“Everyone in London is playing karaoke music”

“Everyone in London is playing karaoke music”

NME 100 alumni P-rallel has spoken to NME ahead of the release of his debut full-length project, ‘Movement’ – which is out tomorrow (Friday October 27). 

The West London-born DJ-producer has become one of the most-talked-about rising stars in the UK dance scene, now DJing at prestigious festivals such as Boomtown and Glastonbury. Last year, he gained popularity after dropping the eclectic ‘Forward’ EP, featuring fellow London staples Venna, Rachel Chinouriri, Sam Wise and more.

Last month, he launched his upcoming mixtape along with the release of his latest single, ‘It’s A LUNDUN Thing’, which flipped Scott Garcia’s seminal 1997 UK garage song ‘A London Thing’.

“I was heavily exposed to Scott Garcia’s original that dropped 26 years ago from my dad playing it when I was a kid and then hearing it, then playing it myself later when I got into spinning garage,” he told NME. “I felt like it was time to bring it back with a 2023 spin, it’s been smashing festivals all summer!”

Fans can expect more rambunctious dance music on his upcoming ‘Movement’ mixtape – which the 24-year-old said was full of simply “garage, funky house.”.

He told NME that, while making the record, “It didn’t feel like something I wanted to do, it was something I needed to do. This is the music I wanted to do; very electronic, dance.”

The process behind making ‘Movement’ was nothing new, according to p-rallel. “It’s all been easy,” he said. “Still working with friends, still working with people I love, same stuff.”

In February, he dropped ‘Evening Time’ with Kam-Bu and BXKS – his first single of the year. After that, he worked with DJ-producer Toddla T and R&B singer Tamera on the dancehall-inspired ‘I’m So High’. He confirmed other features from DETO BLACK, Lily Mackenzie, Natanya and J Warner.

Speaking of one particular vocal-led track, p-rallel revealed: “The song that I’m singing on is like over two years old, maybe three years old. I’ve kept it for a very long time. I feel like it’s time to release it finally.”

When asked why he waited so long to release the song, he said that it “just wasn’t time for it to come out, for what I was releasing at the time that I made it. So, I just kept it for the right time, which is now.”

He continued: “I’ve been doing [vocalising on songs] since the first song I’ve ever released, no one knows. I’ve been vocalising a lot of the songs that you guys are probably singing, so that you didn’t even know my backing vocals were on it. I like to keep it like that.”

NME asked if he’d reveal which of his songs feature his original vocals, and p-rallel replied, “Absolutely not, you figure it out for yourself!”

He said that was focused on making sure his mixtape sounds like “a rave from the point you walk in to the time the rave ends” as he was “trying to bring that whole culture back” since “London has deaded off clubbing.

“The venues are dead, the way people are partying is dead, the music they play in London is dead and dry,” he added.

p-rallel also praised the “wonderful” Bradford-born DJ-producer-artist Nia Archives for “killing the game right now,” saying that “she’s owning the whole scene and I’m proud that everyone’s concentrating on [dance artists outside of London]. I’m excited to see what new artists want to come with.”

He added: “You go up north, you’re in Manchester somewhere, you’re going to hear a whole set of music you’ve never heard in your life, you’re like, ‘What is this? Why is my Shazam not working?’ Because the DJ is up there playing dubplates. Everyone in London is playing fucking karaoke music. Boring, man.”

He also cited his Jamaican and Bajan heritage as another inspiration behind his music. “The dancehall, the soca – can’t tell you exactly how it all fits, it just makes sense somehow,” he said.

Paying tribute to the this year’s 75th anniversary of the Windrush generation and its imprint all over UK music, he said:  “Believe it or not, Jamaican culture is in everything. When it comes to rapping, drum and bass would not be drum and bass if it wasn’t for jungle.

“Jungle wouldn’t be jungle if it wasn’t for reggae. Reggae wouldn’t be reggae if it wasn’t for dub, ska, all of that. We’ve set our presence within music, which I’m very proud of and we will continue doing that in the years to come and as the culture progresses and gets bigger.”

In other news, last Saturday (October 27), p-rallel performed at Dr Martens’ Made Strong live experience in Peckham alongside Ezra Collective, Chi Virgo and Nayana AB.

He is also set to resume his ‘Movement’ UK and European tour. Fans can check the remaining dates below and look for available tickets here.

p-rallel’s remaining UK  and Europe tour dates are: 

10 — TBC — Liverpool
24 — The Arch — Brighton

1 — Fuego Razzmatazz — Barcelona, Spain
8 — Warehouse Project — Manchester

He also will tour Australia and New Zealand at the end of the year, starting in Auckland on December 30 and set to end in Melbourne on January 7. Tickets for the Auckland and Perth shows are available now here.

p-rallel’s Australia/New Zealand tour dates are:

30 — Northern Bass — Auckland, New Zealand
31 — Thirsty Tiger — Adelaide, Australia

1 — No One But Us — Perth, Australia
2 — Club 77 — Sydney, Australia
7 — The Dot — Melbourne, Australia

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