Each month, Rock On Purpose will be highlighting a new indie rock artist to help connect our audience to the stories and people behind the music. For the month of August 2020 we are highlighting Jenna Parr.
Rising artist Jenna Parr has been riding a wave of successful singles and a new project in 2020. Rock On Purpose is glad to help premiere the launch of her concept video for “Those Eyes” and we also sat down to get to Jenna.
You can watch the video and then read on to learn more about Jenna Parr, from her passion for Jesus to her influences rooted classic rock and scary movies.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: who you are, where are you from and what sparked you to get into faith-based rock music?
I am from the small town of Blackshear, GA. Ever since I was a little girl, I have absolutely loved rock music, and I have always loved singing. I grew up singing in church and still lead worship at my church every week. When I was a teenager, I accepted Jesus into my heart and decided to combine all of my passions into a career: Jesus, singing, and rock music.
You released an album this year, Made For This. Aside from the singles that we’ll discuss, what song/s do you want fans to hear most?
“The Runaway” is the one I’m most excited for fans to hear, especially the acoustic version. It’s my favorite song on the album and really means a lot to me because it’s the only song on the album that I wrote all the lyrics myself. Other artists and I collaborated on the other songs, but “Runaway” was all me.
One of the singles from Made For This, “Break Me,” has been doing well in 2020. What was the heart and message behind that song that you hope listeners take away?
“Break Me” is about God breaking us down to be built back up again. As humans, we’re all stubborn and want things to go our way, but ultimately, God has His own plan for each of our lives. Sometimes we need to be broken down, so we can remember that God is in control and He’s always there for us in times of hardship and happiness.
On the album, there are two acoustic tracks that allow you to showcase your vocals, which are absolutely on point. These songs contrast the heavy elements from other songs and feel more worshipful. What was your thought process when including acoustic tracks on the album?
As much as I love to rock out, acoustic songs and piano ballads have a special place in my heart. I love being able to showcase other sides of my voice and to show some diversity on the album. I want to show people that there’s more to me than rock music.
What has been the biggest challenge so far as you pursue music? And on the flip side of that, what has been the most rewarding or memorable moments, what are you most proud of accomplishing?
For any artist, the obvious answer to this question is the Covid-19 pandemic, but for me personally, it would be finding my sound. When I first started my music career, I wrote contemporary Christian music. I knew I wanted to get into rock music eventually, but I didn’t know how. The term “rock music” is very broad, so finding what type of rock music I wanted to write was difficult, and I’m still experimenting with it.
The most rewarding part of my career is having people tell me how my music helped them get through a tough time in their life. Knowing that something I created helped someone grow closer to God or get through a tough time is a feeling like no other, and I love it.
Who are some of your key musical influences? What artist or band do you hope to emulate or be compared to musically?
For this album, my main influences would be Skillet, Flyleaf, Thousand Foot Krutch, Ledger, and Red. I really wanted to include the use of strings like Skillet and Red, the catchy riffs and melodies of Thousand Foot Krutch, and the powerful vocals of Lacey Sturm (Flyleaf) and Jen Ledger (Ledger).
Also, an interesting fact about me is that I love 70s/80s rock, so don’t be surprised if there’s a little Journey, Heart, and Motley Crue influences in there.
Let’s talk about your latest single, “Those Eyes.” When I listen to the song, I feel like I’m immersed in a Skillet made-for-radio tune like “Stars.” There are heavy moments, blended with orchestral vibes. Tell us the story behind this song: what does it mean to you, and what are you hoping listeners will take away from it?
As Christians, we’re supposed to be the light in this dark world. We’re supposed to look and act differently from everyone else. Non-believers and other Christians constantly watch our every move. Some of them may be inspired by our actions and choose to grow closer to Christ while others wait to tear us down.
“Those Eyes” is written about the latter of those two. It is about the people in this world who wait for us to fail and trip up. They may want to bring us down, but in the end, Jesus has the victory and is right by our side to fight for us.
We’re excited to premiere the music video for “Those Eyes.” What was it like to make the video and what are you most excited about in the video?
Anytime I get to shoot a music video, it is an absolute blast. It’s also very rewarding to see your ideas come to life in a video.
“Those Eyes” was exciting to shoot because I had several ideas that were very different from anything else I had ever filmed. Another interesting fact about me is that I love scary movies, and I thought this was the perfect song to incorporate some creepy elements in the video.
So, we found a corn field, filmed late at night, and ended up with exactly what I wanted. Also, look out for a hidden set of eyes somewhere in the video.
What should we look forward to next for Jenna Parr? 2020 has been a year without shows and concerts, so it’s hard for us to say ‘what are your tour plans’ but what is on the horizon for you?
Up next for me is hopefully some shows these next few months. I have a few concerts and radio interviews planned, and in the fall, I’ll be up in Nashville working on some exciting new things. So stay on the lookout for a Christmas song and more new releases next year.
Tell us one thing that you want the Rock On Purpose community to know about you that we might not know about your music or ministry.
Like I mentioned before, I’m still experimenting with my sound and I love 70s/80s rock. So……put those two things together and that’s your clue for new Jenna Parr music. 😉
What are a few ways fans can help support Jenna Parr?
Thanks for asking that, because we have some new shirts and other merch out to coincide with the video release. You can find it at www.jennaparr.com.