Feb 22, 2022
6 min read
After getting his start as part of a DJ duo in Atlanta, Paraleven set out on his own in 2019, focusing on melodic house and techno. Immediate success and recognition followed. His warm melodics and ability to weave brilliant emotions amongst sultry sweaty beats were noticed by leading industry figures. His first releases came out on Lane 8's This Never Happened label. After touring with Lane 8, Paraleven released music on Rufus Du Sol's Rose Avenue label. The rest is history.
We caught up with the ascending star of progressive house to hear about his journey in dance music.
How would you describe the type of music you create?
I think at one point I referred to it as melodic house and techno with ‘Cinematic Flair’. I like to create something that brings a lot of energy in a live setting while maintaining a melodic feel to it. I use a decent bit of cinematic sounds and it ends up coming out big most of the time.
What do you remember about your first gig?
My first gig was at the Quad in Atlanta for Toasty Thursdays back in 2012. There were maybe 5 people there. 2 of them were facing the other way sitting down playing PlayStation. I played on a pioneer DDJ-T1.
What would the lineup look like at your dream club performance? Who’s opening? What Club?
Oh man. Ben Bohmer, Tale of Us, Moderat in that order. Would it be weird if I said the Mirage?
You were originally part of a duo called Halogen. What prompted the switch in direction?
I think after years of putting work into a project people never wake up one day wanting to start completely over with something new. I grew as an artist and wanted to make a different style of music.
Do you have any advice for young artists who want to make a change in their sound?
I think that it is important for people to understand that you aren't really starting over, because of all the knowledge you have gained and people you have met along the way. Do what you want always. Don’t just keep doing something just to do it.
Atlanta is growing, yet it's not considered a haven of underground music. What was your experience coming up there and how did you discover electronic music?
I fell in love with Deadmau5 in College at Georgia Tech. Ended up going to the first Counterpoint festival which was originally located where TomorrowWorld was held and it definitely made me realize that it was what I wanted to do. The scene in Atlanta isn’t the same as other cities. But growing with the scene there was special to me regardless. There were some memorable times at each of the venues.
You first released in 2019 on This Never Happened can you speak on how you connected with Lane 8, and what his support has meant to your career?
Lane 8 is a great dude. I knew at the time that the music I sent him was some of the best stuff I had made to that point and I figured he would at least commend me for the production quality if anything. But I got an email back saying he wanted to sign me and eventually led to going on tour with him. I learned a lot from him. He pushed me to make great music and not good music. He gave me a shot and it has led me to where I am, so I could not be more grateful for that.
After collaborating with CRi and Lastlings, you made Rose Avenue your home. On many of your tracks with Rose Avenue, you have incredible featured vocals. What do you look for in a vocalist?
With vocalists, it’s all about preference really - the style of voice you like in your music. I reached out to some vocalists I really liked from other songs and had the opportunity to meet them and really drive home what I wanted. Songwriting is a whole different skill. I really admire the craft. I personally like lyrics that are abstract and leave the listener interpreting it in different ways.
You’ve been working on a live performance of your music. What prompted you to create this style of show and what equipment will you use?
Creating something unique for the night just adds another layer to the performance. I use a Korg Minilogue to play various synths throughout the show and use three Xone K2’s for bringing in and adjusting the various elements of each track. I have an analog reverb and a drum pad that I am trying to incorporate as well. The live show will evolve over time. I was inspired by Ben Bohmer.
Rufus du Sol put out your debut album, an incredible, consistent piece of work that really stays diverse while maintaining your sound. What is the general artistic process behind putting an album together?
I actually didn’t originally go into it creating an album. It graduated to that after a suggestion from the Rose Team. After re-listening to the original five songs they felt cohesive and I decided to work off the sound I had going to build the LP. It takes time (over a year) and patience. This one was intense because of all the vocalists and people involved. I have a great team on my end that helped create the whole vision.
Do you have a favorite track on the album?
I personally enjoy ‘Crash and Burn’ the most. Part because of the song itself and part because it is the most fun to play live.
You’ve been booked to perform at the third annual “Cityfox Live” festival. What does it mean for you to be booked on an event like this and to make your debut at Avant Gardner?
It has been an actual dream of mine to play at Avant Gardner. So this is a special one for me. I told myself that I would play there one day and here we are. I am humbled at the opportunity to play for the Cityfox brand and excited to perform in NYC alongside all these other great artists. Feels surreal honestly.
Do you have any big-picture goals for your career?
We have some big ideas for the future. Our team is working to build something surrounding 432hz. But we will save that for a later discussion!