Parker Twomey. Photography by Andrew Witcher

Parker Twomey. Photography by Andrew Witcher

When Lake Highlands Advocate sat down with Parker Twomey in 2017, the singer-songwriter, then a high school junior, was already making a name for himself performing at venues like House of Blues, the Kessler and the Winspear Opera House. At the time, Twomey (pronounced “too-mee”) longed to earn his chops with serious artists, producers and fans in the music world. Being an Instagram heartthrob with young female followers wasn’t all he was shooting for. His debut album, All This Life, is expected this year.

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“It’s hard for people to take me seriously,” he says. “I wish I was older. People’s first thought is Justin Bieber, but I’m going for the alt-country, Americana thing. I don’t think people expect that from a 16-year-old.”

Five years have passed, and Twomey has learned the ropes of the music business recording with veteran professionals and performing gigs all over the world. His debut single, “I’d Be Your Man,” dropped April 8 to wide acclaim.

What have you been doing since we spoke last?
Back in 2017, I started working at Modern Electric Sound Recorders under Jeff Saenz, Beau Bedford of The Texas Gentlemen and Jason Burt. I’m thankful they took me under their wing. That experience was priceless, and it helped shape who I am. I spent a few years assistant engineering on sessions and playing keys on records throughout DFW while finishing high school at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts. At that time, I’d wake up in the morning, go to school for seven hours a day, learn my craft, write my songs and then would go straight to the recording studio for eight or nine hours studying, watching, observing, getting inspired. Paul Cauthen was recording at Modern a lot at that time, and we hit it off. He asked me to join his band playing keys and auxiliary guitar in 2019, and I’ve spent the last three years touring the U.S. and Europe with him. It’s been a wild ride, to say the least. Over the pandemic, I recorded my upcoming debut album, All This Life, which I’ll be releasing this year.

What do you love about recording music?
Right now, my favorite part of the recording process is seeing each song take a life of its own. I always go into the studio with a clear vision of how I want my songs to sound. I’ve been meditating on the idea that, perhaps, no one’s vision can ever be executed in the exact way they initially imagine. It’s like everything we create becomes a slightly altered reflection of our ideas. Embracing this in the recording studio has been exciting and freeing for me. There’s always an element of surprise and always something to work toward.

What’s it like to perform live?
Lately, performing has been very spiritual for me. I feel a noticeable shift in consciousness, similar to meditation or prayer, when I’m in front of a crowd, almost like a dissociation from reality and an ascension to a higher plane. I love feeling that connection within myself and sharing it with the crowd.

What is the most challenging thing about recording and performing?
The hardest part has been allowing myself to be satisfied with subtle imperfections. Nothing can ever be perfect and shouldn’t be. I’ve realized the beauty and authenticity of imperfection. Embracing this has been a challenge I think many perfectionists can relate to.

What have you missed out on with your unconventional lifestyle?
College life and having relationships with people my age. Most of the people I’m surrounded by are a decade older than me, and there are some disconnects that come with that age gap, despite my “old-soul” nature, but there are a lot of blessings that come from that as well. I wouldn’t do anything differently if I had a chance to. I feel that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

What do people seem to love most about your music?
A lot of people tell me that I have a really unique voice. It’s funny because I don’t hear my voice in the same way that other people do, but I think that’s a common phenomenon singers experience. Often, I’m compared to Neil Young, Ryan Adams, Townes Van Zandt and Elliott Smith. I am definitely influenced by these artists, but don’t necessarily think I sound like them. The listeners will have to decide for themselves.

How would you describe your music?
My first album All This Life is very folksy with a country flair. Most of my writing is narrative, about love, pain, reflection and self-discovery. It’s a very vulnerable album. It’s essentially my coming-of-age experience. I think All This Life is nostalgic sounding, but it explores new and fresh territories within the genre. I’m excited for the world to hear it.

What’s next for you?
“I’d Be Your Man” was released in April and “Counting Down the Days” will drop on May 26, so check them out. I know I have a wild journey ahead of me going on the road as my own artist, but I know it will be fulfilling and everything I’ve been longing for at this stage in my life because I’ll be following my true purpose. I was lucky to find that at such a young age. I’m so grateful to Paul Cauthen for introducing me to what life is like on the road, for showing me the ropes, and for having me be a part of his band and journey over the last three years. I’m ecstatic to finally immerse myself fully in that lifestyle as my own artist. 2022 is the year.