ARTIST FEATURE: TERRENCE PARKER | 15 Dec 2011

Midnight Shift Podcast number 5 is none other than Terrence Parker. With more than 30 years in the industry, TP or Telephone Man as he is affectionately called has made his mark as a respected label owner of Parker Music Works, producer, remixer and DJ straight out of homeland Detroit. Legendary for his turntable skills and love for music (just watch his RTS.FM mix), TP has kept the fire burning bright for us all.

Read this exclusive interview and hear his jumpin' mix including his new track, It Hurts, set to be a classic out soon on the Midnight Shift label.

Terrence Parker @ RTS.FM, St.-Petersburg studio, Russia from Dmitry Agalakov on Vimeo.

You have been with the music a long time since getting your turntables in 1980, what have you learnt thus far?

I have learned many things over the past 30 years. The music business is on 10% music, and 90% business. One very important lesson I've learned is to be relentless & never give up. The music business is a very challenging industry to work in. It is important to be consistent, professional, and stay true to yourself.

What do you remember fondly of your days growing up in Detroit?

Lots of great times growing up in Detroit. Playing football, baseball, and basketball at the neighborhood park was always fun. On the weekend or certain holidays having picnics with my family on Belle Isle was always a good time. Ah... Those were the days!

What were some of the places people hung out to buy records or check out new music then?


Local record shops like "Chauncey's" and "Professional's" were popular back in the early 1980s. However the most popular spot was "Buy-Rite Music". If you wanted the best selection of Detroit Techno, Chicago House, Funk & Disco Classics, and imports from all over the world, you went to Buy-Rite. On Thursdays the new records shipments came in at Buy-Rite. So anytime from 4pm until 9pm on Thursdays you could see many of Detroit's hottest DJs their picking out their new records. Later in the 1990s, shops like "RecordTime" and "Melodies & Memories" became the new popular spots to buy records and hang out.

Top 10 desert island discs of all time?

It is hard to narrow this down to only 10 songs.
 Here are the first 10 which came to my mind in no particular order...

Foster Sylvers - Misdemeanor
Parliment - Aqua Boogie (Extended version)
Brainstorm - Loving Is Really My Game
LTD - Love Ballad
Juno Download (Mp3/WAV) | Amazon (256kbps Mp3) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)
Don Blackman - Holding You, Loving You
iTunes (256kbps AAC)
Stevie Wonder - Another Star
Amazon (256kbps Mp3) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)
Michael Jackson - Sunset Driver
Amazon (256kbps Mp3) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)
Ashford & Simpson - It Seems To Hang On
Amazon (256kbps Mp3) | iTunes (256kbps AAC)
Cybotron - Alleyz Of Your Mind
iTunes (256kbps AAC)
Eddie Grant - Living On The Front Line

You have collaborated with some DJs such as DJ Mo Reese, could you tell us a little more about how these come about? Will you be doing any more in the future?

These simply come together through friendship. For example, DJ Mo Reese and I have been friends since the 1980s. Other collaborations like working with Coco Street all happened online. I only met Coco after working on our first project together 100% by email. Coco is a vocalist, but I mentioned her just to give an example. Yes I more projects with DJ Mo Reese, DJ Leandre of Paris France, and many more coming soon.

Why did you decide to start up your own label such as Parker Music Works. How is it going?

I started my own label out of frustration. I could not find a label that truly believed in my music. Now I am able to release my music freely and productions from others who I like and respect.


What is the music direction of Parker Music Works and what are your hopes for it?


Music should not be put in a box. An artist should be free to create any style of music. My goal is simply to release all types of music that I like (not only house music). I want to share music that moves me with the world.



What do you normally look for in a potential artist to sign on your label?


I try my best to listen to all the demos I receive. Lately it has been very hard because I get 30 to 50 demos a week by email or sites like soundcloud. If I like, I will see if it is possible to release it. In the coming months I have house, drum & bass, and dubstep projects coming out on PMW.


You wear a lot of hats in the music industry...


DJ is the root of it all. It all began with the DJing. Therefore DJing is the musical foundation. Producing music is the next step. Then of course running a label to release the music produced. I try to devote a certain amount of time to DJing, producing music, and running the label all separately. It is definitely a challenge because each demands real dedication. However, I try my best to stay focused as I operate in each area.

It seems like one can no longer be simply a DJ or producer or even both anymore, any comments?

These days in order to stay successful it is necessary to branch out into other areas in order to have multiple revenue streams. My feeling is that anyone who can operate successfully in multiple areas should absolutely do it.

Could you tell us your production methodology? What goes on in your head when you make a track?

Each track is different. Sometimes I hear a melody in my head and I must record that first and then build around it. Sometimes the vocal hook idea will come to me first and then I will build around that. There is no constant pattern or formula. It truly varies depending on the mood.

Could you tell us about the track It Hurts?

I composed this track soon after the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in February this year. I had just returned from a DJ tour in Japan. Approximately 5 days after I returned home this terrible event happened. I was so concerned about my friends there and was moved by the many stories I watched on the news networks. So I composed the song so where it starts off with a nice groove representing how life was moving forward as normal. Then suddenly the track drops down into a deep low chello string which represents the sudden tragedy that occurs. Next the high string comes in which represents the peace after the storm. From there the track slowing begins to build back into its original state and then progresses onward which represents Japan's ability to get beyond this tragedy and build a better nation an move forward with hope for the future.

What would you like to see change about in the music industry?

In general I would like to see people respect the music again. I would like to see major labels focus on real artist development and not one hit wonders or the flavour of the month.

Tracklist

Coming soon...

www.facebook.com/OfficialTerrenceParkerMusic
www.TerrenceParkerMusic.com
www.terrenceparker.podomatic.com

www.junodownload.com/labels/Parker+MusicWorks/releases/

Go back to the Midnight Shift homepage here.


By | Editor
Tags | Label , Techno , House , Soul , Others , Midnight Shift , News , Features , Video , Audio , Downloads , Mixes , Disco , Podcast



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