“Pretty Heart” was certified platinum earlier this year after hitting the top of the charts in late 2020. And in July, Parker released his major-label debut album, Gold Chain Cowboy.
It may seem like Parker’s exploded all of a sudden, but make no mistake: It’s been a long, hard road for the Limestone Kid.
And that’s exactly how he wanted it.
Parker recently sat down to talk with Justin Moore on The Justin Moore Podcast, and he talked about his road from quitting football in high school to becoming the star he is today – admitting that when he first decided that he wanted to make a career out in music business, he was “lazy.”
“The correct term to describe how I was was ‘lazy.’ I was really lazy.
And it took me ’til I was probably 21 or 22 and I started applying the mentality I had as an athlete to my music career and how beneficial that can be to go about your business like a grown man and hustle and get up every day and go earn what you want out of life, whatever you’re trying to do.”
But like so many of us can relate to, it was a swift kick in the ass from his dad that finally convinced Parker to get his shit together:
“I remember one day he called me and he said ‘You’re wanting to win the lottery. You’re literally waiting for someone to walk into an empty bar and discover you. The only you’re gonna get to where you want to go is if you change your mindset and start busting your ass.’
I remember that phone call so well and I think back on it all the time.”
Parker’s dad even offered to help him out when he was first getting started. But he turned it all down because he wanted to do it the hard way and try to make it on his own.
“I was living in south Austin, just bumming around and stoned all the time, and thinking being a songwriter and being broke was cool. And something just clicked one day on the phone with him and I said ‘You know what? Nobody’s gonna do this for me.’
There’s plenty of kids who people tried to buy ’em music careers or this and that. And my dad offered to do a lot of that stuff for me.
I remember he called me one day and said ‘I’ll put your band on salary.’ I didn’t even have a band. He’s like ‘I’ll buy you in-ears, a bus, whatever you need.’
And I just said ‘No one’s ever going to respect me if I roll up to these shows as that kid.’ So I turned every bit of it down. And I think that’s really when he was like ‘Ok, he is serious. He really is going to work for this.’
So that was kind of my harsh reckoning with myself, like ‘I’ll die on that hill. I will do this the hard way.'”
In a time when so many artists are getting famous without having putting in the years and years of hard work, grinding it out in bars and playing shows for tips while traveling the country in a truck or a van, it’s nice to see success for artists who refused to have anything handed to them.
And Parker hasn’t taken the success for granted: He’s still one of the hardest working guys in the business, keeping up a touring schedule that most artists wouldn’t even try to tackle.
I mean hell, it’s the time of year when artists usually begin winding down their touring for the holidays to take a little break. But Parker’s still got at least 11 shows on his schedule between now and the end of the year.
Because he knows that’s the hard work that it takes to get where he wants to be.
And he’s not going to let anybody give him anything that he didn’t earn.
Check out Parker’s entire interview on The Justin Moore Podcast here:
And if you missed it, be sure to check out the latest release from Parker, the special-edition bonus track “Blanco County Rain.”