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Check out Alex Parker

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Parker.

Alex, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born in Los Angeles on December 31st and raised on the south side of Atlanta under the southern sun. I am my mama’s only child and my father’s oldest one. Looking back at my life and trying to tell my story is difficult because it comes in abstract bursts. I see the death of my father shaping me. I see the death of my grandfather shaping me. I see over a decade of bullying shaping me. I don’t like to admit this, but I am as much a product of pain and loss as I am one of Love.

Love, in fact, is the reason I’m doing this interview today. The Love of a woman brought me back to my birth home, the Love for my city made me stay, and my Love of music saved my life. For reasons aforementioned, I’ve always existed in a state of deep depression, and music was the lifeline that kept me from drowning in it. The most frustrating thing for anyone, artist or otherwise, is not knowing how to express themselves. I found my voice in bloody razors, empty pill bottles, and unsent letters full of apologies for actions I’m grateful never saw success. In the mornings after those midnight mistakes, after blood was cleaned and the pill-induced fog wore off, I turned to my pen, married pain to passion, and bled art into any mic that could hear me.

Life felt like so much, and so much of a bad thing. In articulating my troubles, I found therapy in my art, and now I know how to exist. I know how to Love. I’m *here* to Love. I’m here to spread art. I’m here to spread joy. I’m here to spread encouragement. I’m here to empower, delight and excite. I want every interaction with me to be a net positive. I want to be good for people.

Right now, I’m helping my business partner Mekter run his Polar Harmony Foundation, through which we provide a platform for upcoming artists while collecting donations for the homeless population along Skid Row. I’ve taken so much from people in my darker days, and now all I want to do is give back…. And win a Grammy. That’s it. That’s the tweet.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My art is hip-hop. I’ve been a rapper for almost 15 years, and a damn good one for about 11. The purpose of my music is enjoyment, entertainment, and (most importantly) catharsis. It’s not about what I want people to know, it’s about what I want them to feel. Through circumstances, both internal and external, I’ve become adept at navigating the waters of emotion. I thrive in it.

I started rapping out of spite. My cousin Chris (a rapper at the time), wouldn’t let me contribute a poem to his poetry book because he said I wasn’t a writer. In an attempt to prove him wrong, I started writing poems myself. Eventually, writing poems while listening to music led to me writing poetry to the songs I was listening to, and the rest is history. So, as you can clearly see, I created hip-hop. Jokes aside, I found my life here.

How can artists connect with other artists?
My best piece of advice as someone who’s conducting an interview after having moved to Cali with no artistic connections? GO TO OPEN MICS. Treat it like the shallow end of the pool: hold your nose and dive the fuck in. I know it looks and feels daunting from the outside, but that’s only from the outside. Our community is so welcoming and encouraging. In art’s kitchen there’s no such thing as too many cooks. Get in and share your flavor. Network. Talk to people. Everyone’s got a story, and everyone wants to hear a story. I’m serious. Just take a leap! For any particularly nervous first-timers, I’m at Freedom of Speech Thursdays every Thursday at Sabor y Cultura. Find me, let me know it’s your first time, tell me how you’re feeling, and I promise I got you. If you’re reading this, whoever you are, understand the world needs your art. Yes, you.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
While I’m busy in the studio working on getting this double EP completed (hold for applause), the best way to see and support my work is in person, particularly every Thursday at Freedom of Speech, and every first Saturday at the Polar Harmony Artist Showcase that I host at Sabor y Cultura. I also have some older work online that can be found in the links provided. In addition to the monthly showcase, Polar Harmony will be hosting numerous events throughout the year. Our next show is our Mardi Gras show on February 25th at The Arc DTLA. Follow me on IG for more details.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Alex Parker; Carlito

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