This-20-year-old producer, songwriter and closet MSN junkie has come from virtually nowhere to working with the likes of Jessie J, Chipmunk and N-Dubz.
As one half of the Parker & James production duo, he and Kyle James Abrahams enjoyed a mutual respect for each other’s work on MySpace and the partnership was formed in 2006. A former Southampton undergraduate in Popular Music and Record Production, Parker has already enjoyed success through sheer hard work and rightly believes it is his ‘time to shine’. The young talent was invited to be a panellist, alongside other industry experts, at the Choice FM Music Potential event back in July. Flavour meets Parker at Wembley Arena where the event was held to chat about his inspirations growing up.
How did you get into production/songwriting?
I started playing at church, and then I thought I could do that but no one made me beats. Back then you couldn’t steal beats, there wasn’t the internet, you couldn’t download Drake Instrumentals, so I had to start making my own beats. I just kept making beats, then I met Chip and we were working on the album, and then suddenly he did 1Xtra with Tim Westwood and Chip was gone.
Did you get to work quite closely with Chipmunk and Jessie J?
With Chipmunk we worked more closely because we had been friends for a while; we’re still friends. With Jessie it was more… everything’s more calculated [business-like]. I think working with Jessie was more interesting because I’ve worked with so many rappers, but she’s quite different.
How did you meet Chipmunk? Did you stalk him, tell the truth?
On MSN. [Laughs] Yeah, I was a stalker, I’m not gonna lie, we’re good friends now. He was in the same position where he was sick, but before people actually realised it, they weren’t showing him the love they should have – producers especially. I gave him my best beats and that was before everything happened for him. It’s a mutual respect for each other.
What inspires you?
What inspires me the most is disappointment or being boi’d. Like, you like a girl and you’re speaking to her but you get no love. You’re like, OK, I’m going to go back, make a beat, this beat is going to be hot and she’s gonna hear it. Also seeing another producer make something hot. H-Money, Dreddy, Timberland, Danger and Chipmunk are a big inspiration. Songwriters as well, like Imogen Heap. But mostly, day-to-day situations with girls…
Getting boi’d. I feel for guys…
Yeah, I’m an emotional person. I wouldn’t say I was sensitive.
No comment, no comment [laughs]. What’s that thing they say in court when they don’t want the judge to let it go? Oh yeah – objection! That’s what I need to say [laughs]
There are lots of opportunities for kids in music nowadays, like this Choice FM event. Would you have been interested in getting involved when you were coming up?
Definitely, 100 per cent. I’m from a strict family so my mum didn’t just let me go Wembley Arena, so I never had that kind of chance. If I did know, I would have snuck out and got the beats, it would have been worth it. I would have loved it. To meet producers, meet people like Wretch 32 and Max [Choice FM presenter] and Richard [N-Dubz manager]. To give them what I have to offer, it’s nice to do it from a producer’s point of view.
Who would be your dream person to work with be?
Jay-Z or Kanye West. They’re great artists and visually I think they’re projects are always perfect.
Interview by Catherine Ababio