Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Chicago, multi-instrumentalist Theo Parrish grew up surrounded by music. Influenced by Chicago’s electronic music scene, Parrish began DJing in at the age of 13.
Parrish moved to Michigan in the early 90s and found himself a leading figure in Detroit’s third wave of electronic music producers. His collaborations with Moodymann, as well as Piranahead and Craig Huckaby, elevated him to become a competitive force in Detroit’s local music scene. Parrish could spin unique and dynamic songs for all music lovers, a sound that spread globally.
Click on the player above to hear “5 on 5: Theo Parrish” and get a feel for Parrish’s dynamic and unique electronic music with these five essential tracks:
The Progressive Underground’s 5 on 5: Theo Parrish
1. “Lost Angel”
“Lost Angel” was one of Theo’s early takes on slo-mo house music, introducing listeners to his versatile sound and feel for electronic music.
2. “Long Walk In Your Sun”
The sounds of “Long Walk in Your Sun” allows you to escape to the comfort of summer.
3. “Ah” feat. Ideeyah & Duminie Deporres
Parris collaborates with Ideeyah and Dummie Deporres, showcasing his high degree of versatility. His multi-instrument approach allows us to deeply explore his musical ear.
4. “Sky Walking”
1998 gave us “Sky Walking,” stretching the boundaries of deep house music with a variety of different sounds from church, to jazz, to post-house grooves. Parrish defies the latest trends in his sounds, remaining true to himself and his creative vision.
Detroit’s scene of the 90s celebrated the connection between the roots of Black musical tradition and the future of electronic sound. Parrish pushes the nature of electronic and dance music, giving us a way to escape beyond the purpose of pure listening. A sound that is unique, visionary, and deeply soulful leading the way for electronic music.
Web story written by Haleemah Aqel.