Michael Parvizi (who goes by Papi) is an Ableton Live Instructor and Expert at a world-class electronic music school; Preston James Walker also teaches music as a day job. Together the pair are Penthouse Penthouse, an LA-based electronic production duo that formed out of their joint affiliation with American producer super-crew TeamSupreme. We live in an era where large share of music production has become stagnated and over-saturated but these two beatsmiths stand out from the rest with their uncharacteristic sound and musically-inclined backgrounds. Through their crew’s Weekly Cypher series, Preston and Mike found enough mutual artistic chemistry to eventually inaugurate an official outfit after a few collaborations. Their alias references to an episode the TV show Workalholics with the same name, which they found suitable for their symbolically and sonically luxurious aesthetic. In our conversation we discuss the release of their upcoming debut album, the challenges of teaching music, their appreciation for ramen, and the definition of what the “real LA sound” is. Tune into the interview below.
Who is TeamSupreme and who is Penthouse Penthouse?
TeamSupreme is the beat game illuminati council of 20 American music producers, including Djemba Djemba, Carmack, Two Fresh, LION KNGS, ourselves, Kenny Segal, Steve Nalepa of The Acid, Dot, and many more. Penthouse Penthouse is a collaboration between Preston James and myself (Mike Parvizi) that formed out of our joint affiliation with TeamSupreme. We make dance and bedroom music for the ladies.
Your sound is often described as the “real LA sound.” Would you agree and how would you explain your sound in general?
(Laughs) That’s quite the compliment. We definitely look up to Low End Theory and other Los Angeles-based crews and attended lots of “beat scene” type of events when we were first getting started. I’ve heard people describe the “LA sound” as very unquantized, loud, broken beat style music. There’s echoes of that in our sound, but we tend to make our instrumental music more oriented towards the dance floor.
What is the greatest thing about LA?
Food. Ramen specifically. Tokushima-style ramen even more specifically. Taco trucks on every block, some are sus though so watch out. El Flamin’ Taco is definitely poppin’ though. I guess the music scene also.
You recently put out your Besides EP. How was the feedback so far?
I think four people downloaded it, two were our moms and the other three tormented it. Our moms really loves it. No, just kidding. People seem to really be digging it, especially the track with Stwo. Daddy Kev (who mastered the EP) apparently plays cuts from it every week at Low End Theory. It’s always cool to hear our music out at the club. People were really stoked about us finally releasing “Private Jet” also, which was previously only available on SoundCloud.
You guys teach music as a day job. What is the biggest challenge in teaching?
There’s no real challenge in teaching. We are blessed that we get to keep our skills sharp and teach music for a living here in LA. All of our students are super chill (shouts out to the students) and even come out to our shows in town which is seriously so cool. The only struggle sometimes in not having enough time some weeks to hop in the studio to work on our own stuff, but we’ve got plenty of unreleased heat up our sleeves for all the listeners and supporters out there <3
How would you recap your personal 2014 in 3 sentences?
Three sentences…hmmm…We. Dem. Boyz.
What are your hopes and expectations for 2015?
I hope we get to continue to do what we do and receive love and support from people like you guys all around the world. Doing music is crazy in this climate… There’s no shortage of opportunities. We want to challenge the status quo of what it means to be a music producer or a DJ… Don’t want to just be playing clubs all of this year, as fun as that is. We will be releasing a full album this year and it’s gonna have something for everyone… excited about that.
When will we hear a full album from you guys?
This year! Stay tuned.
What artist will break through in 2015?
I don’t really know about people “breaking through” anymore. Sh*t moves so fast these days, you can be really cool for one month and disappear off the face of the earth. I think that more and more, people with genuine passion for music will shine through, those that have ebbed and flowed with all of the trends and manage to stay true to themselves while making relevant music. People forget that being an artist and being an simply entertainer are two different things… I think this year will be for the artists. Lookout for Goodnight Cody, our label mate on TeamSupreme, Happy Doghouse, Promnite, Dot, ELOS, Kenny Segal, Marvel Alexander, Lakim and Abjo, everybody on Soulection, Carmack and Djemba are going to continue to make moves this year, it’s exciting really. All the homies.
What are your words of wisdom?
Be true to yourself and practice your craft every day, on some Jiro Dreams of Sushi shit. Have pure intentions and it will shine through in what you do. Also, educate yourself and don’t believe anything you hear on mainstream news. Stay informed and be a good human. Oh yeah, and listen to good music.