Atlanta-based producer, Paraleven, recently gained momentum by debuting his noteworthy Apollo LP off Rose Avenue Records. Having two stellar back-to-back releases off Lane 8‘s This Never Happened label, later to turn around and open for the man himself on the Brightest Lights tour. Paraleven has taken the melodic, deep, and progressive house scene by storm. His skill sets have him taking cuts with arguably some of the most musically inclined geniuses of our time. Which will no doubt lead him towards that same trajectory of artistic fame. Stay a while as we pick the mind of Paraleven in this Electric Hawk exclusive interview.
As someone who melts over progressive house, it is an honor to dive into all of what makes Josh Taylor, AKA Paraleven.
Sarah Galambos, Electric Hawk: How was the name Paraleven discovered?
P: Paraleven is the combining of the words parallel and eleven. My life is somewhat compartmentalized between my regular life (college friends/family/day job) and my music life (industry friends/playing shows.) Each of the ‘1’s’ in the number eleven represents both lives working in parallel together but separately. With the hopes of one day combining them to where music is my job and everyone in my life can be a part of it.
SG: When and how did you start producing electronic music?
P: I got into electronic music in high school and started producing in 2008. I’ve been creating music for most of my life, but I fell in love with the culture and atmosphere of dance music. It has been a crazy decade of growing through the industry, but I’ve definitely enjoyed every minute of it.
SG: Lane 8 and Rüfüs Du Sol just so happen to be two of my biggest musical inspirations. In fact, your release of the ‘Soloma’ EP off This Never Happened is how I discovered you. Who are some of your favorite musical influences across all genres?
P: Ah yeah! I really enjoyed making the two EPs on This Never Happened. Those were really the defining releases that helped me realize what the Paraleven sound was. I would say both Lane 8 and Rüfüs Du Sol have been inspirations for me. Ben Bohmer, Tale of Us, and Eric Prydz are all major producers I look up to. There is a level of detail in their music I attempt to emulate in some form.
A notable project: the Retrograde Mixtapes
Each release comes as a gift around every Mercury Retrograde. Tuning in at 432hz, the mixtapes’ natural calming vibrations assist with any emotion needing to be freed. During a time that brings forth unbalance, Paraleven’s Retrograde Mixtapes offers meditative genres of house. Gotta dance to move through, and this mixtape truly gives us the capacity to make it out of life’s bumpiest rides.
The Apollo LP
The rising artist hit the mind, body, and spirit with 11 tracks of organic composition. This full-length album consists of features from Bien et Toi, Fractures, Baerd, Nathan Ball, and Liza Ball. Airy vocals and dance number-type beats can be complemented with orchestrated synths throughout the entirety of the album. Its blissful melodies sew Paraleven’s mind to discover the journey of Apollo.
SG: How would you describe the creative process that you went through on this project?
P: I feel like Apollo came together in stages. The creative process centered around putting together something unique, while maintaining a high level of energy or emotion. Most of the songs on the LP have vocals – so working with very talented songwriters was rewarding. I wanted to build tracks that were atmospheric yet down-to-earth music that is eclectic but digestible. Having that focus helped drive the album and being stuck in the studio during quarantine gave me the solitude I needed to finalize it.
SG: Do you have a favorite track off the LP?
P: My favorite track is actually “Crash and Burn.” The way the main pluck synth rides the bass line is addictive and the second drop is pretty epic. Bien et Toi’s vocals are like butter on it as well.
The rising artists is sure to catch new fans as he hits the road for a 5-stop city tour.
Creating a live set was always something I wanted to eventually transition to from DJing. I want to be able to bring a unique experience to each show – and have worked to incorporate an array of new hardware that will allow me to do so. There are certain places in my sets where I wished I could remove or add things – and now I will be able to improvise on the fly.Paraleven
SG: Talking about the experience felt when performing live. Do you have any pre-show rituals?
P: I’m not sure if I actually have any rituals, which is strange because I am so superstitious when it comes to watching sports. I don’t ever get nervous or anything either. I just go out and have a good time.
SG: What motivates you to continue creating music?
P: Seeing other artists perform and hearing great quality music. I told myself a long time ago that I wanted to make an impact on dance music. Staying focused on that definitely drives me. I also have a picture above my computer monitor of Mohammad Ali running that says “Keep Going” – which is actually why I named one of my songs that.
SG: What keeps you grounded throughout this whole process we call life? What do you enjoy doing outside of making music?
P: I play a good bit of video games with my friends. The same group of friends I have been playing with since before Xbox Live (LAN parties what up!) I do love the occasional day drinking outside. Huge Atlanta sports fan! I have a wonderful wife, the best group of friends, and a supportive family. Honestly, I know times right now are difficult but I always maintain a positive attitude and live in the present. Staying grounded is the byproduct of those things.
Stream Paraleven, the Apollo LP:
Looking for new music? Keep up with our weekly Spotify Playlist, Fresh Hunts. Updated every Friday with all the latest releases. Whether it’s the newest drops from Paraleven, some old-school, or underground…we just want you to hear it.
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