Just days after Kenyon announced it would be extending its spring break, Pascal Lee ’22 released an album close to his heart, reminiscing on his time so far at the College.
A tennis player and philosophy major from Maryland, Lee took inspiration for his latest project from nature and classic poetry, which he studied in his British Romanticism class. Going by the stage name “Paskkal The Landlord,” his album Short Songs is composed of 12 tracks, each telling a different story or painting a different picture.
“Each song is a vignette,” Lee said. For example, the song “Layer Cake” is about “our negligence of nature,” while “Dolce Vita” is about the loss of childhood imagination. Similarly, “Apple Butter” is about fall in the musician’s hometown. “Jazz Guitar” is about “living with more confidence and swagger.” The album is a mix of rap, R&B and hip-hop.
The entire album was written and produced from Lee’s homemade studio in his Mather dorm room. The “studio” consisted of the music software Ableton on his laptop, speakers, a synthesizer, a guitar and a microphone, as well as a makeshift booth between his and his roommate’s bunked beds. “No one ever complained about the noise,” Lee said. The production process took about five months, during Lee’s offseason from tennis. “I just tried to make time for two hours a day to dedicate to it. Every song was produced, mixed, mastered and written by me.” As for his recording and editing process, Lee said, “I usually like to make a beat, freestyle over it, then write a more structured song from the freestyle. Then, I record vocals. The rest of the process involves fleshing out the instrumentation and making edits. I just have fun with it.”
The album was the results of the combined effort of multiple Kenyon students, including fellow members of the Lords tennis team. Luis Platas ’20 provided the photographs that became the album’s artwork. Additionally, Sofia Alonso ’22 and Angelo Vidal ’22 contributed backing vocals, while Brian Yoshino ’21 provided guitar.
Short Songs is not Lee’s only music project. He made his first mixtape as a freshman in high school, and has dropped six personal projects since then. He’s also produced and collaborated on additional projects with friends and fellow musicians, such as “Jacob Daley” and “Ben Jamin,” who are featured on his latest record.
In the future, Lee would be open to pursuing a professional music career, but he isn’t quite sure of anything just yet. “I’m just trying to make good art, one project at a time,” he said. “Do I want to be a professional rap artist and producer? Of course! I can tell you most certainly, though, that you will see me making more music in the future.”
Pascal “Paskkal The Landlord” Lee can be found on all major music streaming platforms, as well as on Twitter and Instagram @clutchlandlord.