We had the good fortune of connecting with Angela Parrish and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Angela, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
A lot of people are under the impression that being a musician isn’t a “real job.” People always ask me some form of the question “how do you pay the bills,” “what’s your day job,” etc. I used to feel a lot of frustration with the people asking me that question, but now I usually get bummed out at the messages society ingrains in us about artists. Being a full-time performing musician, music producer, and songwriter is definitely a real job. It takes a tremendous amount of hard work, practice, and skill. It can be lucrative! Just because it’s rewarding and fun doesn’t mean it isn’t serious. I am very lucky to have a supportive family. Many families don’t support their loved ones emotionally when they go into the arts, which can lead to unnecessary heartbreak. I wish people had more respect for art as a profession, and I love having conversations with people in hopes to change their ideas about artistic careers.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My agent calls me a “musical Swiss Army Knife.” I love to participate in so many different areas of music, and I’ve spent a lot of time honing my various musical skills. I have two degrees in jazz piano, and I also play viola and guitar. I’m a professional studio singer and recording artist. I produce my own music, produce other artists, and compose for film and television. I was always interested in all of these things, but I was told to “choose a lane” by many different people, for a very long time. When you’re a natural people-pleaser like I am, it can be really difficult to ignore the seemingly sage advice of lots of people you trust. But I always knew I was supposed to be many different things musically, and now I really embrace and own that aspect of my art. All of these musical skills lend themselves well to helping tell stories through music, and that’s one reason why I love working in film and television. You can be a part of so many different stories in many different ways, using lots of diverse musical styles. No matter what I’m making artistically, I set out to make people feel happy and entertained, or to help them process some form of sadness or heartbreak. My mom once told me that I’m a person who “makes people feel better,” and I really love that she sees that in me. I love being that person in everyday life, and in art. I want people to walk away from experiencing what I’ve created feeling better and happier than they did when they arrived.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We’d have to make a trip to Joe’s Falafel in Studio City. I wish they had t-shirts and bumper stickers that helped me advertise the deliciousness; I love their food so much. When I first moved to LA, I lived in my car while I was getting on my feet. One night, I parked in the Joe’s parking lot to sleep. I guess it was fate that I would love the food there. I also love Taj Mahal Indian restaurant in Encino; my fiancé and I first bonded over our shared love of Indian food. There is also a cute little artisanal ice cream shop called Pop’s Creamery in San Fernando that is absolutely awesome. I would take a friend on a fun and strenuous hike in northern LA near our house. Wilson Canyon Park has a beautiful view of the entire valley at the top of the trails. We would watch an independent film at Laemmle Theatre in North Hollywood, and hopefully catch a performance of Puppet Up! improvisational puppet comedy on the Chaplin soundstage at the Jim Henson Company. I’m a Ferris wheel fanatic, so no trip to LA would be complete without riding the Ferris wheel on Santa Monica pier and gazing out at the ocean.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I love that you’re asking this question! So many wonderful people have supported me in this career over the years, and I wish I could thank them all whenever these opportunities come up. My father passed away earlier this summer, and I am finding joy in reliving all of the ways he supported me as a musician. Dad was a clinical neuropsychologist, and my academic achievements and career success were very important to him. But he never tried to push me into any career other than the one that would make me happiest. He drove me to Youth Symphony every Saturday morning. He attended every jazz ensemble concert. He had Parkinson’s for 15 years, and he traveled to see me perform with Paul Williams in Las Vegas when it was very physically difficult for him to make the trip. He was a wonderful father, and he always let me know how proud of me he was. I miss him terribly, and I’m so lucky he was my dad.
Other: Tik Tok – @songsbyangela
On-stage photo with Sean Hayes: Credit Jimmy Kimmel Live! White piano photo: Credit M.K. Sadler