About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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July 2010 - January 2013
Artist Of The Week - J Ross Parrelli
Monday, August 02, 2010

As I’m sure you all know by now, I’m very open to recommendations when it comes to music. When my homegirl, super talented fine artist Blair Urban, told me I should link up with her friend J Ross Parrelli I added her on various social networking sites and we started talking. I also started listening to her music. Months passed and I came back to her work a number of times. There was really no defining it. With elements of reggae, soul and hip-hop Parrelli and her band have created something original, and I love when artists can still do that in 2010, and do it with instruments rather than a computer.

This week I caught up with Parrelli to learn about her musical history, how she’s been livin since she moved to NYC, and the three places you’ll never find her.

Adam Bernard: Start everyone off with the J Ross Parrelli story. Where are you originally from and what’s your path in music been like?
J Ross Parrelli: The roots of the Parrelli family lie deep in the Hundred Acre Wood... No, actually, I grew up in Northern Cali, out in the foothills of Placer County where gold was discovered back in the ‘49 gold rush days, four brothers deep, with names all starting with Js. We thought we were the J5. Eventually this lead me to be in a band with one of my brothers. He rapped, I flavored it with some soul. We played reggae festivals all over California from the Sierra Nevada to the Northwest World Reggae Festival, but eventually it was time to “move it on up” and experience some culture, so I transferred to CSULB (California State University, Long Beach) and moved to Long Beach. There I got a degree in Human Development, participated in the CSULB Slam Poetry team, was awarded with the Best Political Poem in the nation, and began my career as a battle emcee. I got a band together in 2005 - Tulasi, a five piece band Dread I, the keyboardist and producer, and I started and eventually evolved in to ADACA Soul, a seven piece band that includes a female DJ, Mighty JuneBugg, female violinist, and back up singers, the Dreadetts.

Adam Bernard: And you recently made quite the move.
J Ross Parrelli: You get to a point in your career where nobody takes you seriously unless you give up everything you own to follow your dreams. I have an amazing support team, and with the encouragement of my man Yanski we decided to go to the east and see what it has to offer. Thus far it has been gracious. Entering battles and competitions and winning first place out of 25 emcees at Hot 97’s Who’s Next competition. Opening and hosting with Rah Digga. Participating in 50 Mics, Elegant Hoodness, End of the Weak, Braggin Rites... this has been an amazing experience and opportunity, to be in NYC and actually taste the difference in music here.

Adam Bernard: How different is NYC from Cali in terms of music?
J Ross Parrelli: Dramatically different. Of course there is the more laid back flow of West coast music. There’s a different bump to the music even in our gangster rap, it is a slower flow, you know... Ice Cube, B-Real, Snoop. 2Pac is universal but really displays the highest quality of West coast, as well as Dre. On the East coast you got Supernatural, Wu-Tang, 50, Jay-Z... it’s a faster flow, it’s tighter knit. This is not to say one’s better than the other, but you know the difference.

Adam Bernard: You sing, you rhyme, and you have reggae influences. What are the plusses and minuses of being so diverse?
J Ross Parrelli: No one knows how to categorize you. Everyone automatically associates musicians like “ohh she sounds like Joss Stone, Jill Scott, Christina, Lauryn.” We want to box musicians in to a genre and really, I’m genre-free when it comes down to it. I want to invent my own genre called “fresh.” “Oh that, that’s that fresh music. Everybody’s doing it.” On a positive note, you really can’t just be one thing anymore. You gotta sing and rap, or play guitar, or dance, or do poetry. Being diverse, especially being a light skinned female, the shock value is priceless. Being able to jump on the stage and sing, flip familiar reggae tunes, as well as emcee writtens and freestyles, folks kind of trip out.

Adam Bernard: What projects are you working on right now?
J Ross Parrelli: I’m always recording. I want to be like Pac, MJ and Marley and leave my footprints in about 300 tracks. I have three mixtapes in the making. I am really looking for that one producer that is willing to challenge my sound to a whole new rhythm. I’m currently working with an amazing network called Soar Nation, where we can change the way people buy. I’ll be one of the first musical artists participating in their “Philanthro-capitalism” campaign. The website and campaign will launch in September for a West coast college tour, and the re-release of my EP Lov’n Mak’n Music (which Blair Urban did the cover art for) will be available in October.

Adam Bernard: What are your passions outside of music and how do you find time for them?
J Ross Parrelli: To me music is like a way of life. I work out to make my breathing stronger. I practice daily to be the best I can be. Part of being a musician is a responsibility to share and teach your gift, so my main passion is the community and the youth. I am constantly finding inspiration in the youth with the workshops that I teach, and the workshops that I take. Knowledge is my passion and I am always looking for it.

Adam Bernard: Finally, everyone likes their privacy, but hit me with three places where people will definitely never find J Ross Parrelli.
J Ross Parrelli: 1) Meat market. I'm a vegetarian.
2) Drake's dressing room... unless we are going to battle, in which case I will meet him anywhere.
3) Bilderberg meeting... unless we have water balloons in hand, bull horns and good gas masks.  

Related Links

Website: msparrelli.com
Facebook: facebook.com/msparrelli
Twitter: twitter.com/msparrelli
Reverbnation: reverbnation.com/msparrelli 

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