Interview: Jacky P on being the voice of a generation

The Birmingham polymath discusses being a Jack of all trades

Birmingham has long been a thriving metropolis for myriad styles of music, and one of its most fervent champions has been Jack Parker. For nearly ten years, Parker – otherwise known as Jacky P – has been at the forefront of underground music, whether he be spinning local bands on his radio shows, supporting them with stellar DJ sets or booking them for gigs.

Now Jacky is bringing his celebrity shtick to his all-time favourite venue, headlining The Sunflower Lounge on Monday 7 May. “I’m going to be conjuring up a party atmosphere from a chemical mixture of sweat, hot breath and sweet vibrations,” he says. “I’m touring the globe with Scarlxrd throughout the summer, so I wanted to throw a big ass party before I go. I’ve got some very special guests from the world of rap, indie and burlesque making appearances.”

Such disparate threads would seem strange to another artist, but there isn’t anyone like Jacky P in the musical climate. Quite literally a Jack of all trades, the bald behemoth has spent time promoting all sorts of music, something he feels he isn’t alone in. “People are open-minded and it’s beautiful,” he says. “I promise you that if you open your mind to music, it’ll be the gift that keeps on giving.” He cites the recent Reading & Leeds line-up as proof the public are not narrow-minded. “It’s always been an accurate reflection of the current musical sphere,” he says. “That’s the whole idea of a festival. It’s a melting pot of music in a field.”

A melting pot would be a good description of Jacky’s P mind. He’s not satisfied simply peddling local music, as his recent YouTube endeavours show. His channel, Jacky P TV, has seen him tackle a range of tasks, from working in a vegan bakery to adopting a spot of drag. “I’ve always wanted to make my own TV show, so I decided to make it with a little help from my friends, such as [Brum Radio DJ and fellow YouTuber] Tim Senna,” he says. “The aim is to put out something absurd and humorous into a world of darkness. I can’t do much to stop the bad stuff in the world but I can at least put fun stuff out there.”

It’s safe to say if you’re familiar at all with the Birmingham scene, you will be familiar with Jacky P. With his prominent scalp, quick wit and partially clothed Instagram posts, he’s the mascot of the Madlands, a term he coined many years ago. “Seeing it circulate on Twitter is pretty jokes,” he says. “But I’m glad that the Birmingham boys and girls aren’t taking the scene too seriously. It’s a special name because it gives an identity to the big Birmingham love fest that is happening. The bands love each other very much. I love it.”

For the future, Jacky P has no plans to slow down. Whether it be more YouTube videos, more DJing or more radio work, he’s ready. “I want it all,” he says. “I want it now. I don’t stop and I never give up.”

It’s safe to say as long as Birmingham is around, so will Jacky P. Long live the king.

Jacky P headlines Birmingham Sunflower Lounge on Monday 7 May. More info can be found at his Facebook page.

Interview conducted by Sam Lambeth 

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