Born in Berkeley, California, singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Kela Parker began making her distinct blend of art and pop music in Portland, Oregon.
Noted for her singular sound, versatile artistry, and “prepossessing voice,” Parker has released three albums, multiple singles, and chamber pieces. After getting her start playing local Portland venues like The Old Church and opening for Madeleine Peyroux at The Aladdin Theatre, she has played her distinctive folk-jazz across the U.S., from Seattle’s classic jazz venue The Royal Room, to Los Angeles’ storied Viper Room, to Rockwood Music Hall in New York City.
Kela Parker wrote and recorded her first two albums during the housing crisis while trying to save her house from foreclosure. Released under the moniker Houswife, these songs from the edge of destruction established her as an artist with a genre-bending sensibility rooted in a “sharp musicianship…yielding songs that are both heady and blithe” (Bob Ham, Willamette Week), and featured her distinct approach to American roots: “like folk music — but from a country you’ve never heard of before” (Victor Nash of Destination: Universe!). Click here for a preview of Underwater: a story of destruction and rebirth, Parker’s book about the house of Houswife.
“Soundtracking rhythms of a post-genre new world, Parker’s sound dwells in juxtaposition, piano-driven gilded discord, and hidden harmonies beneath oral narrations…The resulting aesthetic is of considerable breadth and range — equally rootsy and ethereal, spontaneous and composed.”
Kari Elam, 2017
In 2020, “Come Spring,” the most recent single off Parker’s upcoming fourth album, was hailed as “a truly mesmerizing piece of music, an enticing and mysterious track,” that showcases her vocal range, and “dark yet angelic” sensibility (A&R Factory, UK). Informed by her sometimes tumultuous past, Parker’s forthcoming songs are her most emotionally direct yet, plumbing the depths to offer redemption and solace. For more on Kela’s latest releases, see kelaparker.com/news.
Kela Parker’s 2018 album ‘The Dreamer & The Dream,‘ recorded and co-produced with Rocky Gallo in 2017 in New York City, was a collection of fourteen “nomadic…intricate” songs written during a period when the singer-songwriter moved numerous times across the country and relied on the inner guidance of an ancestral figure who she had encountered in a dreamlike state. Weaving “effortlessly in and out of time, memory, place,” BuzzMusicLA wrote that the songs on Dreamer “defy traditional boundaries of genre, creating a living tapestry of song that feels deeply anchored but also of the moment” (2018).