December/January 2023

Fresh Talent: Jason Parker

Fresh Talent: Jason Parker

Jason Parker recorded much of his debut EP ‘How To Be Lonely’ in his bedroom during the 2021 Covid lockdown – and it’s about as well named as any production sharing that same genesis. The EP is a collection of songs that speak to different kinds of loneliness – self-inflicted, ignored and overcome.

Originally from Hawkes Bay, the charismatic Tāmaki Makaurau-based queer pop artist doesn’t like to dwell on the negatives too much though, he’s clearly upbeat at heart, and by the one-minute mark the EP’s title track has turned into a dance floor banger that bops happily along. For that apparent breakthrough, he credits Whangarei producer Alyvn Tan, who helped produce and mix the six tracks.

Parker’s voice is gymnastic in its flexibility and has pure pop along with camp appeal. It’s no surprise that he has had mainstream pop experience in the form of featuring on X-Factor Australia back in 2014, and NZ Popstars in 2021. That appearance saw the now 30-year-old debut the reflective single You Rescued Me, and the positive impetus he got from that TV comp led him to begin work on this collection. Writing music has played a big role in teaching him to live life outside of his own mind.

“Working on ‘How To Be Lonely’ has been the most correct feeling thing I’ve ever done,” he says. “Being able to live dreams that I’d once given up on blows my mind every day. I feel fortunate to be here, but I’ve never worked harder, truthfully. I’ve cried a lot, felt absolutely delusional and had the time of my life creating and releasing this EP.”

Track six is a delicious piece of funky electro-pop by Hybrid Rose, featuring Jason titled Gorgeous. Twee enough to ensure that it’s not to be taken seriously, it also features on Rose’s 2022 album ‘HyperKunt’.

“I want a long-lasting career in the music industry and I can see it, just over the horizon. I’m going to keep dreaming big. Delusion has got me this far, maybe it will get me all the way to the Grammys!”