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Theo Parrish. Where to even begin.

The Washington, D.C born, Detroit based DJ, producer, selector, arranger, keyboard clunker, machine beater, writer, sculptor, car lover, visual artist, lecturer, and father who loves creativity is a hard artist to pin down, and that’s seemingly exactly how he likes it. He might be known for his deeper-than-deep productions and selections, his seemingly maniacal approach to edits and remixes, or his loud, EQ-heavy club sets, but don’t make any assumptions from this – Parrish is just as likely to spin vintage disco, new wave, off kilter jazz or soul ballads as he is anything house-related. Often labelled unconventional, unpredictable or intense, casual listeners make a lot of assumptions about Parrish. But those who know, understand these are the exact traits that make the man and his music special.
You might say there is a bit of a theme here. Giving him the freedom to play all night in Sydney’s best sound room is just the icing on the cake. It’s time to dance, and dance we will. Take it away Theo.

Parrish began spinning and producing tracks in 1986, at the age of thirteen. After graduating from the Academy for the Arts, he received a scholarship to the Kansas City Art Institute where his interest in music was taken to a new level through his study of sculpture. In 1994, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from KCAI with a concentration in Sound Sculpture, a form of orchestration using live instruments, looped recordings, the human voice, and numerous other sound generating devices. Parrish then moved to Michigan where he became heavily involved in Detroit's underground music scene. Producing music and delivering his unique and dynamic sets in venues throughout Detroit and surrounding areas, as well as abroad he has gained the attention and respect of DJ’s, producers, listeners and dancers worldwide.

His early releases weaved pioneering Chicago house influences into slow-burning, immersive grooves that gradually revealed deeper levels of detail with each spin. From there, Parrish's music became more elaborate and ambitious; from his work with collaborative projects 3 Chairs and the Rotating Assembly collective to expansive solo full-lengths like 2014's American Intelligence and 2020's Wuddaji; based on live playing rather than samples. In true Parrish fashion, his 2022 DJ-Kicks mix turned the spotlight away from the man himself as the series tends to do, instead showcasing homegrown talent from Detroit's music scene.