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The making of 'How To Be Lonely'

13 November 2022
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Photo: Louis John Hill

Aotearoa pop-star Jason Parker talks his highly anticipated new EP How To Be Lonely, writing Capital P Pop music, and what inspired his new tracks. Interview Hannah Brown

Congratulations on the release of your EP How To Be Lonely! How does it feel to be releasing it to the world? 

Omg thanks so much, it's here! Can you believe it?! It feels absolutely stunning. Updating my C.V to say Popstar as we speak.

How would you describe the EP to others?

Capital P Pop music. It's uplifting, empowering and all sung with a smile which I think you can hear through the audio. How To Be Lonely is catchy and camp; honestly, if you're reading this you should defs go listen.

Tell us about what inspired the songwriting process for the EP?  

Well, How To Be Lonely is all songs about the big three; myself, my exes and my Mum. Lyrically it's about my experiences with loneliness. Sometimes self-inflicted, other times overcome. Each song is a snapshot of my real life. Socially I wanted to push against that. The production and melodies are fun and liberating. Music that makes you want to dance and sing at the top of your lungs.

Tell us about the new single coming alongside the EP, ‘I think About You’? What was some of the inspiration behind the track?

'I Think About You' is the sad boy banger of the EP. It was inspired by an ex-boyfriend who I was really obsessed with. Like OMG I thought he was so hot and cool, I was smitten. When the relationship ended I hurt for a long time, and this song kinda captures that feeling. Messy memories, anger, sadness, self-doubt. I wrote it while I was working as a hairdresser, folding towels and staring out the window thinking about how sad it is to get dumped. It was all very dramatic in my memory. Honestly, it makes me giggle now because we only dated for a month, like four years ago.

You recorded ‘I Think About You’ in Alvyn Tan’s Whangārei studio, tell us about this process? What was it like working together on this project? 

Slay question! I just love Alvyn. The lockdowns kept us apart for a while. When we could see each other again it was super magical. I flew into Auckland, hired a car and drove up in the height of summer, stopping at the beaches along the way; so dreamy. The studio is Alvyn's little baby, I was so excited to be there with him.

We would record vocals and create sounds all day, then at night, we would have drinks, share our fave music and talk trash. Out of all the songs we did for How To Be Lonely, I think we both worked the hardest on this one. I felt really connected to the production in a way that was new for me, and Alvyn was laser focused on nailing my fantasy. I was like, babe, my ex is gonna hear this, it better be good.

Are you excited to perform the new music live? What song are you most looking forward to singing on stage? 

Excited is the understatement of the year. I live for a gig. I love creating a space where everyone can be a bit wild for a minute. Watching all the cuties singing my lyrics and swaying in unison is so special. My favourite song to sing live is 'You Rescued Me'. It's a thank you song I always dedicate to my Mum, Brigitte. She is so supportive and kind, I really owe a lot to her. Having a song for her is my way of giving something small back to such a wonderful woman. So to celebrate the release of the EP I'll be performing at Auckland's newest venue Big Fan on the 30th of November and everyone is welcome. Please come.

What’s next for you musically and otherwise?  

I'm going to keep dreaming big. Delusion has got me this far, maybe it will get me all the way to the Grammys! Next year I hope to take my songs on the road, How To Be Lonely NZ Tour sounds very sexy to me. Musically, I'm writing my follow-up project. It's called Fairy Bread and, can I just say, it's gonna be hot, capital P capital O capital P POP.

To find out more about Jason Parker's live concert in Auckland, click here.

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