Dribliyj Nunez, music writer
‘everything he sees is just blue’
Gazing beyond the lights of their apartment in North Hollywood, in a moment of unspoken clarity, ‘smoky’ Sugar Parks squeezes the hand of her husband Mitch while a quote from Paul Coehlo filters through their conscience. “Maybe the journey isn’t about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place”.
Watching the world turn over the past few months in which she and Mitch, her partner in both love and music, have finalised the recording of her ‘Ruminations’ EP, the essence of her recent spiritual reawakening has become a monument of coming to terms with who she has become.
Hidden away in journals, abstract drawings and scribbles of poetry hint suggestions of a troublesome past. After years of having regarded herself as an outsider; an introvert struggling to come to terms with rejection, battling depression in her desperation to belong, her rumination seemingly opened a path of restoration for a mind that had been at the mercy of insecurity.
“When something happens out of darkness, I can’t just turn my head and move on.”
“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten [Joel 2:25]” she recounts as, “A lot of these songs were written when I was in a dark place spiritually and struggling…In this place it was tough to get things done, there were no crops cuz they were being eaten by the “locusts” in my mind and life.”
As together they await the release of Lionsgate production ‘The Amityville Harvest’ (October 2020), her second soundtrack collaboration with both cinematographer Mitch, aka David M. Parks, and writer/ director Thomas J. Churchill, Sugar deliberates on the moment her experience in low-budget cinema made her believe she belonged in the music industry.
“About 8 years ago, this bluesy song came to me while I was taking a shower. I sang it to Mitch, and he didn’t like it at all. He thought it was boring and too old school. They wanted to make a 1950s zombie film that was a prequel to “Night of the Living Dead”. I thought my little bluesy song could fit, so I sang it to Thomas, and he agreed.”
A sophisticated and soulful rendition of her bluesy number ‘Baby’s Got a Hold of Me’ saw thousands paying tribute to a piece of music heard on the trailer for low-budget zombie thriller, ‘Lazarus: Day of the Living Dead’. This humbling feedback then proved to be a catalyst in cementing her style, pulling focus entirely in a follow-up trailer, once the film had been given some budget.
From time to time, we might drift into isolation and dwell on “a strange world where people lurk who used to know your name”. Whether trying to heal, or yearning to forget, the world finds ways to remind you of those you haven’t thought in years, yet, it’s only in hindsight that we realise these connections were tenuous. In the end, this cleansing rejuvenation was found through the anonymous recognition of complete strangers.
In a strange world where people lurk who used to know your name
While the camera lens idly devours the smoky veneer of this 50’s-esque chanteuse, clutched within her grasp reads “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made”. Stood beneath the lights with her fingers curled round the mic, perhaps remembering the karaoke bar she first met her husband, she might recall, “Maybe the journey isn’t about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place”.
Sugar Park’s ‘Rejuvination’ EP is out now
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