Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Parris Mitchell

Photo courtesy of Parris Mitchell website.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Known prior as the frontman/writer for touring rock band SCR, who’ve opened for such acts as Gavin DeGraw, Switchfoot, Collective Soul, Andy Grammar, the COVID-19 pandemic all but halted Parris Mitchell’s touring plans, which gave him the idea to focus on a solo venture.

Since the New York-based singer-songwriter has written pop music for years now and was genuinely excited to fuel a different side of his creativity, the result of his hard work has come to fruition with the release of his first solo track, “specifically u.”

Influenced by Panic! At The Disco, Charlie Puth and LANY, his music blends passionate vocals with pop melodies with a dash of indie R&B.

The Music Bugle had the chance to talk to Mitchell about “specifically u” and more.

Music Bugle – What inspired you to write “specifically u”?

Parris Mitchell – There is a common anecdote that I’ve heard a bunch of times when going through a breakup – “You don’t miss them, you miss having someone.” I wanted to write a song in response to that notion. The song begins with yearning for that someone you lost again, then transitions to that typical “F you” phase and then ends on entering the self-reflection phase.   

Music Bugle – What’s your mindset when it comes to your solo work, compared to that of your work with SCR?

Parris Mitchell – I have a similar approach to both projects, but there is definitely a different aspect of freedom with my solo work. There are no checks and balances with it, so the creativity is at whatever bar I want to set it to. It all begins with how I’m feeling that day and I only have to depend on myself.

Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Parris Mitchell – Like so many, it has affected my livelihood and overall sense of structure. Adapting to the reality of not performing has been a difficult pill to swallow. However, it did give me a lot of time to self-reflect and redirect my energy into something productive. It’s given me a lot more time to write and record, which helped to birth this solo venture. Not being able to tour or perform definitely hurts. I’m thankful that I have the support system and opportunities that I do, where I can still share my music with anyone willing to listen.

Music Bugle – How would you describe New York to someone who has never been there before?

Parris Mitchell – It’s both exhilarating and exhausting. Humbling and inspiring. It’s a city of dichotomies. You won’t find a closer collective of magic-meets-challenge.

Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?

Parris Mitchell – I love how easily and instantly people today can share music. Currently, I love Spotify’s Daily Mix playlists made for my music taste. Some of my favorite groups are Marianas Trench, Panic! At The Disco and LANY. Also, my girlfriend makes pretty bomb playlists, so those too occupy a lot of my listening time.

Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for an artist to stand out these days?

Parris Mitchell – It’s really a blessing and curse. Without a doubt, social media makes it easier to connect with fans like never before. However, I do think it makes it harder to stand out. You’re a needle in a haystack and it can be discouraging at times. The best course is to be your most authentic self.

Music Bugle – Away from music, what’s something people might be surprised to know about you?

Parris Mitchell – I have a strong passion for media and arts in general. Graphic art, illustration and video editing are some of the other skills and hobbies I have. I do all my own media when it comes to a project I’m working on. I like to have as much creative freedom in as many rooms as possible.

Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?

Parris Mitchell – “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

Music Bugle – What has been the most productive thing you’ve done while in quarantine?

Parris Mitchell – Funny enough, it’s this project. It’s something I’ve always toyed with. I’m happy to see it finally come to fruition. I’m still hard at work on more music with this project. Being on lockdown leaves no room for excuses. There is more time to try new things and do the work.

Music Bugle – What’s something you wished happened more in the music industry?

Parris Mitchell – I wish people disregarded the numbers game. It’s all about followers and the number of streams and it’s not enough to just have good music that people enjoy. It can feel a bit daunting. Music almost comes last in the digital age when it comes to unknown artists. Only thing to do is not get caught up in your head about it. I try to just focus on what I want to hear and see and hope it resonates as well with other people. 

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