Whiskey Riff Exclusive Interview: Meet Rising Star, Aaron Parker

Aaron Parker is an artist you should get on your radar, NOW. You can thank me later for that. The young rising star is all sorts of talented and I was thrilled to speak with him about his music, his journey, and even some pet peeves.

Aaron was raised in Southern Alabama where his love for performing and songwriting eventually brought him to Nashville. His descriptive lyrical sensibility and vocal styling caught the ears of Jesse Frasure, VP of A&R at Major Bob Music Inc, who quickly signed him to a publishing deal. Simultaneously, he found a home with the management team at Bob Doyle & Associates.

Not long after moving to Music City, Aaron teamed up with Darin Murphy at CAA. Aaron spent the last year touring with Alabama, Travis Tritt, Trace Adkins, and Loretta Lynn. No big deal, I know.

Aaron’s sound is often described as a young Garth Brooks meets early Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. His music is influenced by 90’s Country lyricism combined with updated arena style guitars and fiddle creating a distinct sound which he’s currently capturing in the studio.

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Here was our conversation…

Who were some of your biggest influences growing up and who do you look up to now in the business?

Garth Brooks, young Tim Mcgraw and Kenny Chesney are probably my biggest influences towards my music and show, but I got started on Alan Jackson. He’s the Alabama boy’s George Strait. I look up to the same guys, but I also love what my peers are doing, stretching the boundaries and trying new things, its always inspiring to see us grow together.

When did you realize you wanted to make music for a living? What pushed you over the edge to say “OK, this is what I am going to do.”

Wow, great question. I had a friend who I went to a community college with in south Alabama and was playing in a cover band at that time; he said I should go to Nashville and I had never thought I could compete at such a level, and I put him off and put him off and eventually he shows up to my house with a u-haul and loads my bed in the back. Then I had to. I think we all need that one person who helps push us over the edge. Out of the comfort zone.

How would you describe your music to someone that may have never heard it before?

Country, although my genre has done a good job of blurring the lines of what that is (which I appreciate). I grew up on the 90s and it’s sentiment still lives in my heart, but I do love some of the new sounds we have culturally being accepted in the genre and being applied in production, so id say my sound is #oldschoolprogressive.

You’ve got a very powerful and traditional country voice – is that something you take great pride in? Something you feel may be missing a bit on country radio?

Thank you, I do, I guess, It’s what I was given.. I DO know that I am very grateful to be able to do this for a living. As far as my vocal style on country radio, I’m so ecstatic that it IS missing, it leaves a large lane for us that I personally think the fans have been missing.

What’s your favorite song to perform live?

I have a song called “Halo on the Headboard” that the ladies always love, so… that one’s my favorite. :)

Off of that, how would you describe an Aaron Parker live show to someone seeing you for the first time?

Country, expect that, but definitely a rock show, you can drink to it, sway with your girl to it, bring your son to it, heck bring grandma to it, it’s young and wild but it hasn’t forgotten where it came from.

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Did you start singing at an early age? What was the journey like to you from Alabama to Nashville?

I started singing in church, my mother played the piano every Sunday and the choir leader got me up to sing, around 4 yrs old I think. It was not something I thought I’d end up doing though, took guitar lessons and quit, was in a rock cover band for 4 years in high school, playing fraternity parties all over the Southeast, the bug bit me late.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When an Airline tries to make me check my guitar under the plane. Fires me up!

Drink of choice?

Tequila

You’re stranded on an island. You can have one album with you. One movie. What are you taking?

The best of the 90s : Country Music

Home Alone 2 :Lost In NewYork

Have you met any artists that left you speechless? Maybe someone you grew up idolizing.

Meeting Randy Owen from ALABAMA was a pretty mind blowing moment, he took my hat off and put it on his head when we took a photo, and all I can remember saying in my head as I shook his hand was “be cool, be cool, be cool.”

Can fans expect new music sometime soon?

Yes actually, very soon.

Fast forward five years from now, where do you see yourself/where do you want to be?

I see me and my band in a bus, headed to another show. We will be playing arenas in five years. The timing is ripe for a change.

Hear ‘Real Fast’ below.