Theo Parrish

Theo Parrish is a musician and selector based in Detroit, Michigan. He’s been releasing music independently on his record label Sound Signature since 1997.


Theo Parrish grew up on Chicago house parties. He went to art school in Kansas City, and then moved to Detroit. His eclectic DJ sets in Detroit in the late '90s and early in this millennium are legendary. "Love of the music should be the driving force of any producer, performer or DJ. Everything else stems from that core, that love. With that love, sampling can become a tribute; An expansion on ideas long forgotten, reconstruction, collage. Using the same understanding openly and respectfully can turn DJing into a spiritual participation. It can turn a few hours of selection into essential history; Necessary listening through movement." This personal philosophy gives shape and direction to the distinctive sounds that are created by Theo Parrish. Theo Parrish was born in Washington D.C. in 1972 and raised in Chicago, IL where his passion for music developed. MIles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, George Gershwin, Bob Marley, as well as his uncle, jazz musician Dexter Sims, all had strong influences on Theo's early musical life. Chicago's radio influences and House artists such as Ron Hardy , Larry Heard, Lil Louis, Farley Jackmaster Funk, Gene Hunt , Mike Dunn, Frankie Knuckles , Walter Get Down Brown and Andre Hatchett, helped to spawn Mr. Parrish's early career. He began spinning and producing tracks in 1986, at the age of thirteen... After graduating from the Academy for the Arts, he recieved a scholarship to the Kansas City Art Institute where his interest in music was taken to a new level through his study of sculpture. In 1994, he recieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from KCAI with a concentration in Sound Sculpture, a form of orchestration using live instruments, looped recordings, the human voice, and numerous other sound generating devices. While in Kansas CIty, Theo continued to impact and be impacted by dance music, helping to bring a dormant underground music scene to life. In 1994, Theo Parrish moved to Michigan where he became heavily involved in Detroit's underground music scene. Producing music and delivering his unique and dynamic sets in venues throughout the Detroit and surrounding areas, as well as abroad he has gained the attention and respect of dj's, producers, listeners and dancers worldwide. Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.


Theo Parrish Talks Beat Spacek’s Modern Streets

By Theo Parrish | February 17, 2015

Theo Parrish Talks Beat Spacek’s Modern Streets

A legend of Detroit techno listens hard to an electronic album aimed at the head and the heart, and hears the future.