Words & Photography

by Chandler Christopher

January 23rd, 2023

Jude Parrish is a 20-year-old artist hailing from his hometown of Austin, TX. He’s currently based in Nashville, TN, where Jude is carving out his own path in the emerging indie and alternative scenes of the American south. 

With a songwriting perspective that reflects his youth, Jude has crafted a sound that’s uniquely his, showing different sides of his 1-of-1 style that pays homage to both his country roots and indie rock peer set. Since releasing a series of singles in 2022 and amassing over 5k monthly listeners, he’s been busy recording his debut EP, set for release in 2023. 

I met up with Jude at Redbud Island on Tuesday, January 3rd to chat about how he got into music, what his goals are going forward, and more about his general life and upbringing. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Jude a bit more and I’m stoked to see where his path takes him in 2023. He’s an extremely dedicated musician who lives and breathes music every day of his life. Check Jude Parrish out on streaming and socials here!

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Question:  So you grew up in Austin… Tell me a little bit about that and how that’s affected your musical journey.

Jude Parrish:  So, I have a godfather here in Austin who’s more like an uncle to me. He is very into the music scene here. From the ages of 6 or 7 years old, he was bringing me around to the arts and music scene which was my first introduction to that stuff. I just sort of grew up thinking every city was like that. It wasn’t until I got out of Austin that I realized how unique the scene here is. 

Question: When did you first get into songwriting?

Jude Parrish:  My dad and I went on a cool road trip and saw all the old southern rock bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Peter Frampton, and Marshall Tucker. We stopped at the Gibson guitar factory and that’s where I bought my first guitar. I was so invested in learning how to play this thing, but every time I tried to play a cover song or something I’d get so pissed because it wouldn’t sound like the song. So I started writing my own chord progressions. It became a sort of personal journalistic outlet. I kept writing and it took a while to show anybody and be vulnerable with it. My first covers were songs by Bob Dylan and Coldplay, among others. 

Question: Tell me a little bit about your family, what kind of impact have they had on you musically and personally?

Jude Parrish:  I’ve got my mom, my dad, and two older sisters. My dad exposed me to some great music growing up. I was forced to listen to him play these old country folk songs out on this eighth-generation farm we have… He’d be playing songs like Puff, the Magic Dragon and it definitely had a big impact on my music taste. My mom is extremely supportive and is one of the most loving people ever. Same goes for my sisters, they’ve supported me and been a great guide as older sisters.

Question:  So I know you’ve spent some time at Belmont University in the music business program, what do you think you’ve learned through that? Has it been valuable? 

Jude Parrish:  I feel like it has been. I’m learning about all the different aspects of music business like getting educated on music law, artists being underpaid, and how to book shows.  I had this one class with my favorite professor and it was called DIY Creative– it was some elective. I had a couple of projects in this class like planning an EP release, doing the expense sheet, planning a mini-tour… And doing it myself. So I’ve definitely gotten some really great skills so far.

Question:  What’s the music scene like in Nashville? Do you feel like it’s easy to get gigs?

Jude Parrish:  Nashville is an interesting place, you can always get on solo shows which is nice. As a band trying to get a gig, it’s way harder because everyone in the audience is a musician as well. It’s hard because it’s so competitive, but I like it because it’s definitely made me a lot better.  I feel like Austin is a major hub for music consumers, and Nashville is a place for more making music and people specifically trying to grow their careers. I feel like I’ve been lucky enough to gravitate towards a different style – a sort of indie country fusion.

Question:  Is there an artist out there that you strive to be like or that you could say, “If I could be like ____, then I feel like I’ve made it”?

Jude Parrish:  I don’t know if I’d feel accomplished by something like that… Because I don’t want to chase anyone else, necessarily. I really respect Rayland Baxter, Mac Demarco, Milky Chance, Tyler Childers. I’d love to sit down and talk with them and pick their brain. 

Question:  What does success look like for you as an artist?

Jude Parrish:  The biggest satisfaction so far that I’ve experienced is when I put myself into it on stage and feel like I’m giving it my all and putting myself out there. Success at the end of my career would be lots of people enjoying my music and really just enabling myself to be able to continue to make music. 

Question:  What can you tell me about new music you have coming up?

Jude Parrish:  There is an EP in the works. I’m trying to keep it around the similar sound – it’s a mesh of the songs I’ve released before with some new ones as well. I’d describe it as country-alternative with an indie aspect to it. My next song is a slower, alternative song called Mr. Wells.  I’m spacing my releases out a bit, but the next song after that is gonna be a really fun, indie tined called Perfect Place. I’m excited because it’s one of the only songs I recorded with my full band.

Check out some of Jude Parrish's tunes and support artists by following him on his socials linked below! :)