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Singer, rapper, and writer Dessa has made a career of bucking genres and defying expectations—her résumé as a musician includes performances at Lollapalooza and Glastonbury, co-compositions for 100-voice choir, performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, and a top-200 entry on the Billboard charts for her album Parts of Speech. She contributed to the #1 album The Hamilton Mixtape; her track, “Congratulations,” notched over 5 million streams. As a writer, she’s been published by The New York Times Magazine, broadcast by Minnesota Public Radio, published two literary collections of her own, and is set to release her first hardcover collection with Dutton Books in the fall of 2018. She’s been covered by Pitchfork, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal amongst others. The LA Times says Dessa “sounds like no one else.” The Utne Reader calls her a “one-woman powerhouse.” On the stage and on the page, her style is defined by a ferocity, wit, tenderness, and candor.
King Pari is an almost accidental project. Cameron Kinghorn (Nooky Jones) and Joe Paris Christensen (PHO) didn’t even set out to start a band. When Joe texted Cameron some jams whipped up on his tape machine, Cameron hit him back with “what is this? I want in”. Ten minutes before they first linked up, Joe built the loop for their first single, ‘Sunshine,’ which they then wrote on the spot in a flurry on collective inspiration (now at 1 million Spotify streams). The rest of their ‘MARY EP’ grew from recording sessions in Joe’s Northeast Minneapolis bedroom, a guest house in New Orleans and a cabin in rural Wisconsin. Minneapolis left an obvious mark — the influence of Prince and the Minneapolis Sound, approached from a fresh psychedelic angle. It’s been called stonersoul, lo-fi R&B, dub meets 80’s electro with a heavy dose of funk.
With these new songs in hand, the group played their first public show on the historic First Avenue Mainroom stage in Minneapolis, opening for the incomparable Kamasi Washington in August 2019, and charming the full house that night.
On the MARY EP King Pari leans into the accidental and improvisational nature of music, embracing imperfections, lo-fi inclinations, and fuckups. The EP is entirely self-produced, recorded, written, and mixed, giving it a real handcrafted and personal feel. For both Cameron and Joe, this project is a culmination of many personal things. It can be goofy as shit, but also introspective and occasionally gloomy. It’s dancey and funky, but often dreamy. It’s a distillation of every group and side project they’ve played in before – even a 90s R&B cover band. Nothing is forced; it all just falls into place like a Rube Goldberg machine of chill-ass vibes. More than anything, King Pari is having a good time, and they want you to get on their level.