.
They return in 2021 with upcoming EP ‘Secret Life of a Badman Vol. 2’, Pauli’s strongest yet, featuring fellow trailblazers Kelsey Lu and Elheist. The project “aims to dismantle my deep-rooted subconscious toxic masculinity,” says Pauli.
“Growing up as a Black boy, I was often reminded of how strong I needed to be, and it was subconsciously suggested that I should fulfill all the other tropes of what it is to be a ‘strong Black man’, thus being labelled a Badman. In my new work I aim to reclaim the full spectrum of my masculinity and reimagine my identity as a non-binary Black man.”
First single ‘I Got The Beat’ is an unapologetic statement of who Pauli The PSM is. A love letter to drumming, it’s an homage to the two places Pauli considers home, Edmonton and the seat behind a drum kit. The visual, directed by Omar Blair-Mangat, represents a patchwork of their life through 35mm photography and choreography by Romario Chevroy.
It’s followed by ‘Cowgirl (Creeping)’, a sensual but melancholic and vulnerable cut in which Pauli reflects on their partner’s infidelity: “It’s somewhere between unrequited love and being the side piece. No one wants to be the side piece! To prove my love I’m like, babe I’m willing to fight the greatest boxer of our time to show you!When I think about it now, it’s kind of a sad song. But It’s a sad one you can catch a vibe to.”
The final single is ‘Don’t Leave Me’. “Elheist’s voice on any track is the unapologetic and quintessential sound of London. When I wrote this track, I knew we could have a musical dialogue that would feel real,” explains Pauli.
The track melts into a gorgeous soul slow jam where Kelsey Lu shines: “The outro was birthed out of a moment when we toured together and Lu freestyle roasted me on a hotel bar piano,” they continue. “Every time I think about Lu, I just smile - One the most important artists of our time. If I was to die and come back as anything, I’d wanna come back as Kelsey Lu.”
Consistently pushing the boundaries of pop and R&B, ‘Secret Life of a Badman Vol. 2’ marks the beginning of a confident new sound for Pauli, one which gives them the freedom to be unashamedly themselves.