Interview With Max Parker & New Music Video “Try”
Canadian pop singer-songwriter Max Parker has just released his heartfelt new single, “Try,” a track meant to inspire listeners to push forward at all costs and we had the chance to ask him a few questions about the track, technology, Toronto, 2022 and more!
“Try” is about keeping your hope alive,” he says. “It’s tougher somedays than others to see an end to the means, but you have to committo putting in your best efforts, whether it’s for yourself or someone else.”
Recorded and co-written with producer Jonathan Nathaniel (One Republic, Ria Mae), the song took shape via a couple of Zooms together, constructed from the ground up with the primary melody based on an acoustic guitar riff Max brought into the session.
“We wanted the song to have a fun and airy vibe while reinforcing the message behind it,” says Max.
The 20-year-old Toronto-based Parker was initially catapulted into the national spotlight in 2018 with his song “Out of the Blue”, followed by his 2020 release “Something About You”, which garnered over a half-million global streams. Subsequent releases, including “Out of Love”, and “Right Back Where We Started” also saw significant streaming success, contributing to his momentum as a breakthrough artist. He now boasts over 1.5 million streams and has reached an audience of more than 30 million on TikTok. At a time when uncertainty dominates the day-to-day lives of so many, Max sees “Try” as the lighthouse in the turbulent waters of the world.
“I wanted ‘Try’ to represent something optimistic and reassuring. It’s alright to not have all the answers; just don’t stop moving forward.”
Click below to watch Try and to read our interview with Max Parker!
We’re one month into 2022, how’s the new year treating you so far?
It’s treating me well! My Instagram account got hacked five days into the New Year but I pushed through, got my IG restored, and I am happy to be putting out some content on social media for the fans. I love making them smile. Oh, I also finally got my G2 Young Drivers Canada course work completed and look out, I’m gonna be behind the wheel very soon! Haha! Other than that, gotta love the Canadian winter snow…went snowshoeing for the first time and it surprisingly the coolest thing after that wicked storm we had that locked down the city. Snowshoes work in deep snow!
You’re starting off 2022 with a new single “Try” can you tell us about the new song and what inspired it?
Yep, sure thing: “Try” is a message of faith, hope, and never giving up on love. I feel that having a sense of hope even in times of deep negativity is extremely important, especially through this lingering pandemic. It’s also a love story about relationship and how we give and receive, and to make things work. The song is an anthem for love, with melodic crescendos and some pretty cool adlibs…I hope listeners love not only the lyrics but also the airy vibe and movement of the song.
The song was constructed over zoom, a common theme in 2021. How do you feel about the way that technology has changed the music industry over the course of the pandemic?
Technology has advanced so much in the past few years, although I believe video calling applications like Zoom have really adapted and have expanded their capabilities when this pandemic initially hit. I wrote “Try” with John Nathaniel (OneRepublic, Kygo, Ria Mae) virtually and learned a ton from the process. I even started to pick up a lot of different production elements on my own and have now been creating my own demos at home. It makes me wonder if this would even have happened if I wasn’t forced to write and create the production alongside my producer virtually. In the end, for me, it’s been a useful tool to dive deeper into the tech side of things, for my own musicality, my own knowledge of production, and I believe that’s been a positive thing about the pandemic for me. I even felt comfortable taking a couple of production courses (virtually) at the Berklee College of Music.
What inspired the music video?
I always had the vision of being in a sleek suit for this one because the sound was polished and mature, and lucky for me, I have a partnership with HUGO (Hugo Boss) and so I was completely outfitted and styled. My videographer Matt Barnett really brought it to life and had his own ideas on backdrop, colour, image, and that planted the seed on movement and rotation. We used a swivel that I stood on and round and round I went, haha…but the effect was pretty sick! The video created was a mature side of myself, slick, and movement filled, while in one place at the same time.
What’s your favourite memory from creating the music video?
My favourite memory had to have been standing on this swivel stool that pretty much spun me around for Matt to get shots of me in 360 degrees. The whole crew was surprised that I didn’t get sick after spinning the whole day! I was also treated like a rock star with a crew for hair, makeup, stylist, film… I was very grateful to have the best team working with me. That doesn’t happen every day and the kindness and how special everyone made me feel was something I will never forget.
You have an audience of over 3 million followers on Tik Tok. How did you do it and do you think every artist should be jumping on Tik Tok if they haven’t already?
My audience of over 3 million mostly comes from the videos I make, alongside all the dancing videos that other creators make to my sounds. This is something that has been extremely heartwarming, and it allows me to realize that I can reach so many people with my music around this entire globe. For marketing your music and getting it out there to the masses, yes, I do think artists should be hopping on TikTok. It is the number one way to showcase your artistry right now, since there are still limited live performances due to the pandemic. I will say it is tiring,
and the reality is that there will be days when I’m so fatigued, but consistency is key, and always remember to smile and have fun, as that not only motivates followers to stay the course with you, but it also helps the artist to feel good about sharing their music to the world in this format. You have to really get used to ‘playing to a crowd of hundreds’ when also performing Tik Tok live but understanding that you cannot see those hundreds of faces. But when you see those numbers flipping through, and staying…those minutes or an hour that that lasts, you realize that people all over the world are sharing the same virtual live space to hear you speak and sing and play music… it is pretty fascinating.
Let’s talk about your first big hit, Out of The Blue. What was it like to see one of your songs become so successful for the first time?
I had initially put “Out of the Blue” into a Canadian music contest called “CBC Searchlight.” I didn’t think anything much of how well my song would do when I uploaded it, but it had gained a lot of recognition, being named Top 12 Standout, out of thousands of songs across the country. This definitely was an eye opener for me as this was the very first song that I had released, so I took it as a sign to keep moving my music career forward. I’m happy I did!
What do you think the Toronto music scene is going to look like once the pandemic ends and everything is open again?
We are going to party like it’s the new world! I feel that Toronto will be buzzing with absolute excitement. Whew, I cannot wait for that day to come. I get to see all my musician friends again, hang for in-person sessions, go watch live shows, and PLAY shows which I’m most excited for! There will be a huge surge on the live side of music. I also predict there will be a surge of new musicians on the scene…I hope I’m one of them, that will take Canada by story…we are itching to get out there! I feel that fans are also extremely eager to go see their favourite artists now that it’s been more than 2 years of this pandemic, so it’s definitely going to be a good craze.
What is the biggest lesson you learned in 2021?
The biggest lesson I learned in 2021 was probably to commit to what you truly want. In the early months of 2021, I had an impulse idea to film an outdoor music video for Good Time, utilizing my partnership with HUGO BOSS. I ended up landing YouTube’s Artist to Watch, iHeartRadio’s Future Star, Stingray’s Trending Track, and had Good Time all over the radio in Canada, reaching top 10 and also on Billboard and Shazam charts. I feel that anyone can achieve what they want when they put their mind to it! Go with your gut and intuition is something I’m paying attention to.
What are your plans for 2022?
My plans for 2022 are to just smile and have loads of fun. Music is my passion, and I want to lead with that this year, especially with my content. I’m utilizing my theatre and performance studies from high school and university to make videos and skits about my songs. I want to make my fans smile and enjoy the videos I’m putting out for them. With that said, follow me on TikTok and Instagram @maxparkerofficial !
Do you have any last words for our readers?
Thank you so much for reading a little bit about me. Feel free to follow me on all my socials, and make sure to give my new single “Try” a listen and watch the new music video!