Q & A: Country Singer-Songwriter Parker Graye on her Path to Pursuing Country Music, her Latest Single, “Last Time” & her Goals for This Year

If you’re looking for your new favourite country artist and songwriter, then look no further! Dubbed as “The Next Big Thing” by Casey Clarke, Parker Graye will immediately draw you in with her beautifully sad melodies and the raw honesty of her song’s lyrics.

In 2020, she bore her soul through her heartbreaking debut single, “Do Over”, which was followed up by “Before You Leave”. This past July, she released the third single of the heartbreaking trilogy- “Last Time”. The song recently amassed over 300K+ streams on Apple Music alone, as well as several notable playlist adds on the platform, including “Canada’s Country” and “Today’s Country”.

Recently, I spoke with Parker about her path to pursuing country music, her latest single, “Last Time” and her goals for this year.

Kyla Pearson: For those who are unfamiliar with your music, can you tell us a bit about your path to pursuing music? What made you want to become a country singer-songwriter?

Parker Graye: I’ve always been chasing music in some way since I was a kid. Whether it was just me fantasizing about touring, being on stage and folks singing my songs back to me or performing at my high school talent show, writing poems in my bedroom and pretending to get interviewed about my new album by Oprah. The pathway that led me to where I am today hasn’t been straight and narrow. Countless detours and bumps along the road and I’m thankful for that journey because it’s made me appreciate the wins so much more. I love telling stories and I adore helping other artists and writers capture their stories.  There’s something so special about sharing that process with people and it’s incredibly rewarding to hear those songs get cut! 


Kyla Pearson: Recently, you released your single, “Last Time”– the third single of a 3 song project centred around a heartbreak you’ve experienced. This song specifically focuses on the “ happily ever after” that never happened. Was it difficult for you to share such a personal story with the world?


Parker Graye: So, in fact, “Do Over”, “Before You Leave” and “Last Time” are somewhat of a trilogy based on a relationship with 1 guy. If listened to in the order they were released you’ll get a sense of the whole breakdown.  “Last Time” is certainly the most heartbreaking of the 3 and initially I never intended on releasing it because it was so near and dear to me.  “Last Time” is one of the most honest, real and vulnerable songs I’ve ever written and it wasn’t until my showcase for the BC Country Music Breakthrough Project that my mind was changed on releasing the song. The response floored me. I never thought my sad ballad would grab people’s hearts so much. 


Kyla Pearson: What message do you hope fans take away from the song? What is one piece of advice would you give someone who is healing from a breakup right now?

Parker Graye: There are a few things I hope people experience and take away from this song.  First off, if they’re in a healthy, happy relationship right now, I hope this single takes them back to a time when they weren’t and they can pause for a moment and see how far they’ve come, how much they’ve grown. For those who are either going through it or just coming out of it, I hope they realize they’re not alone and that everything they’re feeling is real.   The only piece of advice I can give is what’s meant for you won’t pass you by.  I think oftentimes we can get hung up on the idea of someone or the potential, what we could have done differently… but in reality, if we didn’t wrong that person, that relationship was likely just not meant for us.

 

Kyla Pearson: You also co-wrote this song with Lucas Fogale, a mere few days after the breakup. Can you tell us a bit about the songwriting process? Did it help you process and heal from the events?

Parker Graye: I almost cancelled the session that day.  I was so emotionally fatigued and feeling pretty worn out from crying and not sleeping.  I’d never really seen songwriting as a personal outlet and didn’t think writing that day would help me in any way so I toyed with cancelling.  Something in me told me to go and just suck it up.  When I got there, I emotionally unloaded on Luca and we began to take all the verbal exchanges, texts, dreams and wishes I had and piece them together.   This song has helped me heal in a way I never thought possible.  I think part of my hesitation to release it was also my way of continuing to hold on to someone and something that was no longer there. Releasing “Last Time” has truly allowed me to let go. 


Kyla Pearson: For the recording and production of the song, you teamed up with  Spencer Cheyne of OCL Studios. What was it like bringing the words to life, and hearing the final version for the first time?

Parker Graye: Oh boy, I cried on nearly every take and every playback. I tried to let go and not overanalyze how my voice sounded and gave myself permission to just sing it as I felt it.  From our first conversation, Spencer understood what I wanted to achieve with the song. I remember at the end of day 2 in the studio we listened back and I was BESIDE MYSELF.  The song was real, it was mine and it was everything I dreamed of.  I’m beyond grateful for Spenny…. You’re a legend, bro! 

 

Kyla Pearson: You also plan to release a music video for the song (Which isn’t out at the time of writing). Can you tell us a bit about the creative direction behind the video? What was it like filming a video for such an intimate, personal song?

Parker Graye: The music video will be out on WEDNESDAY!!! I’m so very excited. I wanted the video to be simplistic, similar to the production of the song.  It’s a simple performance style video flipping between 2 outfits, a sunkissed blue sky and a cold chair.  I wanted viewers to have the opportunity to interpret each outfit change, the chair, the lack of eye contact with the camera etc. I didn’t want to spell it all out.. I wanted the viewer to be able to listen to the song and not be distracted by another storyline or characters.   I was lucky enough to work with Jonathan Spooner of Spooner Creative to bring this to life.   He knew how much this song meant to me and let me be part of the whole creative process from start to finish.  This video ended up meaning more to me than I thought it would. 


Kyla Pearson: With live music starting to be a reality once again as lockdown restrictions begin to lift, what is one venue or show you’re looking to perform at and share “Last Time” with your fans? What live shows do you have coming up that fans can catch?

Parker Graye: To be honest, I haven’t really thought that far.  However, I have tickets to Ruston Kelly in October and I CANNOOOTT wait for that. 

 

Kyla Pearson: What is one goal you hope to achieve with your music this year? Do you plan on releasing new music other than “Last Time”?

Parker Graye: I’m currently selecting songs for an EP which I’ll be heading into the studio to record in Sept/Oct.  Last Time closes a beautiful chapter of my life and I’m so excited to share new music with everyone.   My goal is to get this EP DONE!!!!! 


Lastly, what is one thing fans may not know about you?
Parker Graye: I’m a pretty big advocate for working out and doing what you can to take care of your body! Health is wealth! I’m a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer and have been coaching for about 7 years! 

 

Listen to “Last Time” Now:

 

Stay up to Date With Parker Graye:

IG: https://www.instagram.com/parkergraye/

FB: @parkergraye

TikTok: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMeqCytse/

YouTube:  Parker Graye


Twitter: https://twitter.com/parkergraye

Spotify:  Parker Graye

Apple Music: Parker Graye

Amazon Music:  Parker Graye

Website: www.parkergraye.com

 

Works Cited:

Graye, Parker. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Jul 2021.

Unknown.“Featured: Country Singer Parker Graye”. Photo courtesy of Parker Graye. Accessed Jul 2021.

Unknown.“Featured: Country Singer Parker Graye”. Photo courtesy of Parker Graye. Accessed Jul  2021.

Unknown.“Official cover art for Parker Graye’s latest Single,  ‘Last Time’ ”. Photo courtesy of Parker Graye. Accessed Jul 2021.

 

 

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