April 21, 2021

Meet PARMAJAWN and Listen to His Debut EP "SPACE WALK"

Elliot Anderson aka Parmajawn is a DJ, producer, and recording engineer based out of Denver, CO. He has been producing and performing his own music for 10 years and regularly works with vocalists and rappers as an engineer and producer. His style typically sticks to house grooves and hip hop heaters with huge synth soundscapes and complex rhythmic textures.

NS: Where did you grow up?

PARMAJAWN: I grew up in Denver, CO. I was born in Boulder and lived there until I was about 5, then moved to Seattle for a year and San Francisco for two years before moving back to Denver. Even though I was all over the place as a kid, I definitely consider Denver the city that made me.

NS: Growing up who were some of your favorite artists / bands / genres?

PARMAJAWN: I was really lucky to be raised by parents that both had a really kickass taste in music. My favorites when I was a little guy consisted of a lot of Johnny Cash, Sublime, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Bob Marley, and the Beastie Boys (one of my first CDs I owned was actually Paul’s Boutique). As I got older and started to discover music on my own, I fell in love with groups like Daft Punk, Justice, and LCD Sound System because of the energy and vibe that came with their sound. They definitely introduced me to the world of electronic music. Then Skrillex and Deadmau5 hit the scene around the time when I was in 7th or 8th grade and that really propelled and inspired me to start producing my own music. I fell in love with modern EDM and wanted to be like those guys.

NS: Do you come from a musical family?

PARMAJAWN: Surprisingly, neither of my parents are musically inclined nor is the rest of my family. My sister and I are the musicians of the family (she is an incredibly talented pianist and singer/songwriter). Although my ‘rents were never musical themselves, they always encouraged us and supported us in whatever we wanted to pursue. They took me to School of Rock rehearsals 3 days a week for years and years, provided me with the resources I needed to pursue what I loved, and still provide me with that same support and love. I try to get them out to every show I perform - they are by far the most important people in my life!

NS: When did you start playing music? First instrument? Self taught or classically trained?

PARMAJAWN: I started out my musical journey when I got a Fender Squire at 7 years old and started taking weekly lessons. I loved playing music but hated the classical lesson approach that I was learning from. About a year later, I started participating in a program called School of Rock (which is now a giant corporate entity). We did southern rock shows, Led Zeppelin shows, and it was my first time really being in a band setting - and I fucking loved every second of it. I wasn’t an athlete or anything at the time, so this was my baseball practice. I auditioned and became a member of the house band. We would play other shows for marathons and corporate events and plenty of other random gigs. However, about 2 years in we were invited to play as the band for the opening of film on the rocks. I was in 7th grade, and after I played in front of that crowd looking up at the amphitheater I had loved so much and had grown up going to, I knew that I wanted to be a musician and work in music for the rest of my life.

NS: Brief overview of journey as a producer / engineer / dj so far?

PARMAJAWN: After Skrillex hit the scene back in 2010-2011, I fell deeply in love with electronic music. The vast synth soundscapes and the controlled chaos of it all was so overwhelming for me and so I watched some YouTube tutorials, torrented Logic 8 and got the ball rolling. I finally bought a copy of Ableton Live when I was a freshman in high school and started making rap beats (most of which would just get freestyled over by my buddies). Around the time I turned 16, I started seriously dedicating the vast majority of my free time into making beats for a project I had been working on with two musician friends of mine who I still work with today (shout out Wulfy and Emerald Wells). Once I turned 18 and graduated, I headed up to CU Boulder for my freshman year of college. The next two years consisted of a lot of partying, failing out of school, and generally not doing anything musical in my life. I hit a wall and decided that the path I was on wasn’t for me, and decided to fully pursue music as a career. I attended a trade school for engineering up in Boulder for 2 years and am now working at a studio here in Denver called Third & James. Additionally, I do a ton of freelance work producing beats for rappers/vocalists outside of my own stuff and love recording pretty much anything that I can!

NS: Talk a bit about your process in general. Gear, techniques, times you like to work, what gets you inspired, etc.

PARMAJAWN: My process differentiates for every project that I work on... Producing my own stuff for Parmajawn is a completely unique, very methodical and almost spiritual process. I’m a huge synth guy, so i will typically get a little drum groove/loop put together and then will spend a good while messing around with chord progressions and patches on our Sequential Oberheim-6 and Moog Subsequent 37 until something clicks. Once I have that solid idea recorded, I build upon it from there based on what I’m feeling. My best ideas come to me in the morning, usually when I’m taking my pup for our morning walk. I try to take in as much inspiration as I can during that time, and will immediately go down to my studio to get those ideas recorded or documented - even if I know they will never see the light of day.

NS: How did you link with Chandra? What was the process like on that collaboration?

PARMAJAWN: Chandra and I met at Third & James Studios four or five months ago. It was my day of the week interning and she came in for a vocal tracking session for a single she was working on. I had just finished creating the beat and composition for “STARDUST”, and as soon as I heard her sing for the first time I instantly knew that she had not only the perfect voice for the track, but overall had a great vibe for electronic music. I reached out to her afterwards and asked her if she would be interested in collaborating and, luckily for me, she was down! I already had the chorus lyrics and melody written, but she put her own unique twist on it and made changes to better suit her voice and capabilities. She wrote both of the verses herself, and we tracked the entire track over the span of two sessions. Since meeting at the studio, we’ve become good homies and I am really stoked to work with her more in the future so keep your eyes peeled! She also has some singles dropping very soon and I’m super pumped for those to come out.

NS: Story behind your track “ROCKET FUEL”?

PARMAJAWN: “ROCKET FUEL” started out in the exact fashion I described before when I was detailing my writing process. I stumbled across a really sick patch on the OB-6 and instantly put the idea down as soon as it popped up. I had been making a ton of beats for clients at the time and was kind of in a hip hop state of mind, but I wanted to put a twist on this one and give it a little more oomph. Both of the tracks on the EP are definitely a huge switch up from my normal house productions and I really just got lost in the density of that lead synth - it was like a ray gun was hitting me right in the gut every time I heard it. Once I had the arrangement completed, I added a ton of FX in the mixing phase to give it the feel and motion of being shot out into the unknown. I can’t wait to play this one out live because I have a good feeling its going to blow the roof off.

NS: Dream collab?

PARMAJAWN: Definitely Pharrell Williams. He has always been one of my biggest inspirations as not just a musician, but a human in general. His perspective on life and sound always leaves me in awe and I’ve always admired his ability to take tracks to another plateau that no one would have even imagined was reachable. He is constantly pushing boundaries and has such a distinctive sound and style. He’s one bad mofo. Shout out Pharrell, man.

NS: What’s next for Parmajawn?

PARMAJAWN: I’ve spent so much time holding back on releasing material because of my own criticisms. Following the release of the EP, I’m planning on putting out a single every other Friday going forward. Its time for Parmajawn to get out there and share all of these heaters that I’ve been sitting on for months and months. I’m also currently working on a collaboration  with another New Something artist, Tripleset, that I am SUPER stoked about… so keep your eyes peeled for more info on that as well! For now, enjoy “SPACE WALK”! I’m really proud of what I’ve made and I’m so amped to share it with the world!


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