NewTracks New Artist: Jarna

NewTracks New Artist: Jarna

East Aucklander Jarna Parsons is a soulful singer with a beautiful voice. No wonder she has been roped into a number of collaborations with the likes of Mikey Mayz and bKidd, who both share one thing in common with her – they all work with up-and-coming producer EDY. Her mellow songs take inspiration from pop and RnB roots, something that NZ On Air Music evidently felt would fit in well with the rest of their NewTracks compilation this April.

Where are you from and what instruments do you play?

Jarna Parsons, I’m from Glen Innes in Auckland and I play guitar.

Was any high school or other music training especially important to you?

I didn’t really have musical training but I think I’ve learned a lot through Edy and Sam V vocal and performance-wise, in-studio and on stage.

Any other previous projects might we know you from?

I’ve recently released some music, my own and features including Crush, Stay, Can’t Take This From Me with Bkidd and Freak with Mikey Mayz.

Who else is directly involved with creating your music?

Definitely Edy. He’s always on my back about posting and making sure I’m present in my music and to my supporters. But it’s all out of love, he’s done a lot of help behind the scenes. Edy and I wrote this song together at his studio, and our friend Aaron Strickland sent us a guitar line to vibe off.

How has your songwriting evolved from your beginnings?

It has improved so much. I think before I wasn’t as quick, or really into what I was writing because I was still trying to find my sound and my style. Thanks to Edy I’ve finally found it.

How did you come up with a name for the new song?

It was actually the very first session I had with Edy, and he came up with the chorus. It was so random, I was just writing my verses, laced them down and then Edy goes, “Alright I’ve got the chorus.” He started to sing the word ‘chill’ a bunch of times and that’s how Chill was born.

Aside from this, what’s been your big highlight to date?

Probably working with a lot of different artists, whether it was writing songs for them or featuring on their tracks.

What makes Chill stand out for you as a single?

It would be how simple but effective it is. What I mean is everything is really laid back, not too much going on, but you can still vibe to it. I really love the R&B feel it has and I think that’s what’s missing in a lot of music nowadays.

What’s the story behind Chill?

Chill is about being with someone who’s trying to rush things. You like each other but you’re not taking things too seriously, just trying to have fun with the other person and see where it leads.

What’s your fave moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

My favourite moment would be the opening line, “I know you call me baby”. It catches my attention every time, and I think it’s because if the person you were with came up to you randomly and said that to you, it would catch you off guard.

What would you like listeners to take away from this song?

For everyone out there, relaaxxxx. Don’t sweat on the little things, life is too short to argue about who ate your chocolate, or fighting over who gets to be player #1. Even though this song is about two people in a relationship, I hope it relates to everybody.

How do you generally work out which song would make a good single?

A killer hook and melodies. If your chorus melody is catchy and easy to sing along then you’re set. But personally I feel like if you really vibe to it and resonate with what you’re saying, then that’s what makes a hit.

Who else is in your team?

EDY, Aaron Strickland, and also a big thanks to the DRM team for always backing my projects and setting up the releases. Cee Blu has helped out with a lot of the artwork and lyric videos too. I’d also like to give a shout out to my band members Malachi Samuelu, Imogene Motufoua, Matt Esekia, Nia Vavao, and Lea Anae.

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for? 

I have a lot of features coming up, but I think the project I’m most excited about is with the Y$O collective. There’s four of us Edy, Bkidd, Sam V and myself. We have a few tracks in the bag that we can’t wait to share with y’all.

Can you please name three other local tunes that would fit well on a playlist alongside your song.

Cee BluSimple
Sam V – Ain’t Slowin’ Down (Remix featuring Juwan, Lion Rezz)
Chris Bates – Minute

Have any previous NZOA applications not gained funding or been included on NewTracks? Got any advice for others out there?

I haven’t applied before besides one track I’m waiting for, but I guess the advice I would give is don’t give up. Not every song is going to be a hit, but the main thing is that you’re putting yourself out there and doing something you love. Keep on trying, who knows, that track you might think isn’t all that could be the next big thing.

Was there an NZOA criterion you struggled with, in the application? 

It would probably be the criterion about touring and awards because I’m a fresh artist and don’t have much experience with either one.

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

I actually really enjoy NZ Musician! Not to sound cringey, but reading about other artists’ experiences and learning about their process in making singles is fun to read!

Any last words?

Stream Chill available on all platforms, follow me on Instagram and Facebook and most importantly stay home, stay safe!


New Tracks is a compilation of new music from New Zealand artists which is distributed to broadcast and online platforms on the first of each month. Previously the Kiwi Hit Disc, New Tracks is one of the ways that New Zealand On Air promotes Kiwi music to the industry, radio, streaming services, and media. To apply for New Tracks you must have a completed, airplay-ready song and a promotional plan.

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