Pascal Foley: Fresh talent

Published in the January 2016 issue of What’s Up! Magazine

by Keenan Ketzner

Self proclaimed as the skinniest kid with the heaviest lines, Pascal Foley is another one of the fine, budding young artists from Bellingham’s garden of pensive and new age tinged hip-hop. His rhymes bounce back and forth from high to low-brow, riding between the inane and the intellectual which makes his music so distinguished. Pascal, like the triangular pattern, is sharp and ever growing.

While Pascal is originally a Minneapolis native, he’s lived between two hometowns his whole life, and they’ve both had different ways of affecting his work. “Minneapolis is where I discovered local hip hop, and that there was more to it than cash and women and drugs, where I found really soulful and expressive hip-hop. Bellingham is great because it’s so removed, literally and figuratively from so much of the rest of the world that it’s just a different mindset here.”

You can hear his connection to the unusual come through lyrically on his album Adoxography (released in 2014). It focuses heavily on the playful swings from observational intellect to charismatic nihilism, stringing together some of his life stories over smooth, R&B tinged beats. What you can really hear on the album is his decision to zone in on being who he wants to be, getting to a spot where he can just put in the work and make good music; a mentality that many people from Bellingham might find highly relatable.

In regards to inspiration from other musicians, Pascal said he grew up listening to a lot of pop with his parents, eventually making his way to psychedelic and music in his teens. By the time he entered high school is when he gained a real interest in hip-hop, listening to Outkast, Wu Tang, Atmosphere and other classics. He also jokingly noted that he played bass and guitar while growing up, and that his “biggest influence is probably Jack Johnson though.”

After starting to freestyle in high school, Pascal started teaming up with other rappers pretty swiftly. “When I first got into hip hop, and especially the local scene, I found out about My Dad Bruce and got hooked. I was fortunate enough to work with Chris Willis from that group on two of his albums (Grape Summer and Blueberry Winters with C-Legz) and he also co-produced an EP with C-Legz and I.”

Nowadays he continues to work with C-Legz and other producer Mac the Knife (such as on his earlier mentioned album Adoxography). “We generally go into the studio and we’ll start a beat from scratch, and I’ll start writing something. [C-Legz]  and I have always had really good creative chemistry, and then with Mac it’s kinda the same, but I spend less time present for the actually beat making process.”

Pascal also said that he’s going to be dropping his next couple of projects throughout January and February. As per usual they’ll have C-Legz and Mac the Knife to provide the instrumentals, but this time they’ll also be joined by producer Lame Stanley to help keep the production as varied as Foley’s rapping style and influences. And as always they’ll be supporting these releases with a smattering of shows in the local area around that time.

In closing, while our favorite part of Bellingham might be the music, Pascal said his is “that it doesn’t really change. I mean it does, but there’s always this feeling in the air, like you could leave at any time and come back and everyone you know will be on the same shit. That’s kinda cool and kinda scary to me.”

MORE DETAILS: Listen to Pascal Foley’s music at soundcloud.com/pascal-foley or follow him on Facebook.