Hailing from London, 19 year old singer Arlo Parks advocates the visibility of a community that’s quickly rising to relevance. Her voice is beautifully deep and smooth, complementing lyrics that speak to and of those around her perfectly.
Although melancholy, the melodies are comforting, taking inspiration from a wide array of influences, including the poet Sylvia Plath. And though she describes her sound as both fluid and textured, once you hear songs like ‘Paperbacks’ and ‘Sophie’, you’ll see how it all makes sense.
Banger was able to catch up with her on the importance of her lyrics, her interest in poetry and where to see perform next.
Interview by Ellie Rose
Words by Kieran Mehra
Photos by Charlie Cummings
For the people that don’t know you, can you introduce yourself and describe your sound in 3 words?
I’m Arlo Parks, I’m 19 years old and I’m an artist/poet from London. Fluid, emotional, textured.
What have you been working on recently?
I’m working on the album.
Do you think you’re in a ‘super sad generation’?
I would say so yes - I wrote that song about the people around me.
There is some obvious crossover with poetry and songwriting, does writing lyrics come naturally to you?
It’s the most natural thing in the world - words just make sense to me.
You said you’d one day like to release a book of poetry— what, to you, distinguishes a poem from a song?
I would say a poem could exist without any kind of instrumentation - the line between them is very blurred though.
Would you consider songwriting more of a form of introspection, or do you see yourself as a voice to speak to the outside world?
It’s both - I write songs for me but hope that the outside world connects to them.
How important do you think Soundcloud is as a platform?
Very important - it allows for connection and experimentation - I was on there all the time when I was younger just reaching out to people and discovering niche music.
Make us a rhyme about the word ‘Bang’?
Im answering questions for bang(er)
Because of the records I sang
Do you ever get nervous performing on stage?
I always get slightly nervous but as soon as I start the first song the nerves evaporate.
If you had to pick one artist you take influence from the most, who would it be?
What was the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Loyle Carner at Shepherd’s Bush 02
People have pegged you as the voice of Generation Z, do you agree?
I guess I’m trying to speak up for people but there can never be one voice that represents a whole generation with so many unique individuals.
What's your favourite lyric you’ve ever written?
Do you remember when you broke your arm tryna climb your way to paradise?
As a London local, what are the city’s most underrated venues to catch basement gigs?
When can we next see you perform?
I’m doing a headline of the UK/EU in February and March which ends at Hoxton Hall in London.