Art is for everyone. If you want everyone to enjoy it, you should make it with everyone in mind. It can affect our culture because it steers our culture. People model themselves after things they see based on how it makes them feel. We’re all here to find out who we are and the more we present that message to the world the better.
Born in San Antonio, Texas, Jeremy Parsons grew up soaking in the sounds of Texas music in the dancehalls of the Lone Star State. Over the past decade, Jeremy has played all over the U.S. and in Europe, including numerous venues in Texas. The first single from his latest album, “Things I Need To Say” was the Top 40 Roots Music Report and IndieWorld Report track, “Burn This House Down.” The song paints a poignant picture of heartbreak and acceptance that still remains relatable. That single was followed up by the equally well-received, “Why is the Bluebird Blue,” also s a Top 40 Roots Report americana single and a Top 20 iTunes Canada country chart single. “Bluebird” also reached #2 on the Hits You Love pop charts. The videos for both songs were nominated and selected for numerous Film Festivals, including the Jersey Shore Film Festival, Indie’s Best Films Festival, and the Monkey Bread Tree Film Festival, an IMDB-sanctioned film festival. Jeremy’s latest single and video, “Making Things Up as I Go” has also received international airplay, acclaim and awards. The video is available on Amazon Prime. Parsons has appeared on Fox, CBS, ABC and NBC affiliates around the country.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Jeremy! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
The pleasures all mine! I was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. I was adopted by my grandparents as a baby and my Dad, biologically my Grandpa, was a huge fan of music. He had a weekend gardening radio show at a traditional country station in San Antonio, call letters KKYX. I was very well immersed in really good country music because of that and I’m very thankful. Between that and live concerts as a child it’s no wonder I ended up finding music was my passion.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I had always been a huge fan of music but it wasn’t until my Junior year of High School that I really started to delve into creating it myself. My friends were going one way and I had just quit football because my coach and I had trouble agreeing on the way people should be treated. I came home one day and decided I needed another hobby. My parents had wanted me to play an instrument when I was younger and bought me this starter guitar that I happened to find in the middle bedroom of the house while looking for something else one day. From that point on every free moment I had was spent practicing guitar. After that I wrote my first couple of songs and then shortly after started playing out. I was hooked at that point and have been ever since.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
One of the coolest tings that ever happened to me in my music career occurred within my first 3 months of living in Nashville back in 2009. I had been hanging around with a few different friend groups and one had invited me to this party. Like many parties in Nashville guitars eventually came out and we all started playing. I played a song I had just recently written called “Out Comes The Sun.” Little did I know the owner of the house was one of the two lead singers of a bluegrass band called The Grascals. He really liked the song and before we left the house he shook my hand and said he needed to run it by the band first but he was interested in putting that song on their new record. I just laughed because I thought he was messing with me. The next day he called and invited me backstage to the Grand Ole Opry. We went back into their dressing room and he said, “wait right here I’ll be back,” then handed me his guitar. I was picking when he reemerged into the room about 5 minutes later with the late great Little Jimmy Dickens. My jaw hit the floor of course because I was in the presence of country music royalty. The lead singer of The Grascals looked at me and said, “play him that song we’re thinking about cutting.” So I played Little Jimmy Dickens a song and he turned and looked at the band and said, “if y’all don’t cut that you’re crazy.” They ended up putting the song on their record The Famous Lefty Flynn. That record ended up being Grammy nominated and they went out on tour with Eric Church and Hank Jr that year. That really gave me my first big opportunity in music and I’m forever grateful for that.
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?
The music industry comes with a lot of lessons learned without laughs. One that I can recall that was funny and lighthearted was my first time in the studio. I was trying hard to figure out the Nashville number system and was way more confident than I should’ve been. That system is what a lot of session players will use to chart out a song in studio. I wanted to sound professional so bad so I was going in saying a song would start on the 1 or the 4 when we would start tracking. I can say I was right maybe once out of all 10 tracks. The lesson I learned was it’s okay to not know some things. There’s always time to learn. I got over that fake it until you make it attitude pretty quick with all those guys after that.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I just recently finished working on my third full length record and I couldn’t be more pumped. The record is going to be called Things To Come and the first single release is set for May 29th with more to follow. “Tragedy” will be the first release and I’m so stoked for y’all to hear it and hear what y’all think. In my personal opinion this is the best record we’ve ever made. The full record is set to be released January 8th 2021.
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 and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
I’m a huge fan of diversity and open mindedness in life in general. Art is for everyone. If you want everyone to enjoy it, you should make it with everyone in mind. It can affect our culture because it steers our culture. People model themselves after things they see based on how it makes them feel. We’re all here to find out who we are and the more we present that message to the world the better.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Don’t sign anything.
Make sure you and a great lawyer read over it first if you must. It’s nice because I feel like more people tell you now than they used to. I was lucky to have gotten out of a few signature situations fairly unscathed. Some people aren’t so lucky though.
- Have people around you can trust.
This seems kind of obvious right? In an industry where you’re told to go out, network, and make friends though the obvious can get kind of blurry. You start to realize after a while the caliber of person you should be looking for.
- Make sure you know who you are as an artist.
Whoever gets their hands on you will do their best to try and change your sound and style. They can’t do this if you are already defined. That won’t stop them from trying but they will be unsuccessful in taking away from what is so naturally you.
- Get a side job or hustle.
It never hurts. There were times when I was first starting out that the bookings weren’t coming in because I wasn’t quite established enough yet. I was lucky that something always seemed to come through right when I needed it but it never hurts to have a job or side hustle to make money to support your music career and yourself as a person.
- Co-write more.
I was not really ever big into co-writing. I always just liked the therapeutic feel of working through something alone with my guitar. I got more into co-writing as my career progressed and I’ve enjoyed it for the most part. Nothing will ever beat writing by myself but in this industry it’s important to co-write. I’ve seen it open so many doors for my friends.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Remember that you always have time. You shouldn’t rush your art or your career. This in itself is a full time job. We love to create so we always want to create more. We love to play live shows so we want to play more. More will always come if you keep on putting yourself out there. Practice patience when you need to and your craft when you can.
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 don’t know if all around unity has ever been more than a great idea. It would be nice for someone to be able to see it in some lifetime. My goal is to try and treat everyone the same no matter what. I’m not a big fan of jerks but I try my best not to be a jerk back. I’ve struggled with anger my entire life and somedays it’s harder to control than others. I know. I would just like to see more people treat more people like people. When you say it doesn’t really seem like too much to ask. Does it?
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?
My Dad is the person that immediately stands out. I don’t think I ever would’ve even considered pursuing this career further if not for him. He was the one who said I should write the first song I did. The one who came up to my room one day and said, “I think you should move to Nashville and give it a shot. You can always come home.” I sure as heck wouldn’t be answering these questions for you now if not for his support and faith in me.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My Dad told me when I was very young, “Do something you love to do and you will never work a day in your life.” It was advice that was passed down to him from his father. It’s been relevant and a driving force my entire career. I came to a crossroads in my life about my second year of college. I felt stuck and unhappy. I was practicing and doing shows but I had a choice to make. Do I continue getting a degree in something I’m not really that passionate about or do I take the risk and try out music full time? I followed my heart and it was the best thing I ever did. “Do something you love to do and you will never work a day in your life.”
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. 🙂
Somedays the answer would be Bill Murray. Others it would be Jason Isbell. Right now I would have to choose Jeff Goldblum. I don’t think there’s many humans out there with more swagger. You can tell he knows who he is and never really breaks that character, in life and on screen. He seems like such an intelligent passionate individual too. I feel like one could learn a lot just by having a cup of coffee with him.
How can our readers follow you online?
The best place to find me online is www.jeremyparsonsmusic.com. Everything you might need to know or find is always right there. Including links to all my socials. Please keep in touch with me y’all!