…I think diversity is huge in the music industry. I think especially in this day and age, there are so many new styles of songwriting and music coming out that it is hard to even put a label on what is and isn’t country anymore. Which I think can be cool in a lot of ways because it gives different genres a chance to work together and make some really cool sounds.
As part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Jake Parr, a new country music singer-songwriter hailing from Los Angeles, California.
In 2016, Jake released his self-titled EP, Jake Parr, which caught the attention of talent bookers for famed LA country music festival, Ship Kicker. In 2017, Jake ended up opening for the headlining act, Lee Brice, an American Country Music singer-songwriter signed to Curb Records.
Currently, Jake is back in the studio working on his second release with producing legend, Michael Lloyd. Lloyd has over 100 gold and platinum records under his belt and has worked with the Osmonds, Barry Manilow, Shaun Cassidy and many more. Fans can expect new single releases from Jake Parr before the end of 2020.
Growing up, Jake had a front-row seat to the world of country music, thanks to his father’s long standing career in radio, television and the Academy of Country Music. His father, Shawn Parr, has been the voice of Country Music for over 30 years and is often referred to as the “Ambassador of Country Music.” Currently, Shawn Parr hosts the Nationally Syndicated “Shawn Parr’s Across the Country”, and for the past 6 years, Shawn could be heard on over 150 stations coast to coast on “Nash Nights Live.”
Jake Parr is a graduate of the Independent Artist Program at Music Institute of Hollywood. During his time at MI, Jakemet Chuck Sparks and Ian Newbill, the gentlemen who would end up being his producer/writer team, for the Jake Parr EP. Together, they assembled a band of ex-rockers, country-transplants living in Los Angeles, for the 2016 self-titled EP.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/1cdba80ea5556ab9788492d07c8c6790
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Thank YOU for having me!!Oh Gosh where do I start. I was born in raised in SOCAL. Specifically Tarzana, where I moved to Calabasas around 8 years old. Growing up I played golf, I surfed, fished, got my hunting license when I was 12 and still love to do all of those things. I was surrounded by music my whole life with my Dad working in country radio also, my Grandma was a singer — so nobody was surprised that I started getting into singing. Other than that I was a pretty normal kid, who loved being outside.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Well, as I mentioned, with my dad being in country radio and my grandma being a singer, it was almost expected of me to do something with music. Growing up I taught myself how to play guitar, drums and piano. I also acted in musicals where I was often the lead because I could sing. However, I didn’t even consider pursuing country music until I was around 19 years old. I was at sagebrush cantina one night ( a restaurant near my house that often has live music), the lead singer of the band recognized me from a gig that my dad and I had gone to a couple months prior. She asked me if I wanted to come up and sing a few songs on stage, something id never done before! I said, “sure why not,” and about 5 songs later I knew that this feeling was something I loved and would love to continue to pursue.
Fast forward a few months and I was already booking gigs with a band that had asked me to sing that night! And now 6 years later here we are. Recording music, playing large festivals for thousands of people and loving every minute of it.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
My favorite moment of my career by far has to be singing on stage with my hero, Lee Brice. I had gotten a chance to open for him at a festival here in SoCal called Shipkicker. After my set some people approached me and told me that Lee wanted to meet me. Needless to say I was shaking! This guy is my biggest inspiration with music. So much so I have some of his lyrics tattooed on my arm. So here I am in front of Lee and he mentions that he actually heard and loved my set. Even pointed out one of my original songs!! What?? Then proceeded to ask me if I wanted to get on stage with him during his set and sing his song “Parking Lot Party” with him. Trying not to faint, I of course said yes. The feeling I had walking out there in front of thousands of people and singing a song with my favorite singer is something I will never forget.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I think a lot of people when they are nervous tend to forget lyrics. I once sang the second verse of MY own song at the start of the song during a showcase. That was traumatizing to say the lest because I sang the same verse in the second verse so people must have been thinking, “ Did he get too lazy to write another verse?”
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Right now I’m wrapping up a batch of new songs with legendary producer, Michael Lloyd. It has been an incredible experience working with a genius like him who has over 100 Gold records to his name.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film, music & television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
I think diversity is huge in the music industry. I think especially in this day and age, there are so many new styles of songwriting and music coming out that it is hard to even put a label on what is and isn’t country anymore. Which I think can be cool in a lot of ways because it gives different genres a chance to work together and make some really cool sounds.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
To be completely honest, there’s nothing I wish anybody told me. My journey to where I’m at now has been nothing short of amazing. And I think that can be said for a lot of people in their paths. We all grow and learn as we go and I think that’s part of the process.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I would say stay true to yourself and remember WHY you started down this road in the first place. For me, I love singing, being on stage and sharing my music with lots of people. So I keep that in the back of my mind when things get hectic because without the things on the side, there is no stage.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I think I would create a movement that would force everyone to have to experience the outdoors. For me anyway, when I’m fishing or hunting, I am at total peace. I think being so caught up in what’s going on within our phones, all the drama and lies being thrown around causes a lot more hate than good. So if we were all able to put our phones down for a couple days maybe we could calm down and appreciate each other more.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I would be nowhere without my mom. She is the best. From a young age she pushed me to always do something musical. She bought me my first guitar that I taught myself to play on and has continued to support my music every day. Without her none of this would be possible.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Never let your praying knees get lazy and love like crazy” — Lee Brice. It is something I think everyone should live by.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Lee Brice!!!! I think I mentioned him enough for everyone to know why… haha, he is the man!
How can our readers follow you online?
For more information, please visit www.JakeParrOfficial.com
Youtube- Jake Parr
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!