Falling in love is unexpected and effortless. For Parris, all it took was a visit to a studio. In that moment and in that space, knowing that she could sew words and a beat together, she fell in love with her craft and she fell hard. Rap inevitably became her love language.
Khaila King: How did you first fall in love with your craft?
Parris LaDame: Throughout my life, I loved poetry, but I first fell in love with my craft when I visited a recording studio. An old buddy of mine invited me to come and check out a friend of his record music. While sitting there listening, I kind of thought they were wasting time and money, just playing around so me being me, I made a comment and one of the guys said, “well if you think you can do better, hop in the booth,” and the rest is history. Now here I am, Parris LaDame. The poetry and the music just fit together and I fell in love right there. I fell in love in the studio just knowing I could put words to a beat.
KK: How do you think Black women have influenced the landscape of hip hop in the past and presently?
PL: I think Black women have always been dominant in the rap game. When I was younger, there was Trina, Eve, Charlie Baltimore, Khia and Lil Kim. Then Nicki Minaj came around. Now there are artists like Rico Nasty, Megan Thee Stallion, Mullato (Big Latto), and Cardi B. They are dominating and I love it. In the past however, there still had to be a male presence in their videos just to let us know that they discovered these women, but as of now, women don’t need men to “make it”. They don’t need that male validation, because although the music we make is for everyone, we represent the woman who stands on her own in whichever lane that may be. Women have always contributed to music and hip hop. To me, women listen to more music than men and are more open minded about trying different genres. If you can get women bobbing their heads to a song, the man will nine times out of ten follow suit. Women just have it. Think about it, most of the stories you hear about is someone’s wife or daughter in the industry listening to a song and then telling their husband or father who owns the label to listen, next thing you know, the artist is being signed.
KK: Your music has a trap sound to it, are there any trap artists out here that you think are killing the game?
PL: Yes, I like Moneybagg Yo. He’s definitely killing it right now. Shout out to the whole CMG, they are killing it right now. It’s a lot of women steppin’ right now too, as far as the City Girls, Mulatto, Megan the Stallion, Asian Da Brat . Everybody is steppin’ right now. I kinda just want to take my hat off to everybody.
KK: The first thing that I noticed about your style is your signature orange hair. How did something as simple as your hair color become a huge part of your brand?
PL: Orange has always been my favorite color. My hair is a natural sandy brown and one day I was going through a lot and I said, “you know what, I’m about to dye my hair!” I didn’t know what color to dye it. The most common colors are like red or black. I went ahead, went orange and it just fit. Now at my shows my fans are wearing orange from head to toe – orange attire, orange hair. I call them my cuties. It all fits.
KK: How have you been able to keep up engagement with fans in the midst of COVID and limited opportunities to perform live?
PL: COVID stopped a lot of stuff, but COVID also taught everybody how to adjust. I’ve been shifting my focus to music videos, interviews, shoots and releasing music on streaming platforms, because that’s what people want to see. Once the restrictions start lifting a little bit more, I’ll be traveling more frequently, networking and getting involved with other events, but as of right now I am focused on visuals and audio for branding and influencer purposes.
KK: Can you tell me more about the inspiration behind your last album Mood Swings? Are you working on a new project?
PL: When I first started, it wasn’t mandatory to get your work streamed online. I was out on the streets from West 38th to East 38th with CDs in a box. I didn’t really have to worry about Apple, Spotify, etc. So far, album wise, I have Excuse My French, Me Myself & LaDame and I have random lil’ tapes out there. Then there was Mood Swings. This album was about me transitioning into the Parris LaDame, and learning about myself as an artist. The new tape I have coming out is called Pressure P and we’re looking to drop that March or April at the latest. Now that I have found the exact lane that I want to be in, I cannot wait to let everybody hear this new music.
KK: Can you share how you’ve grown as a person and as an artist over the course of those albums.
PL: When I first started music, it was just fun and games. Now that there are fans involved and there’s people buying my music, it’s made me grow up and look at a lot of things differently. I love what I do, but now I’m getting paid and there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with that. Trying to balance that and the reality of my life outside of the music can be challenging. It’s been a lot of moments where I’ve been like, “nope, I don’t want to do it no more,” but the passion for it is still there. Seeing the growth within me motivates me to keep going.
KK: If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
PL: Sometimes it feels like the Midwest is slept on, it’s overlooked. I would change the industry back to how it was in the past, when you could just walk up to a label and just showcase your talent. Now you have to do so much to the point where it’s not even about the music anymore. I wish it was more about the talent still. It’s not. There’s a lot of music out right now and it’s easier to get music out right now. It makes it harder for people who are truly artists to get noticed sometimes, because of all the music that’s out here that was made with little to no effort or passion.
KK: How do you feel about people who are in the industry but don’t actually care about the artistry? They’re not necessarily intentional with the stuff they produce but it just takes off.
PL: It’s really another form of hustling. Everyone has their own style. Music sometimes isn’t about talent, but if you can make the consumer create a dance and create a lot of buzz on social media like Tik Tok, then you have a hit. Don’t get me wrong, when being an artist it is about if you want this forever or if you’re just in it for the moment. That will determine your legacy, but if you have a song that works, make it make sense for you and your story.
KK: Who would you most like to collaborate with?
PL: I like Rico Nasty a lot. I could really collab with anyone, but Rico Nasty for sure though, I would love to do a song with her. She’s hard.
KK: What should we expect to see from Parris LaDame in 2021?
PL: A whole new campaign. New visual, new music, new streaming, new promo, new everything. I recently just took everything off of my Instagram page. I took all my pictures down. I archived them, it’s a fresh new start. Everything new, everything me. I’m rewriting my story.
KK: What is one word of advice that you were given, that you still remember and appreciate till this day.
PL: I’ve been given so many gems, but what has stuck with me the most is, “always have a base.” Your base is what holds up everything. Look to your circle, no matter if it’s just three-four people, you have to have a base. If you think you can do it by yourself, you can’t. I’ve been in situations where I’ve had people helping me and I’ve been in situations where I’ve done it myself and without that base, you will fall. That’s with anything. You have to have that solid thing to stand on to hold your career up. That’s something that really stuck with me.
KK: What has been your most memorable performance.
PL: It was when DaBaby came here to Indy. I was just there and they played my song so I jumped on the stage and as many people he brought out, they all knew that song. They all knew my music. I didn’t even really need the mic.
KK: Any last words or thoughts?
PL: Follow me on social media! When you come see me have your orange on. We’re takin’ pictures, we’re taggin’, I’m sharin’! Just keep supporting me. Pressure P is on the way and I hope you guys are ready!