story / Jonatan Mejia
If you’ve been listening to sad songs and playing waiting games for Parson James to play in New York, well guess what? Your tears and patience have paid off! Many puns were intended in the introductory sentence, as Parson’s new single “Sad Song” has been on repeat in my head and radio since the tune dropped. LADYGUNN has teamed up with the brilliant crooner to give away two tickets to watch him live this Friday at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
You’re definitely in for a treat when you come catch this vocal powerhouse and songwriter perform. Slide into our DM’s on Instagram (@LADYGUNN) and the first two followers to tell us why they want to watch Parson James perform will get tickets! Till then enjoy our Q&A as he discusses why he loves New York, confesses his craziest tour experiences and tells us the hardest part about working on his debut album.
What do you enjoy most about playing in NY ?
I’ve lived in NYC since I was 17 so it really feels like all I know. I feel like I spent my most formative years here because it wasn’t until I got to NYC that I got to truly express myself and figure out who I was as a human and a creator. I learned how to hustle here, the energy of the city alone does that to you as a performer you just want to constantly up your game. Now when I get the chance to perform here it’s overwhelming… it feels like home and I always get extra excited and nervous because I just remember how much this city chewed me and spit me out to even be able to take a stage. This city, in a way, made me. so it’s an indescribable feeling to do shows here.
WIN TICKETS HERE TO PARSON JAMES TOMORROW!!
WIN TICKETS HERE TO PARSON JAMES TOMORROW!!
What are some of your craziest tour stories and something you can’t tour without?
Oh man, there is rarely a dull moment when doing touring. From bizarre & outrageous private events I get booked for, to completely insane after parties with people I would’ve only dreamed of sharing a tequila soda with a few years ago.
The CRAZIEST thing though I think would’ve been when I was playing Germany’s Next Top Model finale. It’s the biggest show in Germany, live taping… Jason Derulo was performing, 10,000 person arena… so insane and so exciting. Rehearsals were amazing it was gonna be everything. NOW flash forward to the live show… I’m about to go on stage… it’s commercial break… I’m looking at Heidi Klum across the humungous stage we had set with these astronaut dancers who were descending and shit and all of a sudden I see Heidi sprint away ducking with security and everyone screaming and this is SECONDS from me stepping on stage. Long story short, someone called a bomb threat into the arena and there was an emergency evacuation. In the middle of Mannheim, Germany!! I WAS TERRIFIED. So I immediately grabbed my Jack Daniels bottle and ran out. Luckily nothing was found and it was a fluke. Heidi invited us back for taping in NYC a few weeks later. But, geez!
Are there any particular songs that you perform that never gets old to sing?
“Waiting Game” never gets old to me. It just takes me back to this time where everything was falling to shit… yet everything was so simple & fun? I was homeless in a no heat apt in LES writing my ass off waiting and waiting for a change to come… for something to happen so I would know I wasn’t absolutely crazy. I had no doubt it would come, it was just a matter of waiting. Though it was the hardest time of my entire life for sure, it also was the happiest. I learned how to make something out of nothing literally every day and I treasure that.
What can we expect from Parson James in 2017?
More music AND TOURING. I’ve recorded SO much material the past few years that I am absolutely dying to share with everyone. The one thing I’m going to make sure of next year is to be consistent with releasing material & doing so more frequently. I think that’s important today… to always have new content to share with your fans. People get so bored so easily these days and I get it. I am a traditional complete album artist, but I think it’s fun to give tastes that build up to that. I certainly have enough material to do so. Touring is also a priority. Live is where I thrive (rhymeeeee,heyyy…) so it’s necessary that I get on the road. My goal next year is for you guys to see so much of me that you’re sick of me. Then I know I’m doing something right.
What’s the hardest and easiest part about working on your debut?
I’m a very deep & honest writer so sometimes it takes a toll on me GOING THERE for some of the records I write. I definitely used to become a bit destructive after digging deep in the writing process. Drinking too much, staying awake because my mind couldn’t shake what I was hashing… all of that stuff really took its toll on me during some parts of the process.
I’ve become super aware of that though and started to process my emotions a bit differently and now try to view everything as healing and therapy. It’s been amazing the last few months and more powerful than anything. The easiest part is being able to work with such wonderful creative souls and share experiences and make something beautiful out of it. The art of songwriting is so mystical to me. I still am in awe of music making.