It was a mildly frigid Friday night in January when I decided to attend an indie Hip-Hop event in North Texas. I was among a diverse set of patrons; some came to support local artists, others came for the drink specials and a good night out, and a few attendants underdressed for a cool January evening may have come for different purposes altogether. But unlike others that had waited in line with me, I did not come to drink, nor dance. I came for one particular reason: Bruce Parker.
Tevin Rogers, better known by his stage name Bruce Parker, performed later that evening along with the Channel X collective. I had been anxious to see Parker take command of the stage. Just weeks prior to the performance, I was handed a pressed copy of his demo, which stayed in heavy rotation of my vehicle’s sound system until well after that show. There was just so much that drew me into his music; that creative, rhythmic flow, the multi-syllabic lyricism and, Bruce Parker’s ability to get his listeners in tune with the vibe that is set within each track. All of these qualities were present during his performance as well. But it didn’t stop there – Parker’s stage presence, the engagement with the audience, shifting in and out of various spots on stage while performing alongside the Channel X posse; all this observable skill hinted that Bruce Parker was far beyond your average local rapper.
More than fifteen months have passed since that mildly frigid January performance and my ability to recount the event reveals how captivating Bruce Parker’s set truly was. During the elapsed time Parker has been networking and strategizing, working hard on perfecting his craft. He has just released a new single titled Blindside, and will deliver a debut performance of the song at the Crown & Harp in Dallas on June 6th. In between his studio sessions and meetings with promoters and event coordinators, I had the opportunity catch up with the promising Parker for a brief Q and A.
Fresh Drops: How would you describe your music, and what separates you from other emcees?
Bruce Parker: ‘Human Music’ would be the best description of a Bruce Parker record. Any lyric heard will be a real life experience to touch the audience. People tend to love your music more when they believe what you are saying. The different approach I carry with me on every song is what draws the line between other artists and I. Whatever way you are thinking I will attack that instrumental, most likely it will be the total opposite, in a good way. I go against the grain without ‘doing too much.’
Fresh Drops: Speaking of going against the grain, many of your songs feature a distinct, rhythmic flow, what do you draw inspiration from to create your unique delivery?
Bruce Parker: Inspiration comes from life experiences when constructing my words. I really focus on using my voice as an instrument within itself rather than just relying on music instruments. The actual flow derives from my meaning of my music, which is a balance of northern clouds dipped in a southern atmosphere. Fusion of many genres in one is my goal on many of my tracks. Every song is its own foundation.
Bruce Parker: The fans can and will expect more music from me this summer. The follow up track’s name won’t be disclosed as of yet but look out for it in July 2016. The actual project will be released in Fall 2016. Right now we’re just cooking in the kitchen until July.
Fresh Drops: In today’s age, countless up-and coming rappers are competing to expand their fanbase in efforts to gain recognition beyond the local level. In your opinion, what traits must an inspiring artist possess to take his craft to a national level?
Bruce Parker: Longevity appears if an artist endures originality, consistency, patience, a hardworking mindset, a knack for networking and a high risk tolerance. Good things usually don’t happen overnight and everyone’s path will be different, even if they are on the same road, working toward the same goals. It is truly who knows you, not who you know. Quality is a huge factor that plays a part of an artist’s perception they give off to the public eye.
Fresh Drops: For those that have not yet been, what can one expect from a Bruce Parker set?
Bruce Parker: Hyped vibes with a fun environment will be the tone! I interact with the crowd very often throughout my performance sets. Usually, I like to make it memorable by giving away an authentic ‘Bruce Parker item,’ so every show is unique.
Fresh Drops: What can you tell us about your upcoming show at the Crown & Harp in Dallas on June 6th?
Bruce Parker: This show will be my first show in awhile. That means it will be big as I come out with a bang! The vibe will be crazy and contagious. You won’t be able to take your eyes off the stage! I intend to garner new faces to assist me on this journey of music. #striveplus
Our session concluded and once again I marveled at the future that lies ahead of Bruce Parker. It seems as if every step is carefully mapped out, every idea sketched, until meticulously worked into a masterpiece. I can only extend Parker’s invitation to join him on his journey of music, and you can do so by attending his June 6th show at the Crown & Harp. If you are not within the immediate area, although it is worth a lengthier drive, you can keep up with Bruce Parker via his well-designed website, by following him on Twitter, or by liking his Facebook.