Sounds of Bristol: Interview with PariahPosted on: 04 Dec 2018
There’s a huge array of creative talent in Bristol, and whether it’s music, art, design or anything else, 365Bristol wants you to know about it. With that in mind, we present the Sounds of Bristol series: a detailed look at some of the brightest musical talent in the city.
In this edition, we chat to Pariah. The Leeds-born artist has resided in Bristol for most of her life, and she is making musical waves in the city she calls home with her new EP “Limit”.
A strong vocalist, songwriter and performer, she is definitely one to watch in the city right now. “Limit” is available on most platforms, and is a 5- track contemporary RnB sampler with distinct 90s/early 2000 influences. Although hard to choose, our personal favourite’s are “Take My Time”, and “On My Way”- the debut single from the EP which mixes classic and modern RnB vocals, with new wave production styles. With its dreamy synths, sassy lyricism, smooth vocals and down tempo rhythms, it’s powerful, sexy and radiates female energy. The EP is certainly up there with the best music being put out by Bristol’s current underground artists and this fusion of new and old school sounds is something Pariah has become known and credited for as an artist. “Limit” is a fresh, experimental take on a genre we all love, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for her, as this is only the beginning.
Check out the debut video for “On My Way” below:
Are you from Bristol? Talk a little about some of your earliest memories of music.
I was born in Leeds but moved here when I was like 3 years old so this is definitely my home for the most part! I’ve always kind of done my own thing too, so it’s only now that I feel like I’ve really stepped into the music scene here and introduced myself.
Everything before now felt like a big journey to becoming an artist but in all different settings. For example, I grew up singing in girl groups and going to musical theatre stage schools so it’s more in the last few years that I’ve been in the studio with some dope Bristol producers and seeing how much talent this city is packed with.
Which artists did you grow up listening to?
I listened to a lot of Boyz II Men, Destiny’s Child, Joe, Jaheim, Sisqo, Janet Jackson, SWV, Brandy, Mary J Blige, mainly that whole 90s RnB vibe and early 2000s. Some hip hop too - A LOT of Tupac, Common, Talib Kweli, Ja Rule, Dr.Dre, Snoop. A lot of this was thanks to my Dad and MTV haha!
This being said, who would be your main influences now?
As far as current mainstream music my top five inspirations are Chris Brown, Ty Dolla Sign, Kehlani, Bryson Tiller, Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, okay that was six… I also used to love pop rock bands like Paramore and Fall Out Boy and more than anything I’ve always been really influenced by Brandy and virtually everyone I listened to growing up.
I just love RnB and the different fusions of it and great vocalists. People have said my music sounds like a fusion of old school and new school RnB and there’s so many styles I want to try.
How long have you been writing/producing/singing for?
I wrote my first song when I was 12, one of my goals is to learn to produce and I’ve been singing since I was about 11 when I joined a weekly musical theatre stage school!
What is the meaning behind your name “Pariah”?
Long story short it means outcast and has a lot of synonyms including individual. To me I feel like we’re all individuals and it’s about being able to express that and think for yourself instead of what society has planned for you.
Tell us about your new EP "Limit", how was the creative process for you? Do you have a specific method to creating?
I got to work with two dope Bristol producers (@chadthepolymath and @lovedejay on Instagram) and Luke Taylor of OTB @OTB4EVA brought us together and oversaw things.
We were in the studio for like 3 days in a row I think and we smashed out about 10 songs, 5 of which I chose to release as the EP and the others will come soon! I loved working in a way where me and the producers were just vibing off of each other. Instead of just given a beat I got to hear Chad play some keys or DeJay play some bass and be like “That’s dope, I have an idea for that” and then sing over it and build from there.
If the music is right for me I’ll get a melody straight away and then gradually add lyrics but sometimes it’s a different process. For the single on the EP “On My Way” I had the chorus idea come to me in the shower! I recorded it acapella in the studio and the guys built the beat around it.
Is there a theme to it?
There’s a few themes like motivation, dedication, commitment, love, vulnerability and I think the title kind of sums that up which is “Limit”. I had really pushed my limits in all of those areas in my life and from those lessons I learnt to set new boundaries for myself.
If you can choose, what is your favourite track from it and why?
I’m actually really proud of all of these tracks and my favourite depends what mood I’m in! “Take My Time” really gets me in a zone, it’s slow and sexy and I love performing it and I’ve had some really good moments with different audiences! I also love performing “On My Way” because it feels like a celebration of the future and what’s to come! I’ve chosen to do music videos for both! The “Take My Time” video is coming soon and “On My Way” is my first music video out now!
Tell us about any up-coming shows?
Monday December 10th - Is “The Wild Clash” at The Station, thank you to @wildnightpromo
Boxing Day - Wednesday December 26th - I’ll be at Jack of Diamonds supporting London artist Big Tobz along with other performers! Thank you to @Cashcauevents
Both of these shows are in Bristol and all details, including where to get tickets will be on my website and Instagram posts!
Check my website and my Instagram page @pariah2society to keep updated with all future gig dates as I post them regularly!
If you could perform on stage with anyone, who would it be and why?
I think maybe Travis Scott, just to teach me how to hype up a crowd like that and experience that crazy energy! I think our ad-libs could be dope together too! Would also love to collab with Ty Dolla Sign because his vocals are crazy.
How has your music evolved over the years?
I’ve written on and off since I was young but started recording in my bedroom when I was about 17 when my mum bought me a mic! I still have a long way to go lyrically and vocally but I’ve made a lot of progress just by trying things in my own space where I felt comfortable. I think by taking time to work on my voice and writing it’s made me feel like I can now do a lot more musically.
I’ve definitely found my sound for now too and learnt how to communicate my feelings through writing better. I think working with producers in real time instead of just using YouTube beats to practice on gave me more control of my sound too which was so important!
How healthy do you think the underground music scene is in the city right now?
I think it’s popping off right now!! It feels like I came home to Bristol (in May) and we all just had the best summer! The gigs were so busy and I got to see so many dope Bristol artists doing their thing on stage and online! Shout out to Solo Jane, her voice is crazy and she’s such an amazing writer, she’s killing it.
What has been your favourite gig?
Oooohhhh…So far I really enjoyed performing in Pam Pam’s, the stage looked great and the lighting created such a vibe! It was a packed night too as I was supporting London artist Ambush so the energy was dope. Shout out to @cashcauevents for inviting me to that one!
Other Bristol artists to watch right now?
Definitely Solo Jane as I said before, Splitz P is bringing beautiful vibes too and his voice is crazy. I also saw Solomon O B and Charece recently at the Bristol Home Grown showcase and they were both so so captivating! You also need to watch out for Lexus P, Elza, Cashico Maneo and Olivia Rose, everyone’s growing so beautifully! There’s probably too many to mention. I’ve also just been accepted into “Home Grown Heat” myself which is a Bristol artist development programme along with some other dope artists you need to watch out for, I’ll be posting them soon too!
There’s also so many producers, DJs (Shoutout @mccoysway), videographers (@immixmedia), dancers (@fresh_danceco), designers, events companies (@cashcauevents), etc that are amazing in Bristol that I’ve got to work with recently. Everyone’s really doing their thing and I love that. Keep an eye out for them on my Instagram posts too.
What do you envision for the next few years for your music?
I guess I’m partly in an experimental faze at the moment being new to it as far as only just releasing my first project (i.e winging it haha) but I just want to play around with a few different genres and keep getting better all round.
Even though it’s a crazy work load I’m enjoying managing myself and collaborating with dope people along the way but one of my goals is to build a team. There’s so many things coming: music videos, new music and collaborations I’m really excited about, I always have so much work to be getting on with and am soon getting some support with that that I’m really grateful for!
Thanks so much for having me!
Hannah recently graduated with a degree in English with Writing. She is an avid writer, freelancer and creative. She is currently writing her first full-length novel and a collection of poetry. Always out and about in Bristol's music scene, she attends music events on a weekly basis.