Donnie lad (Doncaster), Parly B dropped by to tell us about his journey into Reggae and Jungle, what he's been doing during periods of Lockdown and to chat about his new vinyl release 'Hot Like Fire Chapter One' on Liondub International!
Hi Mate. How are you and what have you been up to today?
I am keeping safe so far, I have been delivering hot meals to senior citizens around the Doncaster area for a couple months now. This job has been keeping me focused and active during the pandemic. I have also been recording bits in the studio, shout outs and dubplates. I also worked on my first Jungle album which was released on Liondub International called 'Hot Like Fire'. There are going to be three chapters to the album. The first chapter came out in October 2020. There is a 4 track vinyl sampler of chapter one which is available right here at VinylJunkie.uk... and features the following 4 tracks.
You originally started as a Reggae artist and released quite a lot of vinyl on labels like Scotch Bonnet and Irish Moss to name a few. How did you get started as a Reggae artist?
I was always around Reggae music as a little child, my Dad had tapes from when we went on holiday to Jamaica. In the car, he often played Gregory Isaacs and King Yellowman. Also, as a teenager, I listened to a pirate station called SCR which played all the latest Dancehall, Reggae, Soul and Jungle music on the underground scene.
In my early 20's I linked up with a producer called T Mak in Sheffield, J Rugged introduced me to him. I was part of a collective called 'The Infamous crew'. It was a great experience recording in a studio with other artists. Then after being in the collective I started learning how to record my own vocals myself. I used Cubase mainly but I also learned how to use Logic. Producers started emailing me over riddims which I vocalised and edited in my studio. I recorded a track with Tradesman called 'In a competition' it got signed by Scotch bonnet records in 2013 and released on vinyl. After doing this release loads of different labels and producers started getting in touch in the Reggae scene.
You are still going strong as a Reggae artist but also make a lot of Jungle / D&B as well now. How does it compare making Reggae as opposed to Jungle. And which do you prefer?
During the lockdown, I went back to my roots. Started watching live streams, listening to, and Mcing to Jungle/Drum and bass music. At the moment in the Jungle scene, there is a surge of young producers coming through. The styles and productions are really exciting. When writing Jungle I usually write similarly as I would when writing a Reggae track. Firstly start by writing a catchy hook which is the most important part of the track. Then write one or two verses depending on the style and structure.
I think Jungle/ D&B usually gets the party started. The ravers are much more lively. My first gig after the lockdown was at the Tuesday Club in Sheffield. I started off MCing and toasting over Reggae and Dub. But once I started MCing on the Jungle/ Drum and Bass segment, the party really started, mosh pits and everything.
The last couple of years have been tough with all the lockdowns and that. How has this impacted you musically?
During the lockdown, all the gigs were cancelled which has affected the whole music industry musically and financially. It's a very scary time as smaller venues have found it hard to stay above water during the pandemic. I was mainly doing studio work, writing new vocals for new tracks for release. A lot of these tracks were Jungle based which was quite exciting as I am trying to build up my name in the Jungle/Drum and Bass scene at the moment. I spent a lot of time linking with Liondub and planning the 'Hot like fire' album project which has been awesome. I also linked up with local Jungle DJ's/ friends and we have done quite a few online radio shows on Gumbo FM, Recordor & LDC Radio.
So now we are all allowed to go out and play again. Done many gigs or have many lined up?
My last gig was on the 20th July 2021 at the Tuesday Club in Sheffield alongside Sinai and Andy H. I have been booked for a few gigs this year, Fiesta de Los Tentáculos! Which is a small Festival North of Bristol alongside the Digital Foundation Band on the 14th of August. I am hopefully playing at Outlook Festival in Croatia on 11th September, Hospitality Weekend In The Woods on the 19th September, and on the 25th September at Detonate Festival alongside Reggae Takeover.
Who do you see as your major influences in music?
My major influences are a lot of late 80's and 90's Dancehall artists. I was influenced by artists like Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Capleton, Ninja man, Cutty Ranks to name a few.
If you had to give up one thing: live gigs or production… Which would it be and why?
This is a tough question, as it feels great to perform in front of a crowd again. But I always like to keep motivated and work on new projects in the studio. I think they both go hand in hand.
As this interview is for Vinyljunkie.uk, I am going to ask… are you a vinyl collector? If so, how long have you been collecting and how many have you got??
I have got around 50 vinyls ranging from 80's house, Digital, Dancehall, Reggae and Jungle. I also have a collection of most of my vinyl releases including some test presses.
So what's in the pipeline for you production-wise. Any forthcoming cool projects?
There are few things in the pipeline, we are currently working on getting the masters for Hot like Fire chapter 2 which should be out soon. Also, there will be a Chapter 3 to follow in the future. This is a very big project, respect going out to Liondub and all the producers/artists involved. Hopefully, 4 track vinyl cuts will follow for each chapter.
You were quite young in the early '90s when the original jungle scene was kicking off. Were you into it back then?
In the 90's I started listening to Jungle Techno and then Jungle, my first MCing opportunity was with Mikey Rider at some of the Jungle Jail House jams at Dizstruxshon and around the Yorkshire area. I also went on SCR Radio a few times back in the day with Eazy D and Mental Power which was a great experience. Locally I used to go to my friend DJ Sweet every Saturday daytime to MC and record Jungle sets on cassette tapes which we did for fun. I remember in the room were two big Jamo Speakers blasting out Jungle while he was Djing.
You obviously know that there has been a massive surge in vinyl releases and sales over the last 18 months with a lot of the music sounding like 90's hardcore and jungle. What's your thoughts on this??
I am liking the relick of the 90's Jungle, it's great to take it back to the Roots as a lot of younger producers wouldn't have been around to witness it when it first dropped.
Top 3 tunes from the '90s?
My Favourite 3 tunes of the '90s would have to be:
- DJ SS - The Lighter
- Shy FX - Original Nuttah
- Shy FX Remix - Chopper
Any final words??
Big respect going out to VinylJunkie, Liondub and all the people who support my music.