Country music is full of talented artists that are on the brink of breaking through to the mainstream scene. Singer-songwriter and our Swag Spotlight this week, Drew Parker is one of the talented writers behind hits for superstar Luke Combs and Jake Owen, but 2020 has been all about establishing himself as his own artist.
Growing up in Covington, Georgia, Parker found music in church at the age of six. That early love of music created a desire in him to sing even more. “Around the age of 12, I wanted to do more with it,” he shared, talking about emulating the gospel choirs in his church, “I kind of asked my parents how do I do what they do and travel around and sing at different churches.” With his parents support, the singer sang at different churches throughout his adolescence.
Parker’s love of music continued to evolve as he got older. He decided that he really wanted to start singing country music, a genre he grew up on. “I had always been a fan of country music, I mean that’s all I listened to growing up was country music, but around the age of eighteen was when I stared wanting to sing country music myself.” Raised on 90s country music like Keith Whitley, Brooks & Dunn, Travis Tritt, and Alan Jackson, Parker always found himself drawn to great singers and strong voices.
With a desire to sing in his heart, the entertainer started out a local pizza place. After singing at an open mic night, the owner asked him to come back and put together a full show for the audience. “I hired a guitar player and we learned three hours of country cover songs’ and that’s kind of where it all started for me,” he reminisced.
After taking a slight detour, heading off to college to follow a more “typical” track , Parker realized his heart was still in country music. “When I turned about 21, I realized ‘hey man, if you don’t pack up your stuff and move you’re not going to,’” he explained, “And I didn’t want to wake up in 30 years and ask myself what if I had done this.” This propelled the newcomer to find a job at a hospital at night and make the big move to Nashville.
Upon moving to music city, Parker’s goal was to be a singer, but he soon realized that song-writing was also a part of the fabric of his soul. “Songwriting wasn’t a gift I realized that I had until I had already moved to Nashville,” he shared, “I kind of found it once I got here. And to this day, I’m still learning and building on that craft and learning more about it each and every day.”
Parker now has been a Nashville resident for five years, and it is safe to say that his talent for singing and songwriting has not gone unnoticed. “It’s been awesome,” he exclaimed when asked about his journey so far, “When I write songs, I never go in with the intention of trying to write for myself or a specific artist, I just go in writing the best song I can write, whatever that may be.”
Clearly many of those songs have resonated with other artists, but Parker’s recently released debut EP While You’re Gone features the songs that have resonated the most with him. “It’s just a group of songs that I have been sitting on a while,” he began, “They were songs that never got old to me. They were songs that I always wanted to listen to. They stood the test of time from when I wrote them to when we went in to record them.” He later added that if he felt this way about his own music that hopefully fans would too.
Parker’s lead single from the EP, the title track, “When You’re Gone,” is just one of the several songs that speaks volumes to his talent as a vocalist and as a songwriter. Written with fellow singer-songwriter Jameson Rodgers, the single pays homage to the 90s country music that the two grew up on, reminding us all of the great story-telling in the genre. “I think that day, we both talked about, let’s write something to kind of tip our hats to our folks back in the 90s and those songs. Let’s write a story song,” Parker declared.
Fans can expect more music coming down the pipeline from Parker soon. He continues to hone his craft and wants to deliver content as quick as he can to his growing audience. Of course, when shows come back, the singer-songwriter will also get back on the road with Luke Combs. The future is looking bright for the rising artist!
Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Drew Parker releases.
While You’re Gone EP is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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