Mel Parsons Interview

She's got a smile that will stop you in your tracks and a voice to match. Singer-songwriter Mel Parsons has spent the last ten years on and off the Kiwi dirt track taking her beautiful tunes to the masses and making a difference along the way.


What’s rockin’ in the world of Mel Parsons for 2012?

This year seems to have disappeared into a suitcase! I have just finished a 45 date NZ Tour of woolsheds with a theatre/comedy act called 'The Bitches' Box'. So I'm looking forward to some time writing for the new record over the next couple of months. A few shows over summer and then off to OZ late in the summer for some shows & festivals over there. Always looking forward to the next mission – I will keep you posted! 


How have current business trends and technologies influenced your creative model?

To be honest I don't have a lot of experience with past business trends – but I can see that our industry has been a rapidly changing beast over the past 10 or so years. I think in terms of technology, the fact that almost everything can be accessed online levels the playing field for independents to a certain extent. Via web based media it is much easier to get your material and profile out into the public domain. This accessibility though only goes so far in terms of building a loyal fan-base and growing audience – for me it still quite grassroots, which means that touring remains a key part of the equation. 


What place does generosity have in the world of music?

Hopefully generosity has it's place across all industries and 'worlds' , so quite difficult to pin down it's 'place' specifically to the world of music. I think generosity is manifested in all different forms – not necessarily to be measured via financial contributions. For example many people who work as creatives in our industry may not have funds spare to donate, but are certainly generous with their time and knowledge.


Which artist, musician or creative do you think has created the biggest positive social change in this world?

I think that most artists contribute in some small way to positive social change. At a base level by bringing enjoyment, or relaxation, or inspiration to even one other person I like to think that this has the potential to have a positive a knock-on effect. In terms of the big stuff, it would be hard not to mention Bob Geldof and Live Aid, and artists like Bono and Sting who have used their celebrity to bring about social change and increased awareness.


If you could imagine the world the way you want future generations of children to inherit it – what would it look like?

Phew. Ideally it would be all sunshine and lollypops where everyone loved everyone and nothing was endangered… In reality, if we could find a better balance between development and the way we are treating the environment I think that would be a positive starting point. I would like those generations to still have wild places to explore, and enough trees to enable everyone to live a healthy life. 


Who would be in your ultimate super group and why?

Stewart Copeland, John Paul Jones, Mark Knopfler, Tori Amos and Ray la Montagne. Because I think they are all brilliant. There would be fights over who would sing, but I'm sure they would be able to work something out. 


Can you tell us three things that inspire you and why?

Seeing a good live band; Eric Clapton's autobiography; Being outside. Because they all remind me that there are endless possibilities. 

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