Debuting with a gem – In conversation with Parker Graye

Championing country and Americana, but with a refreshing new take on them, Parker Graye debuts with poignant gem ‘Do Over’. A well-crafted track, exquisite production and enchanting vocals, which we are confident will resonate with many listeners. For us, it was love at first sight. We thought it would be good to find out more about the talented Canadian songstress, so we sent her a few questions. Here what she told us:

YMX: Hey Parker, thanks for talking to us. How have these gloomy times been treating you? 

GRAYE: I work full time on top of music so it’s been a rollercoaster! The first few weeks were very tough to get through but I found a new group of co-writers and we’ve been hitting it hard for the last few months. I released my debut single “Do Over” in September and promoting that has certainly been keeping me busy. Trying to make the best of it all.

YMX: How did you decide music was something you wanted to pursue? Are there any particular episodes that inspired you in doing so? 

GRAYE: I grew up putting on “shows” in my basement, talent shows in elementary and high school to dancing and singing competitively. I feel like performing has been in my blood since I was born. There’s no specific time but my Aunt (who happened to be a teacher at my high school and sadly passed away in 2009) was an incredible musician. She sang simple things like the process of her making a cup of tea. Up until her passing, she pushed me to pursue music and always encouraged me to follow my dream of being an artist. I feel like she’s one of the biggest reasons why I am where I am.

YMX: Here’s a fun game: name 3 artists, or bands, that inspire you and influence your work, and explain why: 

GRAYE: Maren Morris – TALK ABOUT POWERFUL. This woman has created some incredible music and has built a kick-ass team of women around her. Her ability to marry traditional country and Americana with pop so effortlessly is unreal. Dermot Kennedy – Not country whatsoever but his remarkably poetic lyrics and on thick beats just blow my mind. His lyrics have really challenged me to think about how I say things in music. I’m going to shake it up a little on third. My group of co-writers (who are all artists) inspire me DAILY. We’re all incredibly different in what we do but we come together and create some insane songs that I can’t wait for y’all to hear. Shout out to Robyn Ottolini, Jesse Slack, Aaron Pollock, Lydia Sutherland, Rob Lannan, Lori Triplett, Jake Davey, Chris Yurchuck, Mike Whiteside LOVE Y’ALL

YMX: You recently released the country-pop jewel ‘Do Over’. Can you tell us how that project came about? 

GRAYE: My debut single “Do Over” was released on September 15, 2020. I used to test lyrics on my Instagram Stories and the ones that would receive the most engagement (likes, emoji comments etc) I’d stash away for writes or to revisit. One of them happened to be about a hiccup in my relationship at the time. In November of 2017 I went into a write with St.Louis, MO based producers/songwriters, John Strandell and Logan Miller and they both asked me to pull up some of my IG story lyrics. They were really feeling Do Over and we began writing it! Prior to this, I’d be working more in the Pop space and this was the first country song I’d ever really written. Needless to say, this song was the catalyst for me going country. Fast forward to September of 2019 and I met both John and Logan in Nashville,TN and we brought Do Over to life!

YMX: How did the pandemic affect your personal music recording experience? Was it easy adjusting to working remotely? 

GRAYE: At first it rocked my creativity but once I found the app We Should Write Sometime (a tinder style app for individuals to connect with songwriters in the US, Canada and Australia) it opened up the door to co-writing virtually. Once I got into the rhythm of connecting with writers and building out my schedule, I was cruising!

YMX: Professional livestreams seem to be really taking over these days. Is it something you would consider doing? 

GRAYE: It’s something I’d love to start doing once the covid restrictions open up for us again. I don’t play an instrument eloquently enough to accompany myself and we’ve been asked by our government to limit the number of people we’re around — obviously this make it’s difficult with my guitarist. Fingers crossed in the near future!

YMX: Since pandemic began, online music promotion has become crucial for an artist’s growth. How important is that for you, and are there any strategies you are willing to share with our readers? 

GRAYE: It’s so very important and coming from a marketing/public relations background I’ve had a really fun time getting creative with promoting my music. My advice would be: 1) KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!! Create a plan at least 3 months before you intend on releasing your music. This should include budget (if you have one), pre-promotion/teasing to your fans, submitting to blogs/influencers and playlists using tools like SubmitHub, content you’ll need to create for promoting on your social channels etc. There are tons of online resources that can help walk you through releasing new music successfully! 2) EXPECT A LOT OF NO’S !! No’s are inevitable and sometimes they can be quite discouraging when you’re pitching to radio, blogs, playlists etc. This doesn’t mean what you’re creating isn’t great, won’t be big or mean something to someone. Sometimes you’ll get 10 no’s from the same person and then all of a sudden one day they’ll hit you with a yes. 3) DON’T GIVE UP! It’s a hustle and things don’t happen overnight. Stick to your plan, be able to adapt, have fun and just keep pushing!

YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future?

GRAYE: New tunes coming for ya in 2021!!! I cannooott wait!