The Unique Sound of Parker Polhill

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Born and raised in Atlanta, Parker is beginning to make his mark with his beautiful falsetto vocals combined with music videos which have helped him break through the crowded musical landscape with a unique soulful style of his own.

He has organically received an overwhelming international response, which led to a headlining national tour and over 10 million YouTube views. You can watch the official video for his recent single “Wasted”  here: https://youtu.be/U1J_qzr0Id8. Within Parker’s extremely busy schedule, we got the chance to have a chat and catch up.

Who is Parker, tell me a bit about yourself and where your passion for music started from?

I’m a 22-year-old kid from the ‘Nawf’ side of Atlanta, Georgia. My passion for music began when I was eight years old when my uncle (Uncle Ash) introduced me to creating music. He was in a band and had a small recording set up in his basement so I would go over to his house as much as I could to write songs with him. I loved it! I got away from music when high school started because all of my time went into sports. I actually went to college and played football for a year. After my first year of college football, I was looking to transfer to play somewhere else and before I made it to another school, my Uncle Ash had a heart attack and died at the young age of 53. I didn’t take the news very well. In my pain, I started playing the piano again. Just like that, my love for creating music was back. That’s when I decided I wanted a career in music. Now, three years later, I am about to release my first project and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Uncle Ash would be proud.

Describe your music style.

My music is mainstream pop with some R&B and EDM influences.  The acoustic guitar and piano are go-to’s when it comes to instrumentation in pretty much all of my songs.

Where do you get your inspiration from and who are your favourite artists?

This is one of those questions I get on a regular basis that is IMPOSSIBLE to answer!  I listen to so many different types of music, I couldn’t tell you my one favorite. I listen to everything from Drake to Brett Young to Michael Bublé to Justin Timberlake.  Depending on my mood, the music I listen to is all over the place. When it comes to where I get my inspiration for my music, it’s from my own life. In my opinion, the best music out there is the music that’s made when artists/writers are brutally honest with themselves. When I write, I write about things I believe and that I’m going through. If you’re honest, listeners can feel that energy.

How do you relax and what do you do in your spare time?

Music! I make/listen to music about 90% of the time. Outside of music, I love everything involving sports.  I can watch or play any of them and I have a great time doing it. I recently began training for an IronMan Triathlon, which is exciting. I have a Half IronMan Triathlon at the end of October this year. I’m just doing that one to train for the full IronMan though. My goal is to finish a full IronMan Triathlon before releasing my debut album. So I’m looking at dates in January and February to accomplish that goal!

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You are seen as a young role model for many, what advice would you give to the young generation that also would like to start off in the music industry?

Be patient and fall in love with the process. The journey is what you will remember and be talking about for the rest of your life. On your off day, remember the harder the journey, the better it will feel when you succeed.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on my first album!  I recently finished working on my debut EP that will be coming out mid-July of this year! I couldn’t be any happier with the music I am making right now. It is a very intentional planned-out piece of work that I’m excited to share with the world.

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What are your plans for the future and what more can we expect from Parker Polhill?

You can expect more music! This EP is just the beginning. My album is going to make a wave in the music world and will be coming out in 2019!

Article by Fykaa Caan

Lifestyle and Current Affairs Editor.

 

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‘See You Soon’ Single Mom Jenia Tanaeva Writes/Stars/Produces Film with Academy Award Winner

Jenia Tanaeva’s journey has become an inspiration for a beautiful heart-warming love story. “See You Soon” written by herself. It evolved through a chance meeting with a Warner Brothers exec that led to a subsequent meeting with the former Disney CEO Michael Eisner. He loved her script and gave her notes to turn it into a movie script. Her very own modern-day love story film about an unlikely romance between two people, who against all odds give true love a chance. Starring Academy Award Winning Actor Harvey Keitel, Poppy Drayton (Downton Abbey, LITTLE MERMAID), Liam McIntyre (Starz’ Spartacus). It truly is a great story which I tried to emphasise in this interview and we’ll get the chance to watch it on the big screen very soon.

Please tell us a little bit about where you are from and what life was like growing up?

I was born in my favorite city – Saint Petersburg, Russia. My early childhood was during communism, then that regime was taken down when I was still little. Early 90’s was a very tough time. My family lived in a small, tiny 3 room apartment in the suburbs of Saint Petersburg. There were 7 of us – my grandparents, my parents, my elder sister, my cat and I. I barely saw my mom and my dad – they were at work most of the time. Although my family always had money for food, the problem was to buy food. There was barely anything in stores. My grandmother used to spend her days standing in lines to the stores hoping that a truck with food will arrive and she’d be able to buy something. Sometimes she’d stand in one line and put me in another one.  I was also doing rhythmic gymnastics on a competitive level – 4 hours a day, 6 days a week. Most of the time I was busy and tired.. But overall I had a pretty happy childhood. I always had food, some clothes and loving and caring family, which is the most important thing for any child. On the bright side it was very safe – all the kids from the buildings nearby used to play together outside- it was lots of fun.

What kind of person did those experiences in Russia and your early years help you to become?

I learned what pressure is and I can take it, I have to say. Growing up in Russia during those times was a kind of experience you don’t enjoy while it’s happening but then, looking back, you feel really thankful you had it and understand how much it gave you. I have definitely become stronger, more determined. But in the meantime I always recognize and truly appreciate kindness, empathy, warmth, real friendship, help and care; I never take those things for granted.

As a single mother in Russia, you moved with your 2 daughters to Los Angeles How was that experience for you?

It was a real adventure that, who knows, might become a movie one day. 🙂

I was in my twenties and my daughters were 3 and 5 years old. I wanted a better life for them, I had my own dream and  I was determined to explore every option to achieve it. I met a lot of new people, some of those meetings were really fascinating to me. I remember meeting Arnon Milchan for the first time – the producer of “Pretty Woman” – one of my favorite movies ever (that I probably watched at least 50 times). I had so many questions for him and he was patiently answering them with a smile.. I just couldn’t believe that I got to hear the story of making this Hollywood movie from its creator, the movie I was watching over and over again while living in a tiny apartment in the suburbs of Saint Petersburg. It was very inspirational and reassured me that I was on the right path! Meetings like that helped me get through tough times and keep my hopes high when I was getting an endless amount of rejections. And, of course, the unconditional love I was getting from my daughters gave me a lot of strength..

At what point did you start writing the book and what was your motivation and vision?

I was really moved after watching  “An affair to remember”, in particular how 2 people inspired by the beautiful feeling for each other become motivated to change their lives for better, to become better, more complete, how they become willing to overcome so many obstacles in order to keep the promises they’ve given to each other. 

“See You Soon” is  a Cinderella story where Cinderella is a single mom. We read fairy tales to our kids so they believe in good, in love, in stories with a happy end. And I think that big girls- single moms, divorced women need that fairy tale maybe even more than little girls do. I wanted to create a heartfelt love story to give a hope and maybe motivation to those women who are out there on there own, raising their children, or maybe being stuck in a dysfunctional relationship. I hope that “See you soon” will motivate them to take that first step towards new life, new opportunities, to believe in themselves and be brave enough to start changing their lives.

I’m a single mom. I’ve been there and I want to inspire others and remind them that true love and happiness exist!

How did you deal with the knock backs in the beginning when you were trying to pitch the story?

First it was not just hard, but really painful. When you have your idea, the story you love so much, believe it’s got great potential and you hear something like “it’s nothing special and I don’t think it’s ever going to get made… ” it’s not easy to take it and move on especially after 10,20,30 NOs, but then at some point I decided that when I hear something like that the only thing I’m going to think is that my project is not for this person Nothing else. It doesn’t mean it’s not good, or I’m not talented, it just means that I have to find someone else to help me make it. I think it’s the right way to take rejections. But I had to learn it with experience.

At last, success!!! How did you feel when you were told it will become a film and who your co-stars will be? 

Shock, disbelief, tears, lots of jumping and screaming, thanking God… and then I realized that it’s not a victory yet,  the real work was only about to begin.

What was it like to work on ‘your’ film?

I’ve imagined it thousands times, I pictured in my head how it would be for years… so for me, to see it with my eyes was watching a miracle happening. I felt so thankful to every single person involved for being with me on this, for investing their energy into making my dream come true. It was extremely exciting, inspiring, I was getting a real confirmation from the Universe that everything is possible.

Your life is an unbelievable real Hollywood fairy-tale about your journey from Russia to the US- what advice would you give to other single mothers or others that have the same dreams and ambitions?

Believe in your dream. Believe in yourself. Please know that it’s absolutely possible! And take an action! “In order to get something you never had before you have to DO something you’ve never done before” it’s very important to understand it and not to be afraid of failure. Just start doing whatever you can for making your dream into reality. Do something every day. Even a tiny step, a little thing. Remember that doubts and fears killed more dreams than failure ever could. Don’t let that happen to your dream. 

As Jenia lives the ‘American Dream’ what are her plans for the future?

I can’t wait for the movie to be released! I’m very excited to participate in other projects,  to explore new possibilities. I have a few ideas cooking… But right now I focus on completing ‘See You Soon’ and making it the best I can for the world to see it.

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By Fykaa Caan

Hollywood London Magazine Current Affairs and Lifestyle Editor