Parisa - 10 Questions Music Interview
Parisa is a singer, songwriter and actress from North London. She entered the performing arts, starring in community productions, at the tender age of 5. By the age of 18, she was training professionally in acting, singing and musical theatre at London's Musical Theatre Academy. As an actress, she’s worked on original contemporary musicals such as the UK tour of recording artist, Sting’s, The Last Ship and We Live In Cairo, a piece about the 2009 Egyptian Revolution that debuted at the American Repertory Theatre in Boston. After releasing two debut solo singles in 2019, Parisa returns with a new project, Working From Home - a collection of 29 songs written and recorded on her bedroom floor in February 2020.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
I'd written bits and bobs when I was younger, nothing particularly revolutionary, but the creativity was there. I started pursuing songwriting more seriously when I was 22. The classic 'hurt my heart, fuel my art' story! I'd just gone through a break up and a friend of mine sent me a poem she'd written a few years back after going through something similar. I was jamming with my guitar when she sent me the email through with the poem and as soon as I read it, I just started singing and put the words to music. It was kinda magical. After that, I looked up some writing seminars and camps in London and started honing my craft. Now 4 years later, I'm still writing and am so grateful for the experiences in my life that have led me here as I really feel like this is what I'm meant to be doing!
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Hmm, I don't know if this counts as 'crazy,' but the story behind my new release is a quite unique! (Some have also called it crazy to be fair!) This year in February, I set myself the challenge of creating an original song everyday for 29 days and posting them on my Instagram TV. At the end of the month I decided to release them as a 29 track project - a collection of songs spanning a variety of genres and styles with a real focus on the songwriting. And that is how my debut album, Working From Home, was born! My producer and I also managed to record all 29 lead vocals for the album in 2 days… that was pretty crazy actually!!
What has been the high point of your music path?
Honestly, I think I’m in it right now. This project, Working From Home, has been a truly amazing journey for me. From writing the songs in February to getting into the studio and recording them in March and now realizing it as a finished project in April; it truly has been one of the most creatively freeing experiences of my life. It’s a really honest and authentic portrayal of me and my songwriting and when I sit and think about it - I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve managed to achieve in 3 months.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I like to use things like poetry books etc to give me bits of inspiration and once I have an idea of the topic or theme of the song, I'll just start jamming things out and see what happens. I find, the more chilled I am about the process, the better results I get. The more I stress and worry about the song coming, the harder it is to find a good flow. So when I get stuck or hit a block, I'll go and make a cup of tea or step away for a second, that usually makes space for the good ideas to come in!
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
I think the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today is the competition, from both Mainstream Artists and other Indie Artists. It's not as easy to 'make it' or 'stand out' as it used to be because there are a lot more people doing it. But I also think this is a bit of a blessing too because 1. it means there's a lot of great music being made, but 2. it encourages us to think outside of the box as to how we can make ourselves unique to all the others out there!
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
Ooh, this is a tough one as I have quite a few favorite artists, but I’d probably say Tayla Parx; she is somebody who I aspire to be like in the music industry. She is an incredibly successful songwriter and has credits on many mainstream records, but is also an artist in her own right. I managed to catch a gig of her’s in London back in March and it was mind-blowing! The gig was intimate but her energy was infectious and her vocals are nothing short of FLAWLESS!
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
Practice practice practice! I make sure I warm up vocally and have had lots of sleep and lots of water. I also try to meditate or do some breathing exercises to chill me out. I find gigs always go much better when I’m in a relaxed state of mind and don’t take myself too seriously.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
Writing 29 songs in 29 days was definitely a challenge in itself; some days the songs were effortless and others I really had to struggle through it. One song from WFH which springs to mind is 'What Do You Think?' which I wrote on February 5th. Because I was posting these songs on my Instagram everyday, there was a part of me (my ego) which would taunt me with thoughts like ‘What if this song isn’t as good as yesterdays?’ or ‘What if it doesn’t get as many likes?’ or ‘What if nobody thinks it's any good?’ etc etc.
I was struggling to write Song 5 because I was too busy comparing it to Song 4 and worrying about external factors which were way out of my control. Maybe people would like it, maybe people wouldn't, but that was out of my hands. In the end I decided to use these things that I was feeling to fuel the song and so 'What Do You Think?' came to be.
The song is about trying to measure up, wanting to be liked and validated by others and the exposing feelings that come from putting yourself out there. You can see these themes clearly in the chorus of the song... “Wish I wasn’t craving your worship, Wish I didn’t shake under the surface, Popularity seems like a safe space, S’why I keep refreshing my homepage, Say you like it, say you like it, say you like.”
What's coming up in the future?
Well I've just dropped my album so I’ll have lots of content for that coming out in the following weeks. I also have some new singles up my sleeve to be released over the next few months (watch this space!) and whilst we're all still in quarantine, the plan is to just keep creating!
Tell us where fans can access your music?
The debut album, Working From Home, is available now on all major streaming platforms! You can also follow me on Instagram @itsparisamusic for more original songs, music videos, and updates on new releases and future gigs!
Listen on Spotify