ARTIST NAME: Russ Parrish
SONG TITLE: Weary Hearted Man
ALBUM TITLE: Finding the Light
RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2018
Go into detail on why you decided to choose music as a career.
Music expresses what words often can’t. But I also believe words coupled with music can be the most powerful tool in the world. It makes us move in ways we wouldn’t in silence, it makes us say things we would otherwise keep quiet, and it makes us go out and make a difference in the world. That’s what I want my music to do in others.
I want to inspire and make people feel something just for a moment. Forget the world around you, and enjoy the time we have together in the present moment. I want to bring hope and joy even if it’s just a moment.
Brief us the feedback you are getting from fans on your music.
From my gigs, fans really love the upbeat, exciting, community feel that comes with my music.
I write songs for everyone to sing along, and that’s what happens.
At my gigs, you’ll find people singing my songs even though it’s the first time they’ve ever heard it!
I find ways to engage and interact, and I want people leaving to remember the night for the rest of their lives.
Discuss the relevance of social networking to music.
It’s been the greatest invention since sliced ham. I’ve been able to interact one on one with other fans and artists in the area.
Some of the coolest collaborations have actually come out of conversations that started on Instagram or Facebook.
Tell us how you record your song.
I have a home studio. When I recorded “Finding the Light”, it was all done in my basement.
I invited my drummer, Topher King, over for a week and we just wrote, recorded, and produced the album.
We were intentional, focused, and driven to get the album done in that short week.
We’re happy with the product that came out of it.
Lately, I’ve just been tracking everything at home and then sending it out somewhere else to get mixed and mastered. I think it was fun to do the whole project between us, but we learned it was a lot of work for two people…
Tell us the story behind the song.
Weary Hearted Man came out of a moment I was struggling in my job.
There was a lot of hardship and uncertainty about what was happening in my career.
I focus a lot on the struggle between faith and doubt. I never know what’s next, and I hate not having control of my life.
Weary Hearted Man really focuses on the uncomfortable feeling of not knowing what’s next, but not being happy where I am.
There’s upbeatness to it that comes with the hope of whatever is next will keep me going.
One of my favorite lines is the chorus where it says, “So as I wander, oh I still wonder will I ever find where I belong”. That’s essentially the journey I face.
State your musical skills.
If it’s got strings on it I can probably figure something out. My main instrument would be my vocals, but I love learning new instruments!
Lately, I’ve found myself working more as a producer and arranger.
I’ve been working with loops and new sounds through my DAW.
Tell us how long it takes to complete a song from the start.
It really varies. Some of my most popular songs, like Weary Hearted Man, I finished in about 10 minutes… But the ones I feel are some of my deepest ones took months to finally feel done. You’ll hear some of those in the next year hopefully!
Go into detail on how you develop your lyrics and melody.
I am stronger at finding melodies than I am at lyrics.
My songs start with a chord progression and melody most of the time.
The lyrics either come with the melody or added as the song gets developed.
Lately, I’ve been trying to use song mapping which helps develop the song before you even start!
Marty Dodson has a book called Song Mapping I highly recommend reading if you are a songwriter!
Discuss music in full detail.
Wow, that’s a big question… music is life. It carries me in the hard times and helps me soar in the good.
It’s the vessel to carry a message I believe needs to be heard.
It unlocks a presence unique to it.
It touches the soul that goes beyond the heart.
State your five favorite genres of music.
Pop – I love the simplicity and singability. I’m inspired by pop because it works wonders to engage people.
Singer/Songwriter – There’s always a story to tell. I feel singer/songwriters have a deep raw emotion that can get lost in other genres. It becomes more about the lyrics, and I like that.
Rock – The emotion and elation that comes with this music are so exciting.
Alternative – There’s always something new in this category. I like being inspired by new sounds or ideas.
Christian – I know this is an open genre, but the themes of hope and joy are inspirational to my music writing.
Discuss your rehearsal.
I’ll typically spend an hour daily writing, rehearsing, or recording music. This is necessary because I want to perform my music without even thinking about it.
I want to think about the audience and the atmosphere of the scene. I care more about the people and how they’re feeling about the night than I do about if I play the right notes. So the more I practice, the less I have to think about hitting the right notes.
State your favorite musical instruments.
Describe the chemistry between you and your fans during a live performance.
We have to be engaged! I have written a few songs that are call and response because I am big on engagement. If they aren’t responding, I kind of force the response with those songs… ha.
To me, my gigs are all about the people. Without my fans, I wouldn’t be doing music.
Discuss your personality in full detail.
I’m a bit crazy… Several gigs I’ve jumped on tables, gone unplugged, and sang my heart out.
So unpredictable could be a good word to describe me. I love people. When a group gets together, and music is present… it’s going to be a fun time! Oh! I also rock climb. I like the challenge.
Discuss your music career.
Didn’t really start writing till 3 years ago… From there I’ve won the 2017 Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest, 2018 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, Honorable Mention in American Songwriter Magazine, and several more awards.
It’s been a big inspiration to keep pursuing my musical career. For about a year I wrestled with whether or not I wanted to keep writing and performing. I just felt like I was playing, saying, and doing the same thing. But something changed in me one year that helped build the interactions with everyone I met, and from then on I’ve loved every moment I’m on stage.
My wife has been the biggest supporter of my career. I couldn’t do this without how much she has continued support and encourage me to keep doing what I’m doing. I owe it all to her.
List your musical work.
Finding the Light – EP
Weary Hearted Man
Washed By the Water
I Am Yours
Finding the Light
The Answer – Single
Share your memorable experiences with us.
Two of the biggest memorable experiences I’ve had so far were winning the Minnesota State Amateur Talent Contest, then coming back the next year and playing 2 original songs with the orchestra on the grandstand – Such unreal moments.
Share your press release and reviews with us.
State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
Russ Parrish… uh… it’s my name.
State the title of the song and the meaning.
Weary Hearted Man – I may never be comfortable where I am, but I know one thing for sure… I’ll always be a weary-hearted man.
State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.
Finding the Light – The entirety of the album is about finding hope and joy. There are moments of doubt, confusion, hurt, and pain, but I believe hope and joy can be found in light of any circumstance.