By Alice Hingley
P-rallel has cultivated a reputation as one of the most desirable producers in the Alternative scene. At just 22 years old, his reputation is enviable and his catalogue is peppered with impressive collaborations including Rejjie Snow, Playboi Carti and Slowthai. Unphased by the pandemic, the last two years have welcomed some of the producer’s most successful releases including his debut EP Soundboy, a project he tells us was “..chilled, and laid back. It represented lockdown in my eyes”. His music is distinctive and inspired by a range of sounds, he tells me recently he’s been listening to “disco, rock, funky house - club music that wasn’t bait club music back in the day” sounds which filter through into his latest release ‘Forward’. Described as an inner-city-beach-party, the 6-track release marks the beginning of a new era as the Producer explores the party scene: “I needed to come with something a bit more stronger and upbeat for the clubs, now that I'm DJing a lot. I haven't really made much club music. This was a nice change.”
P-rallel has proven his ability to throw a good party, selling out XOYO last month. Despite his golden reputation, he admits hosting is a daunting task “I'm always nervous about selling tickets. As a DJ, you don't really feel like you can throw your own party…I'm like are they going to come out for me? It ends up working well and I sell out every time so yeah, it's just that doubt.”. Speaking through Facetime, it is endearing to hear that despite his success he can still be enshrined with self doubt. However, this is overpowered by the DJs natural charisma and free-spirited nature, evident even through the screen. His adoration for the party scene is inherent as he digresses partying is “one of the biggest parts of my personality” as he loves the “Freeness, the ability to just … let loose, have great times, great memories with my friends.”
A natural-born artist, the West London native is driven by a compulsion to create. “I love watching films. When you watch a film, there's a lot of consistency and there's a lot of foreshadowing” he explains how his love for film influences his creative process; “I want it to feel like you're in an experience paying attention to what I'm doing. I try to create a story with everything that I do.” Aligning his music, parties and DJ-sets into a singular vision, he has developed a signature flair within everything he makes; a process aided by the stillness of the past two years: “I’m glad everybody's had the time to concentrate because if everybody was out and about I feel like my stuff wouldn't have got conceived as well. Lockdown has helped me, I've loved it. It's made me concentrate a lot more”. He goes onto tell me how ideas can take time to materialise, when discussing the ‘Can’t Get Enough’ video, he shares: “I had that concept in my head for about six years”, “I literally went to a club that had the same thing. When I saw it, I was like, this has to be a music video. And I had it in my notes for years. Once I made the song I was like this is the one”.
As we chat, I query the artist on claims he made on Twitter surrounding music consumption this week, he explains: “As a DJ, it's your job to educate your audience on new music. I feel like a lot of DJs these days just play it safe and play the music that you expect to hear. It's rare for me to go to a club and hear a song I've never heard before. With Spotify and these algorithms being in place, people don't search for music it's really just whatever is in front of you now. That sucks because then you have people on Twitter talking about ‘the UK scene is dead, and that it’s terrible, there's no good music’ - there is, people are just not looking for it! Good things are always hard to find, always.” It is inspiring to hear him reflect upon his role as a DJ and the cultural significance of such a position. It’s clear that this is a position he takes seriously and this is an ethic that has helped drive him into success.
An uplifting figure in the music scene, P-rallel empowers those around him. His latest release is studded with artists from the UK scene. He explains to me that for him the collaborative process is “Easy peasy. Everyone's my friend, we all kinda help each other out… I'm like I like your energy, let's get in the Studio. I don't like to force a lot of things, musically. I don't feel inspired if it's forced.”. His energy is fresh as he refuses to cave to self-indulgent habits at the expense of his peers. When asked who he is listening to now, he shares: “ANZ - she is an amazing producer I actually found out about her a couple of days ago and had to put her on my next party - Lelo Black is an amazing DJ, IZCO is an amazing artist,DJ, Casanova…”. His list goes on as he predicts bright things for the alternative scene: “The alternative scene will be the new pop. Underground artists that can't really put themselves in a box. Rachel Chinouriri she will be a Pop artist, even Kojey Radical he will be a Pop artist. I think this whole scene is just gonna change into something amazing, I can't wait.”
P-rallel’s rise is unrivalled and he’s cemented himself as a driving force in UK music. His evolution from DIY artist to a signing on Sony labelm, 4ZA, is impressive. But he has not let success taint his warmth and selflessness as an artist. The world is an unpredictable place, but we can be sure the future holds bright prospects for P-rallel.