From the conservatory to the club, and the importance of Black music and representation to dance music's future.
Adam Longman Parker, AKA Afriqua, has been a gigging DJ since his pre-teen years. Hailing from Hampton Roads, the Virginia region that changed popular music via local artists like Timbaland, Missy Elliot and The Neptunes, Parker has lived for music his whole life. Prodigiously talented as a pianist, he studied at Interlochen in Michigan as well as the Royal Academy of Music before experiencing a Damascus moment while listening to Ricardo Villalobos DJ in fabric's room one.
Since then, he's applied his talents to club music, carving out a healthy career with records that have become favourites among the likes of Raresh. But it was on his 2019 debut album for R&S, Colored, that the breadth of Afriqua's creativity snapped into focus. Conceived as "a celebration of the unifying power of Black culture through the prism of electronic music," the record was at once broad and personal, taking in his musical training as well as the rich culture that laid the groundwork for his artistry.
Thinking about Blackness within electronic music has prepared Parker for our current moment, and in an eloquent video posted to Instagram, he criticized Resident Advisor for paying lip service to equitable coverage and staffing without taking clear steps to economically empower Black artists.
In his conversation with LA-based writer Matt McDermott, Afriqua holds forth on his musical journey while making an impassioned case for dance music's future being Black.