Venezuelan singer-songwriter Pao Pestana is making waves in the music world with her genre-defying debut EP, No Apagues La Luna, released earlier this week. As a London-based artist, Pao embraces her Latin roots and Western influences, creating an eclectic and captivating project that reflects her innate creativity and artistic expression.
Inspired by a phrase she used to say to her father as a child, No Apagues La Luna—which translates to “don’t turn off the moon”—captures the essence of her curious and imaginative nature. Through her vivid storytelling and playful exploration of sound, Pao brings her inner child to life, resulting in a daring and innovative EP.
From the Latin-infused pop of “San Menace” to the hauntingly beautiful melodies of “Pajaritos,” the EP showcases Pao’s ability to blend languages, styles, and emotions seamlessly. As the EP unfolds, tracks like “Me Encontré” and “La Perla” demonstrate Pao’s knack for creating atmospheric soundscapes, while the empowering anthem “NMIGO” serves as a powerful finale, championing female solidarity and strength.
Throughout No Apagues La Luna, Pao Pestana demonstrates a fearless commitment to experimentation and authenticity. As she continues to carve out her unique path in the music industry, it’s clear that Pao’s star is on the rise. Continue reading for our exclusive interview, where we delve deeper into the making of this remarkable EP and Pao’s journey as an artist.
Tell our readers a little bit about yourself. How did you get started with your musical career? Have you always known you would be an artist?
So I actually didn’t know I was going to be a musician, because music was something that was around me since I was born, like, so I didn’t see it as something I had to become, if that makes sense? I was in love with theater since I was a little kid. And I think theater opened up everything else, like performance, acting, and dancing. I was trained in acting and dancing, and music was just part of my life with my family.
Many of them are artists, you know, my grandma was a pianist, my dad is an actor who also sings and plays guitar and piano. So it was always around me. At some point, I naturally gravitated more toward music and realized that acting and singing are not completely separate. So I decided to study music and create my own songs and melodies.
I read that you moved from Venezuela to London—is there much of a Latin music scene out there?
Venezuela is beautiful, it’s a paradise. You have the coasts of the Caribbean, beautiful islands in the Caribbean Sea, the jungle, the city—you have everything there. The political and social situation has always been complex, and I think that affects a lot of people. So it has its good side and a difficult side that all of us Venezuelans face. You really have to push and make it work. I find Venezuelans to be very resilient people, you know, and that’s something that if you’re born and raised there, you learn to just solve problems and situations, and I think it helps you develop that skill of being resilient.
I’ve been in London for 10 years, I think I’m going to be 11 years in October if I’m not wrong. The Latin scene here is slowly growing. There’s definitely a lot of Latin talent here, from Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, and Mexico, but the scene isn’t as big as in the States. I think here it’s slowly growing, and I believe it will continue to grow.
What inspired you to want to create music in both English and Spanish? And similarly, how do you usually decide if you’re going to make a song predominantly in English, Spanish, or both?
I think it’s just natural since those are the two languages I speak. When I’m writing, I have ideas that might mix English and Spanish words, and I just go with what feels honest. To be honest, the song decides. Some phrases just feel correct in one language or the other, and I don’t put too much thought into it. I just write and then I realize, oh, this one is mostly in Spanish or mostly in English or a mix of both.
You recently released a new single, “NMIGO,” earlier this month. What can you tell us about the record?
Well, the song is called “NMIGO.” It’s written in a unique way because I was playing with the Spanish word for “enemy,” “Enemigo”. The song was written out of a bad situation I had. I was in the studio when this happened. I received a call that was pretty disappointing to me, and I felt a little upset, you know? Sometimes, I struggle with English, but I felt like people weren’t taking me seriously. I’m very serious about my art and what I do. I put a lot of passion and time into it, and I was feeling very disappointed that some people could just disregard it.
In the studio, after that call, I thought I could get really upset and just end the session, or I could take this sadness and rage and put it into the song. It was a quick decision, and it was so cool. It reminded me that sometimes negative things can become good; you can use that energy for something creative and positive. Deciding to make this song was the best choice because it was so much fun and easy to write, with all the emotions being very fresh. The lyrics were flowing like water, and my producer and I were just hyped, jumping, and laughing. It was very cool.
It’s the third single from your upcoming EP, No Apagues La Luna. How does this song fall in line with the previous two?
All the songs in this EP were created to dig deeper into myself as an artist. I wanted to portray what I believe in and what I think about certain things in life. I wanted to be as honest as possible and capture genuine emotion without filtering it too much. In all these songs, you can find a lot of contrast. I’m very in love with the contrasts of life – the ups and downs, good and bad.
For example, “Pajaritos” is a love song, but I wanted to write about the conflict in a love song too. Sometimes, everything seems perfect, but long relationships go through other things that make the love stronger. “San Menace” is also about contrasting life, and “NMIGO” follows that theme. It’s about embracing the contrasts in life and making peace with them.
You mentioned love—what’s been your experience with love and relationships?
Love is a beautiful thing. Love is everything, and it’s not only in a relationship. Love is also a decision on how to live your life from a place of love. Are you going to live from a place of love, anger, or something else? When those other emotions rise, are you going to utilize them in a positive way, or are you going to waste energy? I think love is what unifies all of us. We all want to be loved and to love.
In relationships, I’ve had good and bad experiences. I’ve learned that if you share values with someone that are very important to you, and you admire the person you’re with and communicate, everything else is possible. There has to be admiration and communication. We’re all discovering what love is all the time. It’s a complex thing, but it’s beautiful and full of contrast.
As far as the project, what do you hope fans take away from it?
As for the project, I hope my music can serve as a companion, making someone not feel alone in what they feel sometimes. If they can empathize with the artist, there’s a feeling of not being alone. I want to connect and maybe be that companion.
What is an overarching theme you aim to deliver through your music?
The overarching theme that I hope to deliver in my music outside of the project is freedom. Freedom from my mind, my fears, and it’s just about feeling free and communicating messages of freedom. Breaking expectations, being a Latin artist, and constantly changing and experimenting with new things.