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CONVERGENCE Spotlight: Preston Pablo

2023 Juno Breakthrough Artist of the Year winner, Preston Pablo, will be breaking it down at the debut Convergence Festival in downtown Oshawa on Saturday, September 23. Pablo, of Filipino and Ukrainian ancestry, is based in Toronto, but originally from Timmins, Ontario. Although International Queen of Country, Shania Twain, is a Timmins native, the city is more known for pumping out hockey players than musicians. However, like Twain, Pablo chose music, picking drumsticks over hockey sticks.

Don't miss out on Preston Pablo's performance at Convergence on September 23.

“I always gravitated towards music as a kid. I sang in choir and played drums growing up. My family is super supportive of the path I’ve taken, and I love putting Timmins on the map,” he says.

“Growing up in Timmins, there wasn’t much of a local music scene, so I looked up to my brother, Dawson, who is also an artist. He taught me a lot about making music and all that comes with it.”

Dawson is a good teacher because his brother was nominated for three Junos this year, ultimately winning one, as noted above. The other categories were Single of the Year and Juno Fan Choice Award. Although not an overnight success (he put out his first single in 2019), Pablo is a star on the horizon.

With a series of high charting singles behind him, Pablo says he has been working and “a new project is coming real soon.”

Listen to "Flowers Need Rain" and Pablo's other hits to prepare for Convergence!

He is signed to 31 East, operated by Montreal-based producers Banx and Ranx, who received a Grammy nomination for their work with Hip-Hop artist Sean Paul. The 31 East label is part of the Universal Music Canada extended family, so there is a lot of heft behind Pablo. His collaboration with Banx and Ranx led to the Top 40 platinum-selling single “Flowers Need Rain” from 2022. His first single with the team was 2022’s "Don't Break (My Soul)". In January this year, he released “Ay Ay Ay,” and in February, he was featured on Lili-Ann De Francesco's track "IDC". In March, he worked with producer Ikky and Indian pop artist, Himmat Sandu on Ikky’s track, “Ain’t No Sunshine”. Most recently, Pablo appeared on Karan Aujila’s Punjabi pop song "Admirin' You".

“I love the process of collaborating with other artists, writers, producers, etc.” says Pablo, “I treat songwriting as a craft, so I like taking tips and tricks from other writers and using them when I am just at home writing by myself.”

Earlier this year, he was part of a charity single, a cover of Serena Ryder’s “What I Wouldn’t Do.” Proceeds were to benefit Kids Help Phone’s ‘Feel Out Loud’ campaign for youth mental health.

Mental Health is very much on the minds of young stars these days, and self-care has become a priority in an industry that historically has not supported its younger charges. Pablo says his self-care includes having good people around him and his family close.

“I try and keep myself grounded by talking to my friends and family. I have a good team that helps alleviate some of the day-to-day burdens. I’m blessed,” Pablo says.

And Oshawa will be blessed to have Preston Pablo on stage downtown for the city’s first annual Arts and Music festival.

See you at Convergence in Downtown Oshawa on September 23!

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