Artist, Protestor, DJ, Vocalist….Miss Parker is esteeemed and ready to take charge.
To co-incide with they’re work with DANNN on his release with TC on low end heater ‘ Let’s Go’ we chopped it up in a quick fire convo with this talented wonder.
So, the vocal you just did for our with Daniel was amazing, such great work – love it so much! Before we get into it, what music do you currently have on repeat which you can’t stop listening to?
Thank you, it was a fun and natural experience working with Daniel for his track “Let’s Go”, we go back to school in Chicago where it was common to be collaborating like that. Currently I am listening to so many genres and artists that I usually try to a find new music to listen to everyday. I do revisit a lot of artists tho. I can’t stop listening to Jeff Mills sets from the early 90s, anything fast and loud from Chicago I gravitate towards, especially Chief Keef. ATB is literally one of my favorite producers lol, I love corny 90s dance music, techno and trance from Europe.
Bit of a random way to start, but I’m always really excited by what i’m listening to right now and always keen to hear what other people’s take is. For those who have never heard of you before how would you like to introduce yourself?
I grew up listening to death metal and hardcore, 90s and 2000s rap, rnb, a lot of funk and soul, alternative, so I like to pull influence from everything i’m listening to, even those artists visuals, when it comes to how I style myself everyday.
As a DJ, I would like to introduce myself as one that does their research, I’m always in a Youtube k hole, every set that I build I put my heart into. When I DJ at a rave I want people to feel what I’m feeling, and of course I want them to dance hard. I play tracks that I’m excited about, but am pretty much hearing for the first time myself before I start practicing for the gig. Idk, I like to reference the past, I’m super nostalgic for shit I never experienced, I watch a lot of videos of old raves around the world. I’m like whoa what was going on in Japan or Brazil or Germany in 2001 or 1994? lol
Ultimately, I am an artist that works in multiple facets and mediums.
We noticed your recent protests have seemed to have made some important institution’s stand to attention, how has the follow up to that been on both sides, tell us a bit more about that….
Those institutions could care less about being accountable. It has been great to see how the conversation I sparked through my protest has been brought up in school curriculums and been involved in numerous conversations in other institutions and the amazing messages I receive from students around the world, but the unfortunate thing is that I have not been included in many of those conversations. My actions in my protest seemed to be more powerful than the what I was actually saying in that instance.
Let’s talk about your artwork a little bit more, how has that evolved over the recent years?
Wow okay lol, this is gonna be crazy to talk about. For so long I was strictly a photographer, and I was really living behind my lens, and not so much in the present. Going to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago really changed so many of my perspectives and the way that I saw my art and myself as a Black Queer individual. The school allowed us to do whatever we felt, though when I did start working in mediums I got a lot of push back from my professors and peers, like how are you going to bring a painting and a sculpture into a photo class? I just did it. When I realized that I just liked making images in general instead of limiting my work to just one medium or way of making that medium that’s when I became comfortable with working as a interdisciplinary artist. Since moving to New York City, life started to take over, so i’m not making as much as I used to when I was in school, but I moved here two years ago and got a studio immediately and was just making paintings and drawings, still shooting photos…My protests and dealing with press and interviews and nasty messages really put me in a weird spot, but once I started djing seriously, that’s when I started to become inspired again. I’ve always been into throwing raves and did my formative raving years in Chicago, so now i’m actually taking part in really creating an atmosphere instead of just being someone that attends and that makes me excited.
How has the music side of what you do evolved and how does it play into your art in general?
Tbh, I really never thought I would be djing at parties or raves. I always liked having people over at my loft in Chicago. I would play off YouTube for my peers lol. Dance music damn near started in Chicago, so it’s everywhere, but it’s kinda hidden, where as in NYC there are dance music happenings everywhere all the time. I would always toy around with making music with rapping a little or playing around with a roommate on their equipment but I never thought anything of it. I don’t know how to “make music” in the most technical ways, same with painting or sculpture. Djing music is something that I can have some control over. I have the tracks I want to play, so then for me it’s all about how I play and mix those tracks and how I chose these tracks to fit how i’m feeling, if I don’t say “wow” when i’m listening to tracks to play later, then i don’t play them. Djing is kinda like photo editing to me. ok, so you have this archive, how are you gonna put it all together…. I need to shout out YouTube though because it’s insane how much music is hidden on there. I might spend 3 to 5 hours a day on YouTube looking for music.
What is the most fun you have had DJing?
That’s hard to choose, I’ve been very grateful to have played the gigs that i’ve played as such a new DJ, it’s only been a year since I learned CDJS. Just a month ago I spun this rave in the basement of this mattress store in Chinatown NYC, literally this is one of the busiest parts of Manhattan. I played this super dystopian hard trance set, I mean i even surprised myself, that was my first time building a narrative in my set. I was giving Resident Evil and Blade, the end of the world, but a utopia is on the horizon. I used a few vocal tracks and other minimal and hard trance to create this ominous atmosphere, but still made it heavy.
London nightlife is and ever changing landscape and a consistent set of hurdles.How does NYC nightlife feel and operate at the minute? Where are your favourite spots?
I have a love hate relationship with NYC nightlife. I really take this stance as a Black Queer person in the dance music scene that since it costs too much money to go to the more produced raves in NYC I believe that Trans Women and Black people should either get into these spaces for free or should be given a discount at the door. Not gonna lie, I’m going to be one of the hardest dancers at your space, I have a vibe y’all want in your space, so please miss me with a $50 cover. I’m talking about the spaces and parties that are run by white men in the dance music scene in NYC. You’re already gentrifying neighborhoods, especially Black ones. Black and Brown people made dance music the thing that it is today, there are barely lineups in the techno scene that are just Black people on it, so what’s up?
So for my favorite spot…I enjoy going to Unter in NYC, BUT the policies and ethics of that party are crazy. Yes Trans people get in for free at this party AFTER months of battling with the founder of the party, because they charge $50 at the door and allow White Cis men to just walts in for less or for free. You basically have to “out” yourself at the door. The girls should already be in there. It’s not underground if there aren’t Black Brown Queer POCs, and Transgender people there…
What future plans can we expect to see from you?
I’m going to start producing. I want to start a party again. I’m going to keep making mixes and sharing my perspective on DJing. One of my goals is to start a video project interviewing Black and Brown ravers around the world, from the past til present, about how they navigate dance music circuits as DJs, promoters, dancers and artists.
What fun plans do you have for the holidays?
I might have a house party for New Years, last year’s was really fun. I just want people to be able to find a party that they could feel comfortable at that night and not break their wallets.
How will you be celebrating?
I just want to be around people close to me!