Step into the wonderful world of Bold Parade, the stunning music project from Belfast born talented producer and multi-instrumentalist, Paul McMahon (Crashdaddy / Bellcrash). After introducing the project this year with 2 acclaimed EP’s – ‘Flowers In The Dirt ‘and ‘Heat’ (both receiving lots of support from Craig Charles on BBC 6Music), Paul’s reveals his first Bold Parade album project, ‘Two Leaves Falling’. DMCWorld checks in…
Hey Paul. Thanks very much for taking the time to sit down with us here at DMC World. How’s 2023 been for you so far?
I suppose, like most people in these weird messed up times, kind of up and down. Releasing my first two Bold Parade EP’s and album are highlights obviously.
Please can you introduce yourself to our DMCWorld readers.
I’m Paul McMahon, originally from Belfast, and now living in London, I record under Bold Parade. I previously released music under the name Crashdaddy. I also teamed up with Mark Bell and recorded under Bellcrash.
What is the best piece of new music you have heard recently?
Well, neither of these are completely new, from earlier this year, but Aja Monet’s album ‘When The Poems Do What They Do’, and Yussef Dayes’ ‘Black Classical Music’ were both amazing.
What’s been your own most successful release so far?
‘Heat’ did pretty well building up on my first release, but ‘Cutting Room Floor’ just seemed to resonate with a lot of people.
Heat (feat. Janessa J.)
You’re a multi-instrumentalist, what do you play? And which instrument do you use mostly when writing?
Like most producers these days, a little bit of everything, guitar and keys. But a lot of it is using the production tools and programming too.
You’ve previously released under the aliases Crashdaddy and Bellcrash (with Mark Bell), and you have recently launched your new artist project, Bold Parade? How would you describe the signature sound of Bold Parade?
I think my first two EP’s ‘Flowers in the Dirt’ and ‘Heat’ respectively, did a good job of outlining the kind of vibe I like – warm old-fashioned feel, great musicians, with a sheen of synths and modern production to bring it into the current year. All mixed with a bit of rhythmic jazz and funk.
‘Two Leaves Falling’ is Bold Parade’s stunning new debut album, what was the inspiration behind release?
Thanks. I really wanted to make an album that hit all the elements of the music I enjoy listening to myself, jazz/funk/soul, but with the rhythmic edge of modern electronica. Really, I wanted to make it a listening experience, you know, one of those albums you can put on and maybe listen all the way through and hopefully not feel the urge to skip or fast forward.
Two Leaves Falling (feat. Rose White)
Which track from the album was the biggest labour of love to create?
I think ‘Blue Arrows’, my tango influenced track. I love the contributions from the Argentinian musicians and I spent a lot of time trying to meld them into my electronica. I originally had a vocal from a Buenos Aires tango singer in Latin American Spanish and Lunardo, a sort of slang used by the working class there. It was beautiful, but I just felt it made the track a little too obscure. I got Rose White to record a vocal in English and I think she captured the feeling perfectly.
Blue Arrows (feat. Rose White)
The album features some wonderful female vocalists including Janessa J, Vytaute, Rose White, Marti Buchanan and Katie Burke, was it intentional to go all all female, and what did the ladies bring to the table musically?
Really, I work with most of them because, as well as being great vocalists, they are all accomplished lyricists too. I love a track that manages to combine both. It wasn’t intentional to use all women, it kind of just worked out that way, as I know when I hand them some music they will be able to come up with not just a great melody, but personal or meaningful words to accompany it. Not a lot of singers can do that.
Who else would you love to work with in the future?
Aja Monet would be amazing, Little Sims is great, so is Cleo Sol.
In a largely singles driven market, in a world obsessed with short social media friendly audio clips, 2 minute long tracks and short attention spans, what are the pros and cons of releasing a full artist album these days?
Technology has always shaped how long songs last right from the early days of the phonograph, these things are always in flux. Right now the algorithm favours short songs, but I’m sure there will always be a place for full length albums, intended not so much a collection of singles, but more a complete listening experience. I’m sure I’m like a lot of people, when I hear a song I like from an artist I don’t know, I go searching to see if they have an album and whether they can deliver through that. I mean, even some big name mainstream artists treat albums as an experience in itself, something to be savoured and enjoyed as a whole. I don’t think that will ever go away.
The music industry has changed a lot since you first started out, what needs to change for the better?
Personally, I don’t really know if there is something as distinct as the music industry anymore, I think it has been subsumed into a blanket ‘content’ industry, where social media, virality and online presence is just as important as what used to be the sole domain of just the music business. I think record labels and organisations like the PRS kind of sold out to technology companies, leading to it being harder for independent artists to thrive any more and from what I hear it’s only going to get worse. Unfortunately speculation relies on the current paradigm remaining and the one thing that seems obvious now is that we are living in a time where paradigm shifts are happening more rapidly than any other time since probably the invention of the phonograph.
We come to raid your record collection, which embarrassing record do you chuck out the window before we arrive?
Probably ‘Complete Madness’, the very first record I ever bought. (I wouldn’t throw it out though, I still love them).
What record makes you say ‘damn, I wish I made that’?
Stevie Wonder ‘Songs In The Key Of Life’ – just genius.
Finally, what new productions are you currently working on?
I’m working on my next album. I’ve more or less finished the music for it, just tidying up the polish on it.
Bold Parade ‘Two Leaves Falling’ Album is out now on Suzume Recordings.