Jess Parker & The Troubled Waters, Melbourne based swamp-blues/ folk sounds that will remind you of travels to the deep Southern lands of America and dusty hazes of India, even if you have never been on the road before. I have seen them play a couple of times and I can see in my mind the beautifully strung together lyrical journey in Jess' voice.
The daughter of Mae Parker, Jess, is taking in the steps of the singer and song writer path with the debut release of her EP, Delta Veins, in December 2016.
It was then at The Old Bar in Fitzroy, where I watched her perform and swayed along to the effortless strums of the guitar. This included a special performance of 'The House of The Rising Sun' (originally performed by The Animals) with her mother, Mae, which was hauntingly touching.
What road of life experiences has contributed towards her lyrical journey, what has changed over time and what were her motivations that drew her here on this singer/ song writer path? Let's find out more about the girl behind the microphone gracefully playing her guitar.
Tell us about the journey you took to get where you are now. What inspired you to pick up the guitar and write songs?
Growing up in quite a musical family it was around me a lot, my brother played guitar so I suppose that was the first time I saw someone play the guitar and really wanted to do it myself. And, it has just always been a massive part of my life and a way that I can express myself, so that is why I have held on to it and I am lucky enough to be performing some of my own stuff now.
You were born in a musical upbringing. What memories or moments contributed to your musical growth?
My mum to this day is a singer so she performs quite often. I remember being very young and hearing her practicing for her gigs in the bathroom, and singing into a hairdryer just sort of getting ready for it. That would have been when I was from the ages 3 and up. My dad is also a lighting guy so head does a lot of big concert events, I also remember attending a lot of concerts when I was younger. It's been a massive part of daily life for me.
It's just a good thing that I enjoy music :P
When you write songs, what fuels the passion in writing and performing them?
All of my songs that I write come from personal experience, so I find it quite easy to channel that emotion and fire because I have experienced it. I think it makes it a lot easier for it to be conveyed when the artist has experienced it for themselves. Whether someone is writing a song or doing a painting, if they have felt that and it is coming from the heart, I think that this sends a really clear message.
Through out the journey of becoming a singer/ songwriter, how much do you think your image and sound have changed? What has changed?
The major thing that has changed in my image and what I write is becoming more myself, becoming more confident and not holding back when I write songs. Because, in the beginning I was not as confident and I wouldn't want to say certain things in songs, I sort of had a bit of an idea of how should sound. I have broken away from that now, which in turn I feel a lot more myself now when I am creating and performing.
Like everything, we need to learn. How did you learn this creativity that is writing songs and playing the guitar? Did it come to you more naturally as time evolved or were there many challenges in learning to be comfortable in performance?
There was defiantly a lot of challenges. I have been singing for myself since a very young age, but I think having a mother who is a performer and someone that I look up too so much, for a lot my adolescent life I was comparing myself with her and the way she holds herself on stage. I had a feeling of insecurity, like that I don't think I could be as good as her for instance. Over time, I have started to believe in my music a little bit more which has made it a lot easier to write whatever I want to write and perform, I am proud of what I am doing now.