Interview with Darren Parry

Award-winning adult contemporary singer/songwriter DARREN PARRY takes his turn in the NLM interview seat as his single, ‘Feels Like The World’s Stopped Turning’, scooped the Song of the Month Title back in April. So find out what he been up to and his plans for the year. Let me tell you, he’s been really utilising his time during lockdown – so upcomers, you might learn a thing or two on how to make a name for yourself during these trying times!

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. What have you been up to?

DP: Hi Tracey/New Lease Music, thanks so much for having me. I’ve been up to about 5 foot 8 recently! Ha ha, sorry, couldn’t resist!

I’ve been keeping busy, before and during the lockdown. I’ve been co-writing some songs over the last few months. I wrote a lovely song called “Broken” (as yet unreleased) with the great James Warren (of The Korgis). James wrote the massive worldwide hit “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime” (covered by Beck, Erasure, Yazz, Queen and Baby D etc.) and had a ballad hit with The Korgis called “If I Had You”. We wrote the song together (“Broken”) and James sang it… we’re looking for Publishing or maybe a Nashville sort of artist to cover it as it has a ballad/country vibe. I’m pitching it at the moment.

I’ve also started a new podcast the last few months called ‘Music Matters’ where I interview singers, songwriters, producers, actors, comedians, presenters etc. about what music means to them and how music has affected their lives (www.anchor.fm/darren-parry). So far I’ve interviewed… Steve Balsamo (Jesus Christ Superstar), Juan Lozano (singer/songwriter) and Lee Gilbert (great vocalist/performer). It’s on hold at the moment as we need to be in the same room really to get good audio quality. Lots more people lined up though after lockdown!

I’ve released the new single as you know “Feels Like The World’s Stopped Turning” and I wrote a song for Lee Gilbert called “Take Me As I Am” (released soon). I’ve been co-writing via Zoom during the lockdown. I’ve written a song with Steve Balsamo that I’m very eager to record. We’ve written it with a certain artist in mind, can’t say yet as that artist doesn’t even know we’re gonna pitch it to them! Ha ha. Working via Zoom is new for me (Steve was my first Zoom co-write) but Steve is fantastic; he’s written for Cliff Richard, Meatloaf and Slash, a great talent. I also wrote another song with a friend called Gareth Lewis (singer/songwriter) who was doing a ’26 songs in 26 days’ challenge… to write 26 original, new songs for ‘Mind’ (suicide awareness charity). We wrote a cool song and posted it on social media (like he has for all the other songs he’s done) and so far he’s raised 177% of his justgiving.com target for the charity, which is fantastic.

NLM: You released your single ‘Feels Like The World’s Stopped Turning’ featuring Sian Elson back in March (named Song of the Month by the blog in April). Have you received other accolades on the single?

DP: Thank you so much for the mention of the single and for making it ‘Song Of The Month’, your support is always greatly appreciated. The song was very well received, with having been put onto 45 or so playlists on Spotify, play on BBC Radio Wales (and other radio stations around the world) and mentions in… Entertainment South Wales, VIRI AOR, Fresh Out Of The Booth, MuzicNotez, Music Trails, MTV Rock and Stereo Stickman blog. Of course… my favourite mention was in New Lease Music 🙂

NLM: The single features singer Sian Elson. How did you guys meet and who sparked the collaboration for ‘Feels Like The World’s Stopped Turning’?

DP: The song was a funny one for me as I was working on it off and on for about 2 yrs. I recorded the basic track but then would leave it for a bit, come back to it, do a bit more, leave it and so on. The reason why I had gaps with the song was because it was a very personal song for me with a lot of meaning and to be honest… I wasn’t sure if I wanted to record and release it at all! After some thought though… I decided… I have to get this out there! Sian is a female singer in a band/another project I am part of, we do corporate events and big parties, big weddings etc. I’ve been in the band with Sian for about 8 yrs now and she has an amazing voice, a real Soul/Rock/Pop sorta Pat Benatar edge to her voice which was perfect for this song… I think she did a great job.

NLM: For anyone who is unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe your sound and what inspire you to produce your songs?

DP: I suppose my stuff is mainly Rock/Pop but with maybe a twist of Country at times. I’ve written all types of songs, from R&B to Rock, Soul, Pop, Country, Christmas songs and even EDM but mainly adult contemporary sorta stuff, some might say AOR (Adult Orientated Rock). If you like Richard Marx, Michael Bolton, Michael McDonald, Paul Carrack, Don Henley and Stereophonics… you may like my songs 🙂

NLM: Has the current climate (CoVid19 pandemic) and lockdown affected you as an artist?

DP: Yes, live gigs have been cancelled sadly and I can’t go to the studio and record but I’ve been busy online via Zoom as I said writing some new stuff. I’ve also been using Zoom with another project I’m part of called ‘Black Mountain’ (male vocal harmony group). There’s 10 male singers and we sing contemporary songs these days… we’ve been rehearsing in sections (i.e. bass, baritone etc.). As people may know… it’s almost impossible for a few people to keep in time singing to music via Zoom (due to internet connections/latency/time delay) but it’s been quite therapeutic and we do what we can… at least we’re getting together and trying to make the best of a bad situation!

I’ve been putting out some live songs of mine and some covers (online from my living room) too on my Facebook, Insta etc. So far, covers wise… I’ve done a bit of Whitesnake, Ben E. King, Richard Marx, Jackson Browne, Bill Withers and others. Any requests, people can get in touch! I’ve also been giving away some FREE downloads on my website to stimulate people’s interest and give something back to people who like my music and support me.

NLM:  What advice would you give to new artists who are trying to get noticed in these challenging times?

DP: I think artists should just do what they love and follow their heart; just try to produce/write the best songs they can… in whatever genre they’re in. You have to have a passion for it, there’s no point in trying to get thousands of Instragram likes or re-tweets, or Facebook likes or whatever if there isn’t genuinely good music/passion behind the hype/illusion of popularity.

It’s easier than ever to get music out there these days, with many people self-releasing (with no need for record companies as such), but because of this,  there is a LOT of noise out there and it’s hard to break through it. However, believe in yourself and your music and anything is possible, it’s about positive mental attitude. Many times what you think… will be, what you think will manifest itself as reality! If you believe it will happen then hopefully you can magnetically attract the Universe to you and what you need.

It’s easy to get sidetracked and down about the music industry sometimes but if you want it… just keep going, don’t give up if it’s really what you want to do. Get your music out there on as many platforms as possible, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation, MusicLinkUp (new and could be good for making connections). Do some covers of songs you love and get em up on Youtube, TikTok, whatever… to gain some traction and then introduce people to your own music is one way of doing it. Very important… get yourself a website (doesn’t have to be fancy) and a mailing list to connect with your fans 🙂

NLM: If there was ONE mainstream artist you would like to spend time with during the lockdown period, who would it be and why?

DP: Michael McDonald is a big hero of mine. Maybe the best ever live show I’ve seen was Michael at The Royal Albert Hall, circa 2003. I’d love to sit down and just pick his brain on songwriting and chord construction etc… he’s a legend and very humble it seems! Still sounding kick-ass too!

NLM: So what are your plans for the rest of the year?

DP: Plans are to continue to write songs, on my own and via Zoom of course (not much choice, ha ha). I’m also pitching songs to Nashville a lot and for media/TV/Film opportunities which keeps my days busy. Hopefully we can get back to performing live towards the Autumn, that would be good, there’s nothing quite like being in front of an audience for a performer. Be fantastic to see theatres, clubs, pubs etc. getting back on their feet by Christmas. Hopefully I can get back to my podcast by the end of the Summer as I have Chris Needs MBE (BBC Radio Wales) and Boyd Clack (comedy actor/writer BBC Satellite City, BBC High Hopes) lined up to record an interview with me. Lots of others too I’m working on! I’m definitely missing human interaction… it’s not quite the same via the net/phone is it!

NLM: How can potential fans contact you?

DP:I’m on: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/darrenparrymusic
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/darrenparry
Insta: http://www.instagram.com/darrenparryphotos
Website: http://www.darrenparry.com

NLM:  Finally, if music did not exist, what profession would you do?

DP: When I was a kid and teenager I was obsessed by golf. I got to a pretty good level and wanted to turn pro eventually. I’d love to be a professional golfer if music wasn’t around. Nick Faldo was my hero and talking of attracting the Universe to you with positive mental attitude… I actually met him and spoke to him briefly which was a thrill. I’m just a frustrated golfer now who doesn’t play that much, but still love it… I never throw my clubs these days though! 🙂 The venue coulda been better though, I spoke to Nick in a toilet in the woods of Wentworth Golf Club! Now I think of it, I’ve spoken to many people in toilets… Faldo, Ant & Dec, Trevor Sorbie! Stories for another time maybe! Ha ha.

Thanks for having me. Stay safe and well Tracey and the same to all your readers.

Darren Parry Delivers Heartfelt Ballad, ‘Feels Like The World’s Stopped Turning’

DARREN PARRY‘s latest offering, ‘Feels Like The World’s Stopped Turning’ featuring Sian Elson, focuses on a relationship gone sour, leading to its sad demise.

Showcasing his three-and-a-half octave range, full of passion and conviction, Darren leads the heart-breaking pop ballad revealing his sadness and feelings of loss from a relationship. Trying to spare his feelings, Sian delivers her vocal with poise, expressing the desire to move on.

‘Feels Like The World’s Stopped Turning’ comes to a sudden climax as the pair’s emotively raw vocals becomes elegantly intertwined; a perfect build-up to a classic ballad.

2019 and 2020 has been a busy year for Darren with him winning the International ‘Male Vocalist Of The Year’ Silver Crystal Award in Atlanta, in the prestigious ISSA Awards (International Singer Songwriters Association). He has been writing with hit songwriter James Warren of The Korgis (who penned worldwide smash hit, ‘Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime’), performing all over and has a brand new podcast called ‘Music Matters’.

‘Feels Like The World’s Stopped Turning’ is available on all major digital platforms.

Song of the Day: Drinking With The Devil – Lloyd Llewellyn

Taken from his latest EP baring the same name, LLOYD LLEWELLYN‘s single, ‘Drinking With The Devil’ features a compellingly atmospheric soundscape, serving as the perfect platform for his undeniably soulful-soft rock vocal delivery.

Speaking of the release, The South Wales singer-songwriter says: ‘This song came from a place where I battle with all sorts of temptations, a lot of back and forth clouded in even more negativity but not from anyone else but myself.

During these times I realise that the battle I have is something that makes me feel alive and I have started to revel and enjoy the flirting of pushing myself to the edge. Don’t get me wrong there is a lot of struggle and darkness within those times but when I’m holding all the cards I don’t mind pouring the whiskey.’

Taking early influence from his grandfather’s love of Charles Brown and Nat King Cole, to first hearing Led Zepplin and The Doors with his Dad, Lloyd found his way to artists such as The National and Bon Iver. He has played at Boardmasters, Isle of Wight Festival, Bergenfest, Camden Rocks, Glastonbury, headlined a stage at Alternative Escape, is a regular at Sofar Sounds and, has sold out headline gigs at Notting Hill Arts Club, Hoxton Bar and Kitchen and Camden Assembly.

His first single ‘Long Way Down’ was played on BBC Wales and BBC 6, quickly followed by his second single ‘Selfish Skin’ via BBC Introducing…I have a very strong feeling that ‘Drinking With The Devil’ will gravitate even more attention from major music figures.

Time to check out the video for the stunning single below…

Song of the Day: Hardly – Juice Menace

The UK’s next big thing, JUICE MENACE drops one HEAVY joint entitled ‘Hardly’ into today’s hot spot. The track is an ode to the hidden hustle that comes with making waves in music with a beat courtesy of Octavian producer Elevated.

When Juice picked up the mic two years ago at the tender age of 17, she has since been perfecting her craft. With a dream for bigger things and an urge to escape her life in Cardiff, Juice began grafting and building a network of young creatives in London which all have now aided in her musical style, branding and visuals. Now at just 18-years-old, she has worked with respected producers in the UK and US underground circuit including Scott Supreme, Scott Styles and Honeywoodsix.

Through nothing but hustle which she outlines in the new track, this young artist has solidified her sound by joining her two prominent influences, West Coast trap and underground UK rap, then adding a fierce, contemporary edge with consistent bass-heavy instrumentals. Taking influences from the likes of Travis Scott, Future and YG, as well as her early inspirations driven from her mother’s favourites such as Fugees,112 and “all the bad boy artists, Juice’s ear for timeless music as well as the modern buzz is second to none.

From her debut single ‘Probably’ showcasing trap flavours, to this new bouncy joint ‘Hardly’, her versatility shines through. With a well-received Guap live session of ‘Probably’ accomplished and more huge songs on the horizon, JUICE MENACE is fast becoming a name to get familiar with.

She’s young, hungry and ready to hustle so sleep on her at your peril…check her out below:

Christmas Song: Don’t Need Nothing Else This Christmas – Darren Parry

DARREN PARRY delivers the first Xmas song on NEW LEASE MUSIC titled ‘Don’t Need Nothing Else This Christmas’. The soft rock/pop number is now available on all download/streaming sites – so grab yourself a copy for the festive season!

For now, watch the chirpy video for the single below: