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An Interview with Parg: A Journey Through Music and Emotion

January 29, 2024


By Shahen Araboghlian


New An Interview with Parg: A Journey Through Music and Emotion

We sat down with Parg, an up-and-coming artist in Armenia, for an exclusive interview.

In a world where music transcends cultures, we often find ourselves drawn to artists whose work resonates on a deeply personal level. One such artist is Parg (full name Pargev Vardanyan), a multi-talented musician whose unique blend of indie-folk, R'n'B, pop, and neo-folk has captivated audiences around the world.

On a random Monday afternoon, I met with Parg in a cafe on Saryan Street, Yerevan. He’s wearing a blue and white short-sleeved baggy shirt, a wide smile, and his signature curls. He orders a cappuccino with coconut milk and caramel syrup and grabs an orange metal chair. In this exclusive interview with h-pem, Parg takes us on a captivating journey through his musical career, inspirations, and the creative process that defines his artistry.

Finding His Voice: The Early Years

Originally born in Hayravank (which hosts my personal favorite Monastery of the same name), a village on the coast of Sevan, Parg's musical odyssey began in Volgograd, the sixth biggest city in Russia by population, where he moved as a child. His innate artistic sensibilities led him to explore various forms of creative expression, but it was in the realm of music that he discovered his true passion. Parg fondly recalls his early days, stating, "I've always been artistic and expressive, but I found music to be my main passion when I started a band in my hometown back in Volgograd." This band, The Edge Chronicles, would become the initial stepping stone in his musical journey.

I poke a little deeper because the story of The Edge Chronicles seems too good to be true. He laughs and tells me I don’t necessarily need to include this, but we agree that we should. Parg used to rap between the ages of thirteen and fifteen under the name of MC Flight. He also was a part of a band called Wild Kids at university.

Parg's background in acting and theater, which he pursued at the Volgograd State Institute of Theater and Cinema, played a crucial role in shaping his approach to music. He believes that both art forms demand emotional vulnerability and authenticity. As the lead vocalist and guitarist of The Edge Chronicles, Parg embarked on tours across Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Armenia during the band's formative years. The freedom and joy he derived from these experiences eventually led him to choose a more focused path in music.

Poetry in Melody: "Ginin U Grely"

I found Parg’s music last summer when he had just released “Ginin U Grely” (Գինին ու Գրելը | Wine & Writing), when someone had posted an Instagram story of the song. I was an immediate fan.

One of Parg's defining moments as an artist came when he decided to infuse poetry into his music. Inspired by the beauty of the Armenian language, he forged a creative partnership with poetess Sash Haykazuni. Their collaboration gave birth to his debut single, "Ginin U Grely," a song based on one of Haykazuni's poems. Parg's willingness to embrace diverse linguistic and cultural influences exemplifies his commitment to pushing creative boundaries. The song was his first step into solo artistry.

Influences That Shape His Art

Parg's musical style bears the marks of his influences, which include renowned artists like Glen Hansard, The Beatles, Stromae, Hozier, and Masego. He often draws inspiration from their authenticity and unique artistic journeys and hopes for potential future collaborations with them

Navigating Genres with Heart

One of Parg's defining features as a musician is his ability to seamlessly navigate through various genres. Asked about how he accomplishes this feat, Parg explains, "I try not to focus too much on the style and genre, but just go where my heart takes me." This instinctive approach allows him to let the music guide him rather than adhering to rigid genre boundaries.

The Armenian Influence

Parg's connection to Armenia runs deep, and he made the decision to move back to this beloved country to be close to his roots. He notes that Armenia has had a profound impact on his creativity, fostering a collaborative and warm environment that has enriched his artistic journey. “I’ve found warmth here where I couldn’t back home [in Volgograd],” he tells me.

The Epic Opening Act: Zaz and Rosa Linn

Parg's musical voyage reached new heights when he was invited to be the opening act for the internationally acclaimed French artist Zaz at the HAYA International Music Festival in Armenia. He describes the experience as "completely crazy," a text message that changed his life as he prepared to take the stage at the largest stadium in Armenia. Parg's preparation involved extensive rehearsals and the support of his friend Rosa Linn, who performed alongside him. The opportunity to share the stage with Zaz, a legend in her own right, left an indelible mark on Parg's musical journey.

The Distinctive Vocal Signature

Parg's vocals are often described as a unique combination of raspiness and distortion, a hallmark of his distinctive sound. He modestly attributes this to singing from the heart and cherishing vocals as a natural and precious instrument.

Musical Stories and Collaborations

Parg's music tells stories and explores themes that resonate deeply with his listeners. Tracks like "Tell Me," "Sareri Hovin Mernem," and "Kuzes" (Կ՚ուզես | Would You Want) carry emotional weight, inviting listeners into his world of introspection and reflection. Additionally, Parg has collaborated with artists like Rosa Linn and J-Marin on the song "Snap," showcasing his versatility and willingness to embrace diverse musical collaborations.

What Lies Ahead for Parg?

Parg tantalizingly hints at upcoming singles when asked about his future projects, leaving fans eager for what's to come. His relentless pursuit of artistic excellence promises a vibrant musical journey ahead. His latest single, Araj (Առաջ | Forward), came out last month. Stream it here.

Exclusive photoshoot and art direction by Devin Kasparian.
Styling by Vahagn Abajyan.



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