The Lowertown Line

S3 E11 | FULL EPISODE

PaviElle

Growing up in the Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul and getting her start at Penumbra Theater, multidisciplinary artist PaviElle's neo-soul voice is as robust as her career. From writing a one-woman play to performing with a large backing band, PaviElle has taken the Twin Cities music scene by storm with her intimate performances and expressive sound.

AIRED: August 27, 2017 | 0:26:46
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TRANSCRIPT

[guitar, drums, & keyboard play R&B]

♪ ♪

(woman) ♪ I know a place ♪

(PaviElle) I would say I'm a Baby Boomer trapped in a Millennial's body.

In my mother's dining room,

I would go through the albums before I could read.

♪ Ain't no smilin' faces ♪

♪ Um-mm no no ♪

And I would just sit in albums all day long,

and that was my thing.

I really liked soul music and old music,

'cause for me that was just it.

(woman) ♪ I'll take you there ♪

(PaviElle) My mom would be singing in the dining room,

all the songs that she loved that meant something

she wanted me to know, so she would

write down the lyrics and be like, learn this!

[laughs]

It molded my sound, and it molded what,

what my idea of what music was.

This right here, "Too Late to Turn Back Now".

This is another, "Alice, I Want You Just For Me".

Another album I played all the time, "Cherelle." [laughs]

♪ ♪

Well, my mom always told me that, you know,

maybe I'm supposed to be here so that I can carry on the torch

and the tradition of black music like this and the aesthetic

so that it doesn't die, you know, because this is ours.

[bass & drums play in syncopated rhythm]

♪ ♪

♪ Ah oh oh-oh ♪

♪ Ah oh oh-oh ♪

[scat singing--improvising with wordless vocals]

♪ I don't know maybe it's me ♪

♪ Or maybe quite a few. who wish the world could see ♪

♪ Things from their point of view ♪

♪ They judge me without knowing ♪

♪ They say I got a scandalous life ♪

♪ Don't know where I've been or going ♪

♪ Just one thing realize ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be kissed baby ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be oh missed honey ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be fun babe ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be loved love love yeah ♪

♪ La la la-la la-la ♪

[scat singing--improvising with wordless vocals]

♪ Sometimes you wanna be loved baby ♪

♪ La la la-la la-la ♪

♪ La-la la-la la-la la la ♪

♪ Yeah babe yeah ♪

♪ Yeah yeah ♪

♪ Oh oh oh-oh ♪

♪ La oh-oh-oh ♪

♪ Ah ah yeah yeah ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be kissed baby ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be missed honey ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be fun ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be loved loved ♪

♪ La la la-la la ♪

♪ La ah ah yeah ♪

♪ Yeah baby la la-la la-la la-la ♪

[scat singing]

♪ ♪

♪ Baby yeah ♪

♪ Oh oh-oh oh-oh ♪

♪ Oh oh oh oh-oh ah ♪

♪ Oh-oh oh-oh oh-oh oh ♪

♪ Ah-ah ah-ah ah-ah yeah sometimes you wanna be loved ♪

♪ I don't know maybe it's me ♪

♪ Or maybe quite a few ♪

♪ Who wish the world could see things from their point of view ♪

♪ They judge me without knowing ♪

♪ They say I got a scandalous life ♪

♪ Don't know where I've been or going ♪

♪ But one thing realize they say ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be sometimes you wanna be ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be sometimes you wanna be ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be sometimes you wanna be ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be sometimes you wanna be ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be sometimes you wanna be ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be sometimes you wanna be ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be la-da la-da la-da dey-da ♪

[improvising; singing wordless vocals]

♪ Sometimes you wanna be I say sometimes you wanna be ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be sometimes you wanna be ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be oo oo-oo oo yeah ♪

♪ Ah yea ah ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be loved baby ♪

♪ Sometimes you wanna be sometimes you wanna be ♪

♪ Loved hey ♪

[cheers & applause]

This is really cool, because

I never get to like, show people the hood-- I like that!

I grew up in Rondo, and you know,

that's an historical black neighborhood in St. Paul.

All my values, everything that I have in me

is from that community.

That's my aunt's house,

another aunt's house, another aunt's house,

so literally this whole, this whole neighborhood

is all family.

So here we're comin' up on the house, the second house from the corner.

This was the house that I grew up in!

It was a beautiful house, lotta light, lotta fun,

lotta beauty happened here.

You know, sometimes I still come over here and come look.

Sometimes I come and just pull up and see the house every now and then.

[thoughtfully] Yeah.

I started performing when I was 5.

You know, my parents were artists, my family,

I come from a family of artists.

It's not the only thing that I know,

but I don't really have a choice but to be an artist.

♪ Summertime ♪

♪ And the livin' is easy ♪

I like to practice in the car, you know.

Living in an apartment, singing how I sing,

it's very hard to practice. You know?

♪ Fish are jumpin' ♪

♪ And the cotton is high ♪

The best place I can come

and just let it all out is in the car.

♪ Your daddy's rich ♪

It's a very peaceful thing.

♪ And your mamma's good-lookin' ♪

In the same way, like when I'm performing,

if I just hit a note or do something,

everything gets real fuzzy, and then it comes back,

and that's what it's always done to me since I was a little kid;

it's incomparable, that feeling.

[with emotion] ♪ With Daddy and Mamma ♪

♪ Standing by ♪

[thoughtfully] Yeah, that was my Mamma's song.

[keyboard plays softly]

♪ ♪

[scat singing; improvising with wordless vocals]

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

♪ So hush little baby ♪

[scat singing]

♪ Don't you cry don't you cry don't you cry don't you cry ♪

♪ Don't you cry ah-ah ah-ah ah ♪

♪ Oh-oh-oh oh-oh one of these days ♪

♪ Oh my God ♪

♪ You're gonna rise up singin' yeah yeah yeah yeah-yeah ♪

♪ And you'll spread your wings ♪

♪ And you'll take to the sky ♪

♪ But until that day until that day ♪

♪ There's nothin' nothin' nothin' nothin' nothin' nothin' ♪

♪ Nothin' that can hurt you yeah ♪

[with much emotion] ♪ With Daddy and Mamma ♪

♪ Daddy and Mamma standing by ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Daddy and Mamma standing by ♪

[scat singing]

♪ ♪

♪ With Daddy and Mamma ♪

♪ Standing ♪

♪ By ♪

[cheers & applause]

That is my mother and my father, and that's little me.

Both my parents, ah, in a 2010 and 2011,

they passed 5 months apart.

I was really sad, and I was really hurting,

hurting for a long time.

I, I remember several days of just not doing anything

because I felt like I wasn't gonna do nothing here

but lay here and die.

And that's just literally how I felt, that's just where I was.

That's pretty much what made the music come

because I was up, and what else am I gonna do, you know?

TV was boring, I didn't want to watch no movies,

I was just like, well, you can go play piano, nobody's here,

it's 5:00 in the morning, go play piano.

That's just kinda how I dealt with the pain for the most part.

After they died, just every, everything changed.

Tone and timbre and things of that nature changed.

I felt like this is the sound that I was always hearing

but I just wasn't there yet,

and it was like oh, I finally got ahold of it!

I sing about my Mom and Dad all the time and that's very,

it's just a, it's a good way for me to cry for them what I haven't cried,

I can, I can, you know, like Jay Z said,

I could make the song cry, you know?

♪ Oo-oo oo-oo oo-oo-oo ah yeah ♪

♪ Now here you go again ♪

♪ You say you want your freedom ♪

♪ Well who am I to keep you down ♪

♪ Hm um ♪

♪ It's only right for you to play the way you feel it ♪

♪ But listen carefully to the sound of the loneliness ♪

♪ Like a heartbeat drives you mad ♪

♪ And you still have some memories of what you had babe ♪

♪ And what you lost ♪

♪ And what you had babe ♪

♪ Oo what you lost yeah ♪

♪ Oh thunder only happens when it's raining ♪

♪ Players only love you when they're playing ♪

♪ Say women they will come and they will go ♪

♪ When the rain washes you clean you'll know yeah ♪

♪ Ah you will know know know ♪

[scat singing--improvising with wordless vocals]

♪ ♪

♪ Ah oo-oo-oo oh yeah eah-eah-eah baby ♪

♪ Now here I go again I see my crystal vision ♪

♪ And I keep my visions to myself babe ♪

♪ See it's only me who wants to wrap around your dreams and ♪

♪ Have you any dreams that you'd like to sell ♪

♪ Dreams of loneliness like a heartbeat drives you mad ♪

♪ And you still have the memories ♪

♪ Of what you had babe ♪

♪ Oo and what you lost ♪

♪ Yeah what you had ♪

♪ Oo what you lost yeah yeah yeah yeah ♪

♪ Thunder only happens when it's raining ♪

♪ Players only love you when they're playing ♪

♪ Say women they will come and they will go ah oh-ah ♪

♪ When the rain washes you clean you'll know ♪

[scat singing]

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Oh ah ♪

♪ Thunder only happens when it's raining ♪

♪ Players only love you when they're playing baby ♪

♪ Say women they will come and they will go yeah ♪

♪ When the rain washes you clean you'll ♪

♪ You'll know you'll know you'll know you'll know know know know know ♪

[PaviElle hits and sustains an extremely high note]

♪ ♪

♪ You'll know you'll know ♪

♪ You will know you will know you'll know you will know yeah ♪

♪ Hey you will know oh oh yeah ♪

♪ Whoa oh yeah-eah ♪

♪ Yeah yeah no no no no you will know baby ♪

Whoo! [laughs]

♪ Yeah you will know ♪

♪ You will know ♪ Oh I feel good y'all!

[cheering] ♪ You will know ♪

♪ You will know yeah ah la-da-da-da ♪

[scat singing]

♪ You will know you will know you'll know you will know baby ♪

♪ Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah ♪

[softly] ♪ You will know ♪

♪ You will know ♪

[softer] ♪ You will know ♪

♪ You will know ♪

[quietly] ♪ You will know ♪

♪ You will know ♪

[drums & bass play R&B]

I'm, I'm a writer first before anything else,

so it just makes you feel really good to

manifest what's inside your head.

Yeah, I could just put my blood in a pen, you know, and just

get that outta my system so that I can move on and write more,

you know, that's just kinda how I get over stuff,

just like when I cut my hair off, I do that a lot. [laughs]

Do that all the time, you know, when I want a fresh start,

I just cut it all the way off and writing is the same thing.

It's cuttin' off whatever's going on in my life,

I'm just gonna cut it off, put it on the paper, leave it there as that.

It's what keeps me from not being depressed and being

an ugly person because I'm mad at my life, you know.

I'd rather not do that, I'd rather use the pain, I'd rather

not take advantage of the pain, but use the pain. You know?

I'm not gonna let it use me.

I'm not gonna let it destroy me,

I'll take it and flip it and make it work.

What I want people to do is wake up and that's,

that's the whole point, that's the whole point of why

my lyrics are what they are.

I'm very adamant about talking about racism and, you know,

I'm not gonna stop talkin' about it 'cause it makes you uncomfortable.

We can bring the truth through a hook and a catchy beat.

If I can make you go, hey, you know,

maybe I should pay attention to what's goin' on,

you have a much better way

of getting that stuff out there via music, I feel,

than any other art form ever.

That's the only way that we're gonna be able to change is,

we can't be afraid and we can't let fear hold us back

from having the discussions that we need to have

and doing the things that we need to do

and standing for something and not falling for nothing.

♪ Livin' breathin' learnin' strugglin' ♪

♪ Where's my father loved my mother ♪

♪ Grew up humble stayed in trouble ♪

♪ Aspirations I watched them crumble ♪

♪ Knew more than I could say ♪

♪ Them premonitions on my brain ♪

♪ I'm tired of livin' my life this way ♪

♪ And I'm weary of this BS game ♪

♪ I need a step up I need a change ♪

♪ I got to make this paper man ♪

♪ And all this work and nothin' to show for ♪

♪ Sometimes I don't want it no more ♪

♪ But this passion inside of me won't let me let this music be ♪

♪ So If this is what I've chosen here then ♪

♪ This will be the life I lead ♪

♪ But I'm runnin' ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ I'm runnin' ♪

♪ I'm runnin' from me I'm runnin' from life ♪

♪ I'm Runnin' whooo oo-oo ♪

♪ I'm runnin' from me ♪

♪ I'm runnin' from life ♪

[scat singing]

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Runnin' runnin' runnin' from me ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Runnin' ♪

♪ ♪

♪ I keep runnin' ♪

♪ Child yeah ♪

♪ Yeah ah-ah-ah ah-ah-ah ah-ah-ah ah-ah-ah ♪

♪ Ah-ah-ah ah-ah-ah my baby ♪

♪ Runnin' oo baby runnin' from me ♪

♪ I'm runnin' from me I'm runnin' from life ♪

♪ ♪

Whoo! Ha-ha!

♪ Runnin' ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Hey runnin' ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Runnin' I'm runnin' from me I'm runnin' from life ♪

♪ Runnin'! ♪

(man) PaviElle y'all!

(PaviElle) Everything I do onstage and you know, in my regular life,

is just to love yourself for who you are.

'Cause once I found that out, you know, I felt invincible.

As long as I'm okay with me and, and being me,

then I'm gonna push that for everybody else

because that was the most freeing thing that

happened to me in my life was to just be like hey, this is you,

this is what you look like, this is what you'll be

for the rest of your life, and that's cool. You know?

I see your mamma's eyes, you know, I see your daddy's face,

I see a lotta history and a lotta love

in this face and this body. You know?

'Cause I'm not gonna change who I am to get on.

I don't believe in selling my soul,

and I don't believe in changing my look.

Like, I like being brown, I like being thick,

I'm very rooted in my blackness

and my black history and things of that nature.

[bongos play in rapid rhythm]

It's about the love that I have

for myself in my culture, in our arts, in our idiosyncrasies

and everything that makes us who we are,

and the fact that it should be celebrated.

That is the most important thing that I focus on.

It's, it's just as important as the sound,

it's just as important as having the talent

and having the drive and the passion to do these things;

that is a very important thing that I carry.

I'm for black love, black life, black everything, you know,

because the world that we live in is not for that.

And so somebody has to be there for that.

♪ ♪

"One light, one love, one spirit

make some noise so the ancestors hear it."

I say it at every show and it's not about going whoo whoo whoo,

we're in the audience and we feel you-- that's part of that,

but make some noise so that they know what they did,

our predecessors and our ancestors.

Make some noise so that they know

that their fight wasn't in vain and that we're still fightin'.

So when I ask y'all to make some noise,

I want y'all to make some noise. Okay?

Alright? Alright.

♪ I say one light one love one spirit ♪

♪ Make some noise so the ancestors hear it now ♪

(man) Make some noise! [cheering]

(PaviElle) That ain't loud enough, they can't hear you!

I'll say! ♪ One light one love, one spirit ♪

♪ Make some noise so the ancestors hear it ♪

Yeah! [loud cheering]

♪ Yeah ♪ One more time!

♪ One light one love one spirit ♪

♪ Make some noise so the ancestors hear it yeah ♪

♪ We thank ya we thank ya ♪

♪ We thank ya yeah ♪

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Hey ay i oo ♪

♪ Here we go child yea ♪

♪ I am on my own ♪

♪ And I feel like I won't make it ♪

♪ Because when I see the rain it seems to pour ♪

♪ Yeah oh ♪

♪ And I'm neglecting health and all the time I tell myself ♪

♪ I know there's something better in store ♪

♪ Mm-mm mm-mm ♪

♪ Now whatcha gonna do if you quit your job ♪

(men) ♪ Whatcha gonna do whatcha gonna do ♪

(PaviElle) ♪ And how you gonna live can't afford no cost baby ♪

♪ Whatcha gonna do whatcha gonna do ♪

♪ Now if you gotta hustle when them times get hard ♪

♪ Remember most of all rely on God ♪

♪ And yourself and I cannot believe ♪

♪ That these things are happening to me ♪

♪ And I cannot believe ♪

♪ Tell me what is going on I cannot believe ♪

♪ What's real out here indeed I'm struck by disbelief ♪

♪ And I'm not accepting not accepting ♪

Hey! Let the band rock!

♪ ♪

♪ I take two steps forward ♪

♪ And infinity back back back back back ♪

♪ My bitterness deep 'cause I was dwelling in the past ♪

♪ But I'm ever evolving ♪

♪ And constantly changing ♪

♪ Woman of light yes sir I will make it ♪

♪ Yea but habits are deeper than marrow ♪

♪ Whatcha gonna do whatcha gonna do ♪

♪ You'll never impress minds that are narrow ♪

♪ Whatcha gonna do whatcha gonna do ♪

♪ So just keep it moving move around and do your thing ♪

♪ And remember most of all you are a queen or a king ♪

♪ Yes you are now my bitterness deep ♪

♪ 'Cause I was dwelling in the past ♪

♪ But I'm ever evolving and constantly changing ♪

♪ Woman of light yes yes sir I will make it ♪

♪ Oh habits are deeper than marrow ♪

♪ Whatcha gonna do whatcha gonna do ♪

♪ You'll never impress minds that are narrow ♪

♪ Whatcha gonna do whatcha gonna do ♪

♪ So just keep it moving move around and do your thing ♪

♪ And remember most of all you are a king or a queen ♪

♪ Yes you are now I cannot believe babe ♪

♪ That these things are happening to me ♪

♪ And I cannot believe ♪

♪ Tell me what is going on ♪

♪ I cannot believe I cannot tell ♪

♪ What's real out here indeed I'm struck by disbelief baby ♪

♪ And I'm not accepting not accepting this ♪

♪ Baby oh no ho ho I yeah I ♪

♪ I'm not accepting not accepting this ♪

♪ I I'm not accepting not accepting this ♪

♪ Yeah I I'm not accepting not accepting

♪ This yeah ♪

CC--Armour Captioning & TPT

(woman) This program is made possible by

The State's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund

and the citizens of Minnesota.

[orchestral fanfare]


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