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For The Record: Arlo Parks, "I've never really been part of a scene"

London-based poet and singer Arlo Parks reveals her favourite records, her favourite new artists, and her musical guilty pleasure

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 24th Mar 2020

It's hard to comprehend that London based poet-singer Arlo Parks is just nineteen years of age.

From performing a run of sold-out UK dates, supporting eloquent hip-hop specialist Loyle Carner, to touring with multi-instrumentalist Jordan Rakei and appearing at last year's Glastonbury Festival, this proficient young wordsmith has already achieved so much - and there's good reason why.

Combining her love for poetry with influences taken from an eclectic musical upbringing, Parks has succeeded in producing a highly accomplished, soul-soothing sound way beyond her years.

Parks says: “There was always a lot of music playing in my house growing up, from Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk to Prince, Jacques Brel and Charles Aznavour. I started off playing classical piano, then picked up the guitar and eventually started producing on Garageband in my bedroom.

“Literature, film and surreal art also heavily inspire my work, especially the psychedelia inspired poetry of the 70s, such as Diane di Prima and William Burroughs, and 90s movies like Dazed and Confused.

“I’ve never really been part of a scene but there are so many young, hungry creatives in London. It’s so inspiring.”

Listening to tracks such as breakthrough single Cola, released on indie label Beatnik Creative (Palace, Skinshape, Island) in November 2018, and her most recent release, Eugene, it becomes clear what a talent Arlo Parks really is.

Skiddle recently got chance to have a quick question and answer session with the artist, talking records, new artists and her musical guilty pleasure...


Is there a record you can't stop playing right now?

AP: “'Party' by Aldous Harding.”


How many records do you personally own?

AP: “Around 80.”


What’s the weirdest, rarest or most expensive record you own?

AP: “A multicoloured, limited edition 'Operation Doomsday' MF Doom vinyl.”


If you could only play one record for the rest of your life, what would it be?

AP: “The Velvet Underground and Nico self titled album.”


Give us your top 3 recent releases:

AP: “'Carrie and Lowell' by Sufjan Stevens, 'Safe in the Hands of Love' by Yves Tumor and 'Crushing' by Julia Jacklin.”



Which new artist/band/DJ should we be listening to right now?

AP: “Sassy 009.”


Do you have a musical guilty pleasure?

AP: “Britney Spears.”


Best live performance you’ve ever seen?

AP: “Loyle Carner at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.”


If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?

AP: “Jimi Hendrix.”