For rapper Parallax 'It was definitely a DIY entrance to the game'

RnB/Hip Hop | Thursday 23rd February 2017 | Patience

Through powerful hard hitting lyrics and boom bap beats Parallax is leaving his mark on the UK's Hip Hop scene.  His already got Hip Hop heavy weights like Rakkaa from Dilated Peoples working with him on his latest single, and his performed overseas as well, with Dead Prez, Skinny Man, Rodney P & Skitz.

So how did you get into music?

I was in love with the hit 90's Hip Hop, I grew up on that, that was my baby!

But what was around me was Drum and Bass and I actually started off DJing Drum and Bass. Then it really got to a point where I was chatting nonsense at parties and you know what, I was like I actually want to properly do this.

So I used to have a little PC, you know the old Dell computers with the little PC mic that would come with it, I would whip it out with whatever it was called. Windows Recorder or something, and do my little mixtape dubs on that, and I just started knocking out things for fun.

Then I really came up through a lot of the open mics, and the lyricist lounge stuff, you know on the live circuit, so that's how I sort of came up with hip hop.

What where you rapping about when you first started?

I think I was rapping about what I used to hate about the game cause I wasn't this big gangsta type person or whatever you where seeing on TV at that point. I think at that point a lot of it was pumped through mainstream media so it was even more turbo charged crazy, and I was just more rapping about stuff that was related to me or what I thought was fake in the game at that point.

There might have been a point when I was first ever writing raps, where I might have tried to emulate Americans a little bit but that was never, never ever a thing. I think I kept it real, that's the only way you are going to have strength in this thing, is if you can sort of define yourself because I definitely think that it has turned into a copy cat game.

So who influenced you UK wise?

It was definitely albums like Sagas from Klashnekoff, definitely Roots Manuva, like Witness the Fitness is still one of the biggest tunes today and it is the hardest tune. Skinny man, Council State of Mind, Jehst The return of the drifter, you know I used to get my brothers id, he was 2 years older than me so I'd be like 16 and going to see these mans in Southampton or something.

Now it's all so accessible but back then you just heard through people, and then I was hooked. Before that I wouldn't listen to them over someone else but when I heard that stuff I was like I am a purely a UK guy right now. But the The Klashnekoff Saga's album was the thing that made me believe that UK guys in some ways are better than the US.

There was definitely that era of strong albums coming out at that point, better than today's albums, a lot of the time it was just that in that era it was much less accessible to the public, you had to really know and had to like wait for the next thing. There was no checking up on what is going on online.

So when did you start writing your own stuff?

So it was definitely from those sort of times of really getting into Klash and all that stuff, that really got me serious about writing more. The first thing that I actually put down in the studio was actually a little duo going on with a mate from back home, when I was younger and we recorded a few tracks that never saw the light of day.  

They were just some battly sort of raps, so me and this guy we are lyrically the best, type of thing. But he was making the beats and he was one of the early influences that actually got me into making songs. Cause he had logic and he had a mic, and then we started getting a  few things down. But that just fizzled out a little bit as we got older and I started doing my own thing.

What made you take this music thing seriously?

I think that I was always quite serious about it from an early age, I was definitely real on it even from 18. But over the years I dibbled and dabbled in more the production side of things but I came back to the raps so I have definitely worked hard on a few angles with music.

So how did your first debut EP Depth Perception come about?

Even my debut EP I engineered pretty much all of that, bar a track or two, and produced 4 out of the 6 tracks, and then I recorded all of that in a booth I had made in my yard, and then mixed that down and then it just went to mastering.

I didn't really think about going to a big studio and paying money, I was broke! So I really did it all on a shoestring, you know what I am saying. But I was always someone who wanted to get a certain sound and have it the way I wanted it, and at that point I didn't really have access, to maybe the things I do have now for example, so it was definitely a DIY entrance to the game.

Now you are working with Legends in the game,  how did that happen?

I am fortunate enough to work with Rakaa from Dilated Peoples, some big moves man. We've got a joint on my album, it is going to be a single called Round and Round and we got a video which is shot in London and LA so I am real, real proud of that, that's the biggest of achievement of my career.  It makes the DIY, the vision, taking time all worth it cause they are hands down one of my biggest inspirations from overseas.

Even to be just acknowledged by him was a big thing but to have worked with him and to have done a video with him is dream come true, I am not goanna lie.

But it actually came about online actually, I was hitting people up in the early days of putting stuff out, and I actually managed to hear back from him on email and then we chatted briefly over the years, and then they were doing a tour in London and I reached out, and then we chopped it up.  

What impact do you want your music to have?

What I am putting into my music is already impacting young people out there and fans, I have people that reach out saying that the music really helped them in tough times and I think that is something I want to focus on.

So I just want to put a positive message out there, and try and elevate minds lyrically. As cliché as that could sound, I think that it is important to be carefully about what you say, and help the younger generation find their thing.

What ideas changed your life?

I think that a real important thing is to be present, forget about the mistakes of the past and regrets, forget worrying about the future you've gotta think about now! You never know if you are going to get hit by a bus tomorrow.

I learnt a lot through meditation, I like to mediate to clear my thoughts and try and filter out the junk, especially living in London, you think and graft so hard, music never stops so you will burn yourself out if you are not careful, you will burn out man, and it is important to have a balance.  

Living is being present, living isn't about worrying about tomorrow or being gassed about this achievement that you did last week, its already gone. Living is now!