Panoyi, aka PMane Gelato is a 19-year-old entrepreneur, music writer, producer, and rapper/vocalist, currently living in and trying to put on Colorado. PMane grew up in central Denver and in Frayser, the North side of Memphis, Tennessee. There were other places he’s also lived—but, says “I did most of my growing up in Frayser—it taught me a lot—from how to be a man, to how to be a versatile artist. My pops had been really into making music his whole life, so that’s all I really came to know and I felt comfortable being in a music environment.
I actually have a celebrity family member who goes by ‘Crunchy Black’, from the group Three Six Mafia.
They’re a big trendsetting Rap music group who paved the way for people like: Young Dolph, Keyglock, Yo-Gotti, Gucci Mane and Ect. They are very popular in the Southern Rap music scene. Memphis Tennessee, the centered in the Bible Belt and proud home of Music, is such a lively, loving city.
Earlier in my life, I was more of an athlete, who had dreams of one day going to UCLA, going pro and then, in the end, after a successful career in sports, retiring into the Hall Of Fame—you know, ‘the traditional high school boys’ dream’… As you may have already figured out, that dreamy career path didn’t work out to well for me.
I first realized my deep love for music—specifically Hip Hop—when my family moved to our first house, on President’s Island, in Memphis—where we were surrounded by nothing but water and industrial factories. We actually lived only 3-4 blocks from The Hershey Factory. I can still vividly remember the ironic yet amazing smell of bubble gum and sweet chocolate.
One day, I came across an iPod that had belonged to my cousin, Boo, but somehow he’d lost and it came into my possession. I would go thru all his playlists of songs by artists that I’d never heard of—music artists and older groups like Quest Crew to Keith Sweat. Up to this point, I’d only known about folk, rock, punk rock, house and dubstep. People used to be surprised when I would tell them I had only listened to these other types of music because it’s not as common for minorities to listen to. This happenstance with my cousin’s iPod introduced me to a whole new world of beautiful, soul-moving music and that helped me let go of feelings that had been tugging at me. I’d never before felt so lifted or inspired by something. Just the sound and flow of these newly-discovered artists—their unique sound and instrumentals—had me astonished and inspired to study the way they combined words, feelings and metaphors.
After so much studying, I felt like I had really bonded with these artists—like I knew them personally. I wouldn’t even go outside anymore. I just wanted to sit and listen to every song on that iPod and get to know this music better. I can remember how I listened to Nas, LL Cool J, Avant and Common on my speakers from dawn till dusk, trapped in my own new world. Every artist had such unique styles and flows.
I wanted in! I wanted to get into making music so badly now, that I got serious about planning how I would embark. First, I needed a rapper name. I would fill pages and pages of potential rap names for myself, until I had finally came up with just on ‘Stylez Jr.’ There was another rapper, named Styles P, that I was digging for a while, but later, I eventually changed to PMane Gelato. The P & M in PMane are both capitalized and stand for both my first and middle name, Panoyi Miguel. The ‘Mane’ just comes from the slang term for man, used in Memphis. And, Gelato? Well, let’s just say a lot of THC was involved in coming up with that one. Just kidding, but Gelato is actually a unique, smooth ice cream, that’s cherished in Italy. I thought it would be a dope way to best describe my musical artistic flow and style—like this gelato ice cream, smooth and unique.
My musical style is an abundance of old school and new school rap, which is why I’m so versatile as an artist, because I can flow between many genres of music—like house and punk rock to Hip Hop and Soul. I love all of the different types of music, that I feel like I should tackle them all!
I went from listening and learning about music, different artists and styles, to actually also writing down my thoughts between lines as lyrics. It was incredibly hard at first, but soon I settled into. Eventually, I needed inspiration to help me come up with better word plays, so I turned to my pop, Panoyi Sr. He introduced me to Big K.R.I.T, Kendrick Lamar, First Trip, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, and, 4eva N A Day was the most inspirational album that I’d ever heard. So I took my new inspirations and went back inside to sink my mind, body and soul into this new way of life that I had found of being a music artist, songwriter and producer. Every since then I’ve been making and producing music by myself.
This year, 2018, is my 5th year as an artist and I still have so much more to learn and accomplish, but, in my corner I have: my dad who gives me advice on how the music industry works and how to move with it; my beautiful manager-mother, who is behind all of my creations; and my Website & Graphic Designer patron, Tracy Schmidt, who is helping me launch. I am also so thankful for that remarkable moment in my life when I discovered the diversity of the music world, and for all of these people who see my talent and keep faith in me and embrace my dreams.
Fuck moving up to a Grammy, I just wanna move my family out of poverty and move people with my music. Nun’ less!