Arlo Parks has garnered much recognition with her latest release, “Black Dog,” a song she describes as being about “the feeling of helplessness that comes along with watching a loved one suffer.” The timeliness of the subject matter is one that has resonated with many during the current pandemic. The song was actually written long before the pandemic as Parks explained, “it’s supposed to make people who are struggling feel less isolated and start a conversation surrounding the prevalence of mental health issues in today’s world.” Born Anaïs Oluwatoyin Estelle Marinho, Arlo Parks made an early impression in the UK with her debut track “Cola” and subsequent singles from her EP ‘Super Sad Generation’ last year. Parks has been writing songs and playing music since an early age, having written the four-track collection on the EP between the ages of 16-18. Growing up in South West London, Parks is half Nigerian, a quarter Chadian and a quarter French, having learned to speak French before English. She spent much time during her childhood writing short stories and creating fantasy worlds, later journaling and then obsessing over spoken word poetry while reading American poets such as, Ginsberg and Jim Morrison and watching old Chet Baker performances on YouTube. These days she references Nayyirah Waheed, Hanif Abdurraqib and Iain S. Thomas as her favorite modern poets. During quarantine, Parks has released a few cover songs from Radiohead, Phoebe Bridgers, Clairo, Solange and others, all the while figuring out which direction to take with a pending debut album.
B-Sides host Pete Mar spoke with Arlo Parks about picking up DJing during the quarantine, the various records she’s been listening to, her reaction to people connecting with “Black Dog” and more. Check out the interview: