Parissa Charghi

Photo by SMIKI
07 / 2024 • by Jennifer Rae •

Words to a mother. This interview is a genuine source of love and laughter . I have often told Parissa how she fills the room with light by giving mental and spiritual hugs even beyond her musical selections that gently adds a sun to her presence.

Jenni

How is your year going so far, how are you doing in 2024?

Parissa

I'm doing well. I've done a lot, I've initiated a lot of collaborations that have been very meaningful for me personally. We were in Hamburg with Persian Empire and did a residency there for the first time. A 4 day sampling residency at a Vinyl Archive. Putting a hub together, working with Tano Jackson from SuperJazzClub on a special project and much more. People who joined us, who made the whole concept of Heavy Feelings bigger & more meaningful.

Photo by MAKAYABUNDO

Jenni

What does HVY FEELINGS mean to you, what is the origin of this term? What was the idea behind it?

Parissa

The name itself came to me three or four years ago when I was in Berlin. That was a very stressful phase for me. That's when I realised that this is actually me, HVY FEELINGS. For me it is the epitome of the essence of what I am and create as an artist, what defines me! But what everyone else is also entitled to in the context of music, creativity and life.

Jenni

You wanted to create a space?

Parissa

Exactly!

Jenni

What was your vision for this space?

Parissa

The vision was first of all to build my own table with things that I want to do myself, because after 15 years of being self-employed as a creative, especially in the music industry, I realised that I was always limited and dependent on others. For me, it's what I do, whether it's designing or curating HVY FEELINGS. It's like a vocation and bringing my own taste and ethics to life. I have the vision of bringing people together. I know a lot of people and I know how to connect the dots. Understanding where and how you can use this match, having a lead in order to see the potential and be able to utilise it. To open up the space for talented people who are very authentic in what they do.

Jenni

When you set up a circle like this, it's primarily because something like this doesn't exist yet and you have created a space for people who get little or no spotlight and get lost in the crowd.

Parissa

Yes, getting lost in the crowd, but also curating yourself according to your own taste and disregarding the Zeitgeist. Not looking at what's left and right but rather in the sense of deceleration (and focus). Finding quality-based people who can also play a lasting role for me and also for the outside world.

Jenni

HVY feelings is more than "just" an event. It is a movement. Can you explain what kind of movement it is?

»Working collectively and learning from each other - it´s a different kind of power!«

Parissa Charghi
Parissa

For me, of course, it involves independent production. I create with people I admire. The collective work and creation of a common sense but all under the aspect of LOVE. I believe in working collectively and learning from each other potentials and skills. How do we treat each other, how do I look after care for others. Are others still networked with each other. Do they look after each other.

Jenni

Very nicely described. UNITY!

Parissa

No matter where you come from, what background you have, what you look like. The only thing that matters to me is the quality of your work, the human touch and your state of mind.

Jenni

Of course, there's a lot of trust behind that. Trust is often more of a negative portrayal but for me trust is also giving up responsibility. Which is nice, because responsibility gets you from A to B faster.

Parissa

You also have to bear in mind the other perspective. In the moment you give trust to a person, they feel valued naturally, in what they do. That's a different kind of energy when you realise "hey, am I doing this right, with what I'm contributing here." There is also a difference between naivety and intuition. You are here, you want to interview me. Because we have established a connection that is is different.

Jenni

You work with a lot of individual souls and that's not easy in principle because everyone has their own story, everyone has a different background, which I like but that doesn't make it easy because everyone has learnt a different form of communication. What is something you have learnt have learnt over the last few years?

Parissa

Definitely to practice patience. I'm a very impatient person. I want to push a lot of things forward. But I also know that a standard simply needs time. Quality can only be achieved if you take the time for it. We live in a time where everything is very fast and a lot of quantity is simply gets out of hand. In relation to others, it's important to see that everyone has their own reality of life. Everyone has their own struggle and heavy baggage. Especially as an artist cause you use your art as a filter. It´s important to recognize that this not my responsibility. What I can do is extract the essence out of it. I'm not responsible for being your saviour but I am here and I can accompany you on the way. I can make sure that we create something beautiul together. I believe in communication and speaking openly. That's also UNITY!

Jenni

How do you keep the focus? You just said that you have a Vision. How do do you stay focussed in order for everything not to fall down?

Parissa

That is learning. A lot of mental balancing. It has a lot to do with control over your mind. That's very difficult, especially at the moment. Where we are all so hardcore saturated with blatant things. Whether it's news, war, politics, and social media. Everything is on peak. And then on top with what I do and the many people not to go crazy and also being independent, as a woman and mother in that industry, has a lot to do with self-discipline and self-love. It's a great workout.

Jenni

Absolutely, we have so many external influences. Everything is very fast-moving. I have the impression that you have a portfolio and you follow the path because you trust yourself and your intuition. What is your drive?

Parissa

To be able to touch people´s souls with interaction. I don't like the word experience cause it's used so dead. But in the end people experience something different what they are used to in their daily life and of what they are influenced by. My motivation is also my Curiosity. I want to learn constantly and do a lot of things that i haven´t done yet. As a creative spirit, I am entitled to that.

Jenni

To stay inspired?

Parissa

To stay inspired and be able to inspire others.

Jenni

When did you fall in love with music?

Parissa

Well, I think that has a lot to do with my persian roots and how I grew up as a child and my culture. Our house was always full of people and a lot of art. In the sense of persian poetry and music. Whether it was it was traditional or dance music. There was always singing, playing instruments and dancing. I was always surrounded by a lot of music and because I have two older sisters and grew up in the 80s. And therefore have a completely different relationship to music that was everlasting. It was a different time in which music was and how music was produced. So you waited many years years until someone dropped an album. But then it was THE ALBUM! And...MTV, for sure. Whether it was music videos like Queen Latifah's UNITY, I remember that video well. That whole hip hop and R&B era from the early 90s, the videos. That shit was different! You felt like you were participating in something even if you're not in the US and of course don't have those realities of life but you understand through the visuals and language of what might be going on, even though you have a different reality of life.

Jenni

Do you have a track that's stuck in your head that you remember exactly when you first heard it and what emotions it triggered?

Parissa

I think it was Purple Rain by Prince. My older sister was a huge Prince fan. When I saw Purple Rain for the first time, I was very small and didn't really realise it yet. What a rad person that was! The poetry that you didn't see back then as a child. Especially the 80s, how rebellious it was. I think that made a huge impression on me back then. The fascinating thing about Prince was this fluid person and artist. He played with sexuality so confidently too. And blatant musical genius. That was a relevant event for me that stuck with me.

Jenni

How has music culture changed changed for you? Through streaming we are in a complete overload! But especially as a music selector, you also have a different kind of power and intensity in selecting music. I've asked myself several times, how does she find these tracks?

»Music is a spiritual thing, you dont play with music.«

Fela Kuti
Parissa

I really like to dig records unless I have something specific on the screen that I really want to get. These are more like classics that I definitely need in my collection. I find that very difficult, although that's an important question. Cause I'm bored for the most part. Generally it’s not easy to impress me. Whether it's design, music or arts in general. Because I can no longer differentiate. I can't keep up with all new releases. A lot of it sounds the same to me, a lot of it is very superficial. I miss a lot of substance. A full body of work. People used to spend many years on an album back in the days and the industry changed cause you have to produce and showcase yourself constantly. The use of music today is also different because access to it is easier. So we suddenly have a new DJ on every corner, which is good in and of itself, but the origin and therefore the approach changes and loses value in my eyes. Sometimes I get the impression that music is being misused for personal purposes because of the abundance. Music is spiritual for me. So selecting is very emotionally driven for me. And it's expensive to buy records, you have to think about it twice, which one I'm going to take with me.

Photo by Smiki

Jenni

If you go into a record shop now. Some people look at the the cover. Some look at the names. Do you look at the collabos? When do you decide to listen to or buy the record again?

Parissa

Of course, a lot of my work is about artwork. Of course I also have a occupational disease when it comes to vinyl artwork.

Jenni

To what extent do music and community flow together for you?

Parissa

I think what ultimately makes music for everyone is very emotional. So the heavy feelings you get from it. Music touches everyone differently but also the same. I think celebrating together to something that touches you has a different dimension than when you do it alone.

Jenni

What do you wish for yourself and also for the culture for the future, what is your vision?

Parissa

I wish for culture to slow down. Above all, I wish culture a mindset that doesn't aim for higher, faster in the sense of we're doing the live stream now, with our 500 cast people. Let's do some real shit. I want to see authentic shit. I want people to think along with me and ask themselves out "do I have to do all this, what can I do differently?" And of course: Everything is black culture: from Hip Hop, Jazz, House, Techno etc. Bring the people here! And not as a political agenda but check out who are the people out there who don't have their 100K followers. Who aren't booked 50 times in a row in a row. And actually also to open entrances, rooms! Gatekeeping is a blatant thing in Germany. Especially as a woman. I would like to see access made easier. To be more open. Sharing of knowledge. And consistency!

Jenni

Do you have an artist or genre that you feel embraced by? That radiates warmth for you. Songs that you listen to when you're feeling down to make you feel better?

Parissa

Definitely Reggae and Jamaican rooted music. But I don't like to reduce myself to one genre. Of course I draw a lot from jazz, soul and hip hop. Bob Marley as the whole person he was. It's always difficult to name such legends. But Bob Marley was always someone who spoke the truth. His lyrics as well as his views are still relevant today and timelessly reflect our society and life as a human being. In his very simple way, very spiritual through and with music.