Being at the wrong place at the wrong time never rang truer than for Parsley Palette, the 19-year old London-based producer who’s making waves in the fashion industry. The multi-genre DJ broke into the industry at only age 16 when attending private parties and networking with fashion executives. It was only a matter of time until Parsley was working with the top dogs in the industry including Dover Street Market, Gucci, Dior and many more, as well as being recognized by Iann Dior and Rico Nasty. Since, he has started his own recording studio, Soho Records Ltd, supporting up and coming subculture artists. We chatted with Parsley to hear all about his experience in the industry, his upcoming and his future goals and ambitions.
Why did you choose to go by the alias Parsley Palette?
I think the idea of having an alias originally is because I was always a shy kid. I wasn’t the most social guy and didn’t like meeting new people. I also hated pictures and having my face associated with something. So the idea of having a name, something completely obscure and far from my real name was something fun and exciting. The name itself has no real meaning, I wish I had a better story for that. Though, tell me what stands out more on a piece of paper, Parsley Palette? Or Josh Benjamin? As well, I was always obsessed with the concept of being behind the scenes, especially when it came to music. I love the idea of always being heard but never seen, the ideal concept of a music producer. So Parsley Palette… me, will remain as someone always heard and rarely seen.
How did you first get into music? Was it a straightforward road to find your personal musical style or did you experiment around at first?
At a young age I was taught how to play the piano but hated being told how to perform correctly. Music is a creative process that I feel can’t be forceful or taught, so being told where to place my hands “correctly” aggravated me and resulted in my music to sound how I didn’t want it to. So after a year I stopped having lessons and decided to take it into my own hands, teaching myself. I then moved onto the sax then drums and finally bass. I wouldn’t say it was a straightforward road as I still struggle today to understand specific musical concepts probably due to my dyslexia.
To this day, after all my work within music I still can’t read music. Make of that what you will… After grasping the essentials of music performance I started producing beats that eventually ended up as full length songs. I began experimenting with drum and bass, jazz and hip-hop taking the basics and pushing the musical boundaries. For example, there was a point in my life where I was recording an up and coming artist, Jack Frohlich who introduced me to the indie pop/rock world. From there I began to experiment with my own sound blending it in with this indie feel and later made Sugar Rush with Ellie Dixon. Or my track Bubble Tea, where I experimented with underground genres like Garage and Jungle which featured on BBC Radio 1 this year.
I guess having not been taught to really play music gave me the opportunity to take musical risks that those who are traditionally taught may not have even fathomed. Having now been mentored by a Grammy Award winning producer I also feel that my tastes and musical emotions are being stretched to the max, which I think is great!
Who or what are some of your top musical inspirations?
I have a ton of inspirations from a huge range of musical styles and artists anywhere from Disclosure, Channel Tres and Shy FX all the way to Ella Fitzgerald, Tom Misch, Miles Davis and Bill Evans. When it comes to production inspirations I would have to say Mark Ronson, Benny Blanco and George Martin. When I performed my set for BBC Radio London I took a bunch of musical inspo from KAYTRANADA who in one of his earlier sets played a huge, diverse range of music, managing to blend them together in such an artistic way. I’m also a huge fan of Iann Dior and Ricco Nasty, who both actually recognised my work back in 2020 thanks to the Prospect 100 competition.
You’ve previously worked with Dover Street Market. How did that come about?
Well I’d always loved fashion so I knew from early on what Dover Street Market was. I was always thinking of a way for me to get my music in there whatever the way. So I spent a lot of time in the store getting to know the staff at the London branch. After a while I built up the courage to ask who was in-charge of the music, and after a couple calls and emails I became one of DSM’s music suppliers with original tracks in Tokyo, New York, London and Singapore. Funnily enough Dover Street was one of the first music curation gigs I did, which then further led me to music for Selfridges, Stella McCartney and more.
Apart from producing your own music you also own Soho Records Ltd, a studio supporting London subculture artists. Tell me a bit about that.
Soho Records is one of London’s only studios providing high quality, professional studio access to young talented artists from commercial records to underground sounds of London and the UK. I found that young people were always being taken advantage of within the music industry and soon came to understand that this issue was universal, ubiquitous throughout fashion, art and more. So I decided enough is enough. I set up the studio to not only provide recording opportunities but also to initiate a cultural space within London for young talent from all over. London itself is so multicultural and has so many subcultures which I’m constantly fascinated by. Currently Soho Records has recorded and housed UK charting artists, award winning producers and mixed some of London’s most interesting and diverse sounds.
Which fashion brand would you love to work with in the future and why?
Ok, hear me out… I’ve worked with some big names in the industry BUT I don’t think anyone is doing anything as interesting and intriguing as Blondey McCoy Thames. The brand is so traditional yet so modern. Blondey visually takes so much inspiration from UK cultures and moulds them together forming ingenious pieces. Yes, ok I’m a huge fan of his work but Thames is genius. This is the reason why I want to have the opportunity to work with this creative, unique brand. If I’m not working you’ll probably find me dressed in full Thames wandering around Soho.
You’ve already received a substantial amount of recognition at only age 19. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Well I see myself as a 24 year old Parsley Palette, still based out of Soho, London developing my sound, recording more and more artists. And hopefully after having worked with Blondey McCoy by then further gain creative inspiration from London diverse cultures. I also hope that I can engage as much with London as a city itself as possible.