Cantalopez Collective: creators, collaborators, journey makers

What happens when a hip-hop artist and an engineering student meet at a poetry symposium? Made up of Pastel Don and Mulan Theory, Cantalopez Collective is a shared passion for innovation across multiple genres and a dream of being able to create music for a living. We sat down with the Collective over lunch, talking 90’s EDM, discussing the best summer recipes, and chatting about their passion for music and poetry.

What do you do, why did you choose to go down that path, and what do you love about it?
MT: We’re creatives with a strong passion for learning, for experimenting with sound and lyrics.
PD: I became infatuated with music making through my passion for poetics and lyricism, a subject I’ve has been studying at university level since the age of 16.
MT: I discovered my love of music creation when I was trying to find a way to loop some beat-boxing and fell into the rabbit hole of Ableton Live since then.

How did you hear about Visible Ink and why did you want to use our space?
MT: At first, it was from attending Friday Frequencies followed by Visible Ink’s official website. Visible Ink contains the equipment and space for us to be inspired and create music without blowing our pockets for renting a full-blown studio. The staff here motivate us to keep doing what we’re doing, to make more from Pastel Don’s poetry, turning it into music, and we appreciate them for that a lot.
PD: Because we’re here pretty much all the time, we’ve got to know some others that use the Studio and have started working with them on little collab projects.
MT: We like working with others, it’s nice to create together.

What are you currently working on project-wise?
PD: I’m working on the creation of my upcoming EP with Mulan theory helping pull it together.
MT: I guess I’m working on non-binary bangers for non-binaries to bang to. We’ve also been to Little BIGSOUND recently which was a nice chill day to meet new people. Be surrounded by good vibes and see who else is in Brisbane doing what we do. It was awesome reconnecting with some of the Friday Frequencies crew or meeting people who want to connect and give feedback to others in Brisbane’s music scene.
PD: We don’t want to just follow the trends with our music. We want to use poetry – poetic lyrics – to create a unique sound, unique vibe.
MT: It meant that at Little BIGSOUND we could target publicists that have worked with artists like Jaguar Jones and Deena Lynch who have a similar feel to them as we’re creating.

What do you get up to in your down time?
Pastel Don’s hobbies include: watching Pretty Little Liars (again), taking photos of plants and beautiful people, writing monster myth/erotic noir poetry, and having another pot of Symington Of Scotland’s Dandelion Tea.
Mulan Theory just does Mulan things: reading up on how VSTs are made, analysing song structures and arrangements of my favourite tracks, and fantasizing about how my drag alter ego would look.

“Although the circumstances in our lives often make our aspirations seem difficult, Cantalopez Collective is committed to continuing our journey together as both music creators and art makers.”

Is there any advice you would give young people wanting to get involved/started in this field? Or any advice you wish you’d been given beforehand?
PD: To any young or new art makers, we’d advise to remember that you are good enough. Passion can take you a thousand miles in the blink of an eye. Dare to be yourself! And finally, always choose adventure. Not for any big, sentimental reason but because it’s fun. Always choose fun!

How would you suggest young people get involved in this opportunity? Or opportunities like this in Brisbane?
MT: As creators, we have strong ties to a few of the arts communities that reside and thrive in Brisbane. In general, we’d advise taking a risk and attending events that cater to your interests and passions.
PD: Specifically, if you’re interested in poetry we’d advise following Ruckus Brisbane on Facebook. They’re our homies and they put on a number of friendly, all ages inclusive poetry events.

Feel free to check out Mulan Theory @mulan.gitsum.mula and Pastel Don @skiptosummer on Instagram and to have a chat.

You can also book Visible Ink’s Multi-Media Studio by checking out SPACES, get involved by sharing your journey via our STORIES or search #visink on Instagram.