As an advocate of suicide prevention and anti-bullying campaigns, Parker Matthews is an artist determined to spread positivity to the masses via his music. His latest track “Hit and Run”, with its sleek production, a chorus that is hard to get out of your head and an impressive, smooth vocal is just one example of how he’s going about this, and with plans already in the pipeline regarding his next few singles, Parker spoke to ThisIsTheLatest about being influenced by Christina Aguilera, his thoughts on social media and the one stage he’d most like to perform on.
TITL: Please introduce yourself if you would.
Parker Matthews: What’s up everyone? I’m Parker Matthews and thank you for the interview!
TITL: What would you say is your unique selling point as an artist?
PM: I would say the tone of voice is a unique selling point for any artist. Sounding different, and being different, are two things that really make you stand out.
TITL: Has music always been your career plan and path or were their other avenues you looked into?
PM: Music has always been my dream, but it wasn’t always my career plan. I followed my parents’ wishes and earned a degree in business after high school, and began working in the corporate world, but was absolutely miserable. I really felt like I wasn’t doing what I was put on this earth to do, and one day, I up and quit my job, and packed my bags for LA. Since that point, I’ve never looked back because the only direction to go in is forward.
TITL: Which band or artist might you say you sound most similar to? Which acts have influenced and inspired the music you make?
PM: There are so many artists that I’m influenced by, but overall, I grew up listening to mostly female artists. Christina Aguilera, who is from the same neighborhood as I am, was always an artist and a person I gravitated towards. I connect so much with her music, and love hitting those high notes, just as much as she does.
TITL: Tell me about your new single “Hit And Run.” What’s the story behind it?
PM: “Hit and Run” is about not being the person who only has one night stands. I, as a person, like to make connections on a deeper level, and want more than a ‘one-time thing’. So many of us are hurt from past relationships, or times we wore our heart on our sleeves and someone crushed it, but just because that has happened in the past, doesn’t mean it will happen again in the future. Every situation is different, and that’s the beauty of it.
TITL: You’ve also just released the video for the track. How did you come up with the concept?
PM: When I wrote “Hit and Run”, I always imagined being at a house party and rocking it out. When my team and I found the space, which was located in DTLA, I immediately fell in love and knew we had to shoot the video there.
TITL: How did you meet with the team, including director Nicholas Wendle, who helped you make the video?
PM: I’ve met and hand selected the team I work with through colleagues in the industry, and by pure fate. Funny enough, I met my writing partner and producer, Darren, through a Tinder date. At the time, Darren was living with his best friend -who I was on a date with – and we ended up meeting up with Darren later that night, and the rest is history.
TITL: Are there any fun stories or moments from the shoot you can share with us?
PM: Haha, yes! When we were filming the pool table shots, I wasn’t paying attention how close I was to the edge during a take, and rolled off the pool table and hit the floor. It hurt, but was so funny.
TITL: Do you think you might move into directing music videos at some point in your career?
PM: Being a director for music videos isn’t my calling, but I do like to come up with my own video concepts.
TITL: Would you agree that some music videos can, and do, have a more powerful impact than a song itself, because of the visuals they display and the messages they get across?
PM: Oh absolutely. A video really brings a song to life in so many ways; through color, fashion, choreography, etc. a song can really shine for a music video.
TITL: As a victim of bullying, you’re now a proud supporter of anti-bullying campaigns and organisations and an advocate for suicide prevention via The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. How much of an impact are you finding putting your support behind such causes is having, and do you wish more individuals in the public eye would stand up and support great causes as you are doing?
PM: I find that if you can stand up and tell your story, it’s living proof that it does get better. My favorite memory of standing with these organizations was last year, when I was in Sydney for Mardi Gras. I met with a local non-profit the focused on LGBT youth and suicide prevention. I was able to talk to a group of kids, share some laughs, and hopefully brought some light into their lives. Giving back is so important. So many people in the entertainment industry have done a great job of making their voices heard, so I think people need to keep it up!
TITL: If you had to say one thing to those struggling with bullying and/or mental health issues, what would you say?
PM: My favorite quote that is so important to remember is, ‘Why try to blend in, when you were born to stand out’. We are all unique people, with a different story to tell. In life, if you can always remember to dance like nobody’s watching, and have fun, then you can achieve it all. There will always be someone in the corner who might not like you, or better yet, put you down because they envy what you have, but you must remember to brush that negativity off and shine on.
TITL: Music wise, what’s next for you? Is there an EP or album in the works? Are there any performances in the pipeline?
PM: I have so much more material this year and I’ll be in the studio all summer. We have some great locations for some upcoming video shoots, and I am choosing to release the next several songs as singles. They are all so different from each other, and I truly want them to be stand-alone pieces of art.
TITL: If you could play one venue anywhere in the world with three other bands or artists who can be living or dead, who would they be and where would you perform?
PM: The Super Bowl, hands down. I’d gladly share that stage with Gaga, Christina, and Jessie J – all such amazing women with such talent.
TITL: How is and has social media impacting your career? Are you a frequent user of sites like Facebook and Twitter and do you think there are any downsides to the businesses’ apparent ‘reliance’ on it in terms of earning a band or artist more widespread attention?
PM: I am a frequent user of all mainstream social media. I think social media is great, because I’ve been able to connect with many fans around the world. Without social media, it would be a lot more difficult to do so and reach people around the globe.
TITL: Finally, then – music, unlike several other things and industries, has stood the test of time. Why do you think that is and personally, where do you see the industry going in future? What messages would you like to see the industry give out to the world, in terms of not just music, but more global inclusion and connectivity?
PM: Music, like all art, should be timeless. Sure, there are songs that follow trends, but then you have others that can truly stand the test of time. Music is all about emotion. We, as people, have different stories and pasts, but we all share the same feelings of emotion. That’s the beauty of music: reliability. Music can heal and inspire someone to change. It can and does instill confidence in a person, and bring out the passion they have stored within. I think in the future, music will continue to add sounds and ad libs that are borrowed from other cultures, and I think music will continue to be ‘real’ with the lyrics written and the delivery of the recordings. Thanks for the fun chat!