Wirral-based producer and songwriter, Jacob Parry, a.k.a Paz, recently released his latest single, ‘Lemon Meringue’. Drawing inspirations from a wide range of artists, from The Doors, to Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek, ‘Lemon Meringue’ juxtaposes gloomy choruses with bright instrumental hooks, blending funky synths with hazy vocals and subtle harmonies.
Discussing his main influences, Parry mentions Neutral Milk Hotel, stating “Jeff Mangum’s surreal lyricism always resonated with me. His lyrics are grandiose but grounded, being dreamlike without being pretentious or forced.” He also finds a ‘definitive’ influence in David Bowie, noting that “whilst the vocal and instrumental aspects that inspire me differ from album to album due to Bowie’s stylistic chameleonism, one influential element that is pretty consistent throughout is his story telling ability. He manages to weave personal feelings and experiences into these inventive, far out stories. The concepts are often bizarre without seeming stupid. This is one of the many aspects of his music that intrigues me and one that I would like to capture in my own music.”
Parry has so far released two singles under the name Paz, but he found he got into music much earlier in life. “I used to play piano as a kid, but when my tastes started to develop into genres which had guitar at the forefront of the soundscape, I became less interested in piano and eventually gave up,” he says. “Over the years my taste changed massively, and I started listening to a plethora of genres and styles, reigniting an interest in keys and synths.”
A few years later Parry started creating his own music after noticing his friends creations, ‘sparking a love for making music’.
“Me and my friends started a band, recording a few songs together, but eventually we all decided to do our own thing, whilst still playing with each other for solo gigs,” states Parry. “It wasn’t really until September last year that I became serious about making music, but since then I have learnt an awful lot in terms of song production. Now I have some exciting stuff in the works and I’m having more fun making music than ever!”
Paz’s bedroom-recorded tracks are fizzing with charm, mixing authentic lyricism with soft melodies, crafting nostalgic tracks which glitter with warm narratives. He finds that his creative process often begins at the piano, saying “most of the songs I’ve written have come from finding chord progressions and melodies when improvising, and if I like them enough and think there’s some potential there, I’ll boot up my laptop and get recording. Sometimes though I’ll start with a drum beat or a bass groove and build from there”.
“Usually I think of a concept I want to explore before writing the lyrics, but sometimes it’s more of a stream of consciousness. There tends to be a lot of trial and error and most of what I create goes unreleased, but I have lots of fun nonetheless and I learn from every song I make,” continues Parry.
The singer-turned-producer finds that the recent lockdown may be a ‘blessing in disguise’, saying “I’m blessed with a great family and girlfriend to spend this time with and a nice garden to bask in the gorgeous sun! I feel for those less fortunate than me. Whilst the lockdown is a little strange, it has also been a very creative time for me. Making music certainly keeps my spirits high and I’m glad to have something I can pour hours into without getting bored – the days are flying by!”
Meanwhile, artists he’s been listening to recently include David Bowie, Arvid, and Haroumi Hosono with Parry noting that the latter artist’s album, ‘Hosono House’, is one of his favourites, “despite being in a language I can’t understand, I find the songs on this album incredibly catchy. I even enjoy the country aspects of this album a lot, despite not being a fan of country music.”
Listen to Paz’s discography so far here, including his latest single, ‘Lemon Meringue’: