17th April 2014 By BOBBY SIMCOX
PARALLAX - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
The Trail: Where did it all start?
Parallax: It all started as a kid getting hold of classic albums like Nas’ Illmatic and Dre 2001. Those and other CDs got me into Hip Hop properly as a youngster. The whole rapping side started over Drum and Bass; A crew of mates and I used to throw parties and a lot of us would DJ uptempo tunes. It started as a bit of fun in the jam, but then I started to actually write and take it seriously, that's when I became lyrically focused on Hip Hop. It felt like I could display and prove my skills through boom bap so I used the shitty mic attached to my computer and played instrumentals out the speakers while recording. They were the first ever tracks I recorded and they were received well by my peers. So that motivated me to put the work in and become a better rapper.
The Trail: What is it about Hip Hop that makes it worth all the hard work?
Parallax: For me is a vision, I've taken everything I love and have learnt from my journey as a Hip Hop fan that has formed my own unique style. I feel my style has matured; it is poetic, musical and about real life. I want to write stuff to move people and motivate them, don't underestimate the power of communication, its crazy! Someone who I've never met can know me through my bars and relate to me personally, it creates friends I never knew existed. That's what drives the writing side of things, I just want to connect with as many like-minded people as I can and start a movement toward conscious understanding and debate. Another big part of my vision is the live performance. You may notice from my flows, beats and animated performance I like to bring energy to the table. The goal I'm aiming for is to have thousands of people in a crowd, all bouncing at the same time to my tracks. Having full crowd control like that would be a powerful thing, almost god like! I'm all about a hype show and I've been laying it down on my own with no hype man for a while now. Knowing there is a vibe I can create at any venue pushes me to give it 110%. It just means so much to me and no one will fully understand until I write my own history!
The Trail: Your work revives influences of the 90's. How has blurring the lines between the 90's US scene and current UK scene improved your style and sound?
Parallax: Basically, I've soaked up all my favourite artists and really studied this game. It happens to be the golden era that I like so much as it’s the rawest time and my favorite albums came back then, but I still listen to a lot of modern bangers. The essence of truth is what makes this art form so powerful. The 90's had an authentic sound and I think that translates into my music. Really, I was just looking for the dope samples and hard drums; they gave me a platform to perfect my poetry on. That is when you start playing with words like a jigsaw until your flows hit the kicks, snares and sample right. After all that you create a sound and style through your decisions in the creative process. Some people try this and it sounds weak but if you have all the elements of your style down you can create a professional sound from your bedroom. I think as a rapper your born with certain things like your voice, some people have a better sounding voice than others but it’s learning how to get the most out of yourself personally. Don't rush, just study and develop yourself. There is only one version of you, embrace how unique you are!
The Trail: How important is it that you represent the genre well?
Parallax: Representing Hip Hop is the backbone of my reputation and buzz. It's mandatory that I show the world how much I know and love the art form. I think my recent video "Hip Hop Philosophy" really encompasses how much I'm representing the real side of the culture. I spent a lot of time on the track & video collectively to make sure it translated to screen. It really came together and its a strong statement on the way the culture has evolved its negative traits. Hip Hop is all about representing, from early days of blowing up cyphers with my amateur rhymes to controlling a whole crowd with my live show it boils down to proving yourself. It's a display of knowledge and style! People can tell when you know your Hip Hop! And it's all about capturing that moment.
The Trail: Speaking of your first official video "Hip Hop Philosophy", could you expand on the meaning behind the song and how you wanted to portray it in the video?
Parallax: The song is about highlighting my frustrations with the game and the way the mainstream media has portrayed the culture. There is a generation of lost souls in this genre and I really wanted to wake people up. When I wrote it, it was a like a message to the sheep and generic fools that bring a bad name to this beautiful art form. I think over the years the money, glamour & violent stereotypes manipulated the music and out came the bullshit. For me Hip Hop was never supposed to be a multi-million dollar business, it’s a way to rap about your problems and daily experiences that were real to you. Over the years it became a showroom for simple-minded egos and people that want to overcompensate for what they don't have or do. I just kept it real with my bars and translated that to screen. The mix of people in the video bouncing off my performance has a nice suggestive feel. It was dope to end it at my local record shop, my boys Stinkin, Slumrok and Sam Zircon came. Sam brought his son along, to capture a 2-year-old digging through records was gold. It's nice to have that contrast! Sam is the producer that made the beat, hopefully his son becomes a beat maker, that would be some history right there!
Rapper, Producer, Engineer… the self-promoted UK Hip Hop artist, Parallax has many tricks up his rhythmical sleeve and he’s currently using them to vibrantly stir a scene within the industry. Originally from Winchester but now residing in East London, he’s rapidly emerging as an artist that’s serious about taking UK Hip Hop to new levels, whilst pursuing the Hip Hop genre’s “Golden era” ideals at the same time. After years of hard graft, building a reputation and buzz, his new debut EP ‘Depth Perception’ is dangerously close to a drop and has captured the intrigue of the heads on the scene. We had an exclusive chat about his reputation as a lively performer, his about to drop EP and what he wants from the game.
The Trail: You produce every aspect of your craft, how challenging is it to be a 'one man band' and how do you think it strengthens your work?
Parallax: It's very challenging and it takes a long time to get yourself into a professional position. The workload is tuff but it's beneficial to really know your craft and business. Rap is only part of what makes up Parallax, it's my knowledge of production and engineering that makes my music sound professional. It’s a benchmark I've always aimed for. Every aspect is taken into account. Even once I release a track/video I’ll make sure my own PR campaigns are sorted, that's another realm in itself but you need to know this stuff to make this independent movement really work. With the Internet these days everything is out there for you to utilise, again it's doing the homework and knowing where you want to take it. I'm happy to know I've got full control of my career and my buzz is building nicely. My success is all off my own back, no label, no manager, no PR companies, no paid studio time; just me and my own set up. I'm lucky to have talented friends like Sam Zircon who supply’s me with dope production and he’s also my DJ when I perform shows. Look out for his name, we’re going to make some waves!
The Trail: What's next for Parallax?
Parallax: I’m dropping my debut EP "Depth Perception" soon!! Keep at look out! Catch me performing with a live band on stage at ILuvLive in Manchester on April 30th. I'm performing at Switch in Oxford at the O2 Academy on May 2nd. I’ll also be performing at Boom Bap Festival this year in July, it’s gunna be heavy!! Ghostface Killah is headlining! More to be announced!
The Trail: What can people expect from your debut EP "Depth Perception" and what will it bring to the UK scene?
Parallex: People can expect complex lyricism with musicality and substance. Expect banging beats and deeper vibes. I've put a lot of work into the bars, beats, skits and engineering of the release so it really encompasses my independence as an artist, that's why it sounds unique. I believe it's a breath of fresh air and I'm excited about where it’ll take me. Hard work doesn't go unnoticed and I can see it paying off already, I’ve got love from multiple idols of mine from both the UK and USA, so I’m really inspired and proud of my achievements.
The Trail: Finally if you could choose only 5 Hip Hop albums to listen to for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Parallax: Nas - Illmatic
Klashnekoff - Sagas
Dilated people's - The Platform
Gang Starr - Moment of Truth
Jehst - Falling Down
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