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Parade – A Debut 30 Years In The Making

parade

In the early 1990s, Cincinnati college students Dennis Hamlin, Christian Green, Jack Broad, and Joshua Moore started a band called Parade. They were four top-notch players with a catalog of songs they knew were great. All they needed was a singer.

They hung flyers around campus, held auditions, and recorded demos. No one clicked, and by 1994 the quartet called it quits. Each of them moved on with their lives, and it seemed the story of Parade ended before it began.

Fast forward thirty years, and a conversation between Green and Hamlin sparks creativity anew. They decide to take another look at those old songs. Thanks to the advent of the internet age since the end of the band’s first run, they found their singer, Nigerian vocalist Busayo Oninla.

“Castaway” is the debut single from Parade, released worldwide via all major streaming services on April 9, 2024. The track opens on a dark and melodic minor-key electric guitar intro, amid the ambient sounds of a man lost at sea. Soon the beat drops on a jazzy alt-pop groove. Live drums and a fretless bass join the guitar for this mellow mid-tempo syncopated vibe. On the mic, Busayo builds on the metaphor as he sings soulfully of his disassociation from a toxic love and an unforgiving world.

The original Parade project was penned at the time of the Gulf War in Iraq. With that notion in mind, all proceeds from this project will help displaced war victims. The band has teamed up with independent aid group Anera who works to mobilize emergency relief in Gaza, and Razomforukraine.org to bring aid to war victims in Ukraine.

Check out “Castaway” below. You can also hear the song on the Deep Dive : Pop & Rock playlist., or listen on your favorite streaming service. We had the chance to chat with Dennis and Busayo about the new project. Check out their answers to our 8 questions below. Follow the links at the end of this article to connect with Parade.

8 Questions with Busayo and Dennis from Parade

parade

Where are you from?

Dennis – I’m from Cincinnati Ohio originally but I’ve been Living in Los Angeles for a long time now.

Busayo – I’m from Nigeria

How long have you been making music?

Dennis– I’ve been making music my whole life. This project was the 2nd serious band I was ever in and existed between 1992-1994.

Busayo – I started learning how to play the guitar at 13 and I learnt pretty quickly, I discovered I could sing pretty well soon after but it wasn’t until 2017 that I wrote and recorded my first song which I released in 2018. So, I’ve been making music for about 7 years now.

Who are the musicians involved in your project

Dennis– Originally it was band mates I had in Cincinnati (Christian Green/Drums, Jack Broad/ Guitars, and Joshua Moore/Bass) who have all moved and still have music careers. Because of logistics, I ended up playing all the instruments on this recording. Busayo Oninla sings lead vocals. I found Busayo through an app called Sound Better which is a life changing app for songwriters like me. Busayo is a dream partner to work with, and I feel extremely lucky to have him.

The Gospel Back up choir on this record consisted of Giulietta Ciambotti, Ebony Fay, and Stacey Yeldell. There is also a song called “Funny” that is fronted by Cecilia Stalin (another amazing vocalist)

Who are your biggest musical influences?

Busayo – To be honest, I don’t really have one but I would say Don Moen, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars because their songs were my favorite growing up.

Dennis – I would say for this project it was originally artists like Peter Gabriel, Sting, The Police etc. But more so we’re influenced by unknown artist from around the world. Christian (Drummer) and I would hang out in the world music section at stores listening to anything we could get our hands on.

What is your greatest non-musical influence?

Busayo – My parents, they’ve been very supportive and taught me the importance of hard work and discipline

Dennis – My dreams, definitely.

What inspired you to create this project?

Dennis – Music I was listening to at the time obviously and also The Gulf War had just played out when I was originally writing this material and we were all pretty upset about what was happening. Now with the Ukraine and what’s happening in Gaza, we just want to help in any way we can.

What are your plans for the future (musically)

Busayo– I plan on releasing more music and doing it on a larger scale, headlining shows and concerts. My goal is to reach the top.

Dennis – There are 2 albums in the cue for Parade. -Art, and -Frame which I am already working on along with some dance remixes and singles.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

Busayo – I’m very happy and grateful to be on this project. I want to thank everyone involved in bringing the project to life.

Dennis – I hope you enjoy the record! We feel like it’s a one of a kind piece of art and I hope we get to meet somewhere on the road!