For Independent, Canadian artist Parker Gaye a life in country music has long been dream. Inspired young, Parker would take her toy microphone and put on performances for those closet to her. Parker, now is living the dream with her debut single “Do Over” having amassed over 30,00 streams and counting on Spotify, and as she preps to release her next single “Before You Leave” tomorrow (which also so happens to be her birthday!), we had the wonderful opportunity of speaking with Parker about her journey in country music.
Worlds Of Country: Who would you describe as your biggest musical influences?
Parker: I would say it started out with Celine Dion which is super random but as I’ve gotten older it’s become the Cams Maren Morris, Hailey Whitters, Tyler Childers, the JP Saxes of the world. Music has evolved so much, and I think the one thing that stayed the same throughout is the storytelling and along the way those artists have been pivotal in shaping the songs that I want to write.
Worlds Of Country: Growing up in Canada were drawn into the American country scene or the Canadian one?
Pakrer: Probably the American because that was what was played on the radio. Staples like Shania Twain, who grew in Ontario not far from where I grew up. People like her they were pivotal but given the market it was probably mostly American and global stars like Shania.
Worlds Of Country: When did you first know music is what you wanted to do?
Parker: When I was really young, I used to put on performances in my basement with my Spice Girls microphone, so I always knew that I loved music. I would always put-on performances for my friends and even my family as ridiculous as that sounds, but it wasn’t until my late teens, early twenties that I thought I could make a career out of this.
Worlds Of Country: What is the story behind your upcoming song “Before You Leave” coming out this Friday?
Parker: I kind of have this trilogy of songs, the first one “Do Over” had this hopeful, we can do this if we just start over message. “Before You Leave” I mean the title says it all and the storyline in all of the secrets all of the avoidance all of the stuff that never came out even when the questions that never got answered even when they were asked. This is song a plea to please just share, don’t leave me in the dark, I don’t what to have to wonder what happened. I’m writing about the same guy from “Do Over” and as I’ve said there’s a trilogy so something will be coming in the future to close the story. I’m very excited it’s a bit more pop-country than “Do Over” which was very country and this has a little more of a bop and a vibe to it. This song breaks my heart in so many ways, but it sort of has an uplifting beat so hopefully people love it just as much as I do. I’m so jazzed about I’m like vibrating it’s my birthday Friday and I get to release a single so I’m super excited.
Worlds Of Country: Is the trilogy based on personal experience?
Parker: 100%! I love getting my heartbroken apparently, it’s my mission for commission. In starting this relationship with this guy, I thought he was the one, like this is it we are just going for it. Unfortunately, there was just roadblock after roadblock after picket fence after barbed wire fence. I never was one to write about my own situations until this. This unlocked my ability to write songs that crush my soul in ways I never thought possible. Yes, it is about a true story and it is awful. I can laugh about it now though.
Worlds Of Country: What has been the biggest obstacle you’ve faced in your career to date?
Parker: Honestly, I’d say I’ve been pretty lucky. I think my biggest obstacle is myself most of the time. I don’t have a manager, I don’t have a team, I don’t have a PR agency supporting me. I’m responsible for everything, I’m responsible for radio pitching, I’m responsible for the creative aspect, so if I drop the ball no one is picking it up for me. I think sometimes I can get in my own head too because if it’s not me doing it nobody will. If I miss an email or decide I don’t want to work anymore tonight I can become my own bottle neck. Overall, I’ve been so lucky to meet people that have truly helped me get exposure into other areas where I wasn’t before. I wouldn’t say that I’ve had a lot of challenges but to me a challenge is a challenge and I kind of like it, and that gives me the fire to push through and figure it versus just crumble and say “it’s so hard”.
Worlds Of Country: As an Independent Artist how do you find people to write with and work with?
Parker: Before the “pandy”, I call it because it’s way more fun than saying pandemic I had a couple of people that I wrote with. Right when the pandemic popped off, I started using the app, “We Should Write Sometime” and that was a major unlock for me to start writing with people in Nashville and Ontario and in different parts of the U.S. I was using that heavily through the first few months and they are an incredible organization they are doing incredible things for the songwriting community and I highly recommend anybody to download the app to just connect with other writers and producers. I’m not sponsored by them or anything I just truly love this app and if it wasn’t for this app, I would not have connected with the lot people that I’ve connected with.
Worlds Of Country: How do you start your creative process?
Parker: It depends. I generally try to go into a session with an idea or a hook idea or even a melody that I was humming in the shower. The amount of random voice notes that my co-writers have gotten of me just humming in the shower which is super weird. I always have to preface with I was in the shower, sorry. I don’t play an instrument very eloquently I have a keyboard but that is more just to noodle. I can come in with ideas but in the room, it really depends on who is struggling that day or who has something that is really hot and cold. When I started this process, I always thought it had to be one way and I’ve learned over time that you can’t force it and you kind of have to just let it happen. What I love about co-writing is that you can be someone that doesn’t play an instrument so well but you’re incredible and lyric and hook ideas and you can turn that room into 100%, I’ve learned that you don’t have to be good at all things in order to be a successful songwriter.
Worlds Of Country: In the room everyone kind of can balance each other out?
Parker: Totally. There was something that Nicolle Galyon once said on the “And the Writer Is” podcast that the room has to add up to 100%, and ever since I heard that I was like that makes so much sense. I had never thought about it like that, there are always going to be people that show up like “I am a puddle I am so sad I need to write this” and they are contributing but they are only like half of a human there, and sometimes everyone is contributing equally and that’s okay and you can have off days but just be that 20% if everyone else is doing their part. Ever since I heard that it changed the pressure of showing up, now that we all have our days and shoutout to Nicolle Galyon for that one because it’s changed my life.
Be sure to check out Parker’s new single when it is released tonight as well as her debut “Do Over”!