We had the good fortune of connecting with Justin & Austin PARKWILD and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justin & Austin, why did you pursue a creative career?
We don’t think it’s as much a choice, as it is a calling. We knew as a career that music would be an exceptionally hard field to get into, let alone be successful in, but at the same time we have a love and passion for music that drives our desire for creativity and the pursuit of success in music. Life is beautiful, but also exceptionally challenging at times, and our aim is to help people through the tough, and also be the soundtrack for the good. There is no better feeling than connecting with people through our music, and that is the most rewarding part of doing this.
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.
What sets us apart from everyone else is the lens through which we see the world. Our personal experiences, though universal at times, are solely ours, and it is that individuality that gets poured into our art. The beautiful thing about the music we create is that it can connect with the listener and relate to their own experiences, but perhaps provide a slightly different outlook on things. Additionally, we both came from very different musical backgrounds that have manifested into a unique sound and style.
We are constantly working on our craft, trying to become better songwriters, storytellers and producers everyday, and we have the privilege of collaborating with other creatives regularly which helps continue that growth.
There have most definitely been obstacles we have had to face along the way and there continues to be obstacles. When we first were living in New York and trying to make music a career, we would shoot music videos, corporate videos, do photoshoots or graphic design, anything to keep the dream alive and be able to make music every day. Even now there are doubts that infect our minds when we have unproductive days struggling to figure a song out or when big opportunities fall through. The biggest lesson we’ve learned is having patience and trusting your instinct. The thing we tell anyone who is struggling finding success in music is that with talent and determination it’s only a matter of time. The ones who make it are the ones who keep their head down, keep doing what they are doing and never stop.
We’re all about living life in the moment and enjoying the little things. Music at the core is an emotional outlet for us, and we hope our songs can be there for people through good times and bad.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Austin: Outside of music, I happen to also be a pilot. So my favorite thing to do with friends is either a flight up the Malibu coast to Santa Barbara or a night flight over downtown and the Hollywood sign. When I’m not flying I love to hike in the mountains behind Burbank and Pasadena, go to the farmers markets all around town, play any of the million golf courses in LA County, explore the Downtown arts district, and hit the beach. Some of my favorite spots to eat are Terra (rooftop of Eataly), Koi in WeHo, 80z poke in Studio City, Ysabel in WeHo, KazuNori for the most insane hand rolls, and Yuzu Sushi in Toluca Lake. Depending on the week I also love to kick back, have a BBQ in the backyard and a drink by the fire-pit!
Justin: It is always a lot of fun when people come visit! California has such a dynamic landscape and has endless things to do. I have to say my favorite place is probably the beach because I absolutely love the ocean. I’m usually not the most fun to go the beach with as I tend to be out in the water the whole day haha. I also love LA for the fact that you can always be exploring and finding new favorite restaurants and places. I love eating Bacari, Terra and getting drinks at Hotel Erwin, Ace Rooftop or at various wineries. LA is also exciting in the sense that you never know who you will meet, what new favorite restaurant you’ll happen upon, or what new beautiful place you’ll discover.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Our biggest champions have always been our parents! They have always encouraged us to follow our musical dreams and have always been our biggest fans. Additionally we have been fortunate to know and work with some of the greatest people. In the music world the people you work with end up becoming some of your closest friends who also continually push us to keep pursuing, elevating and being the best we can be. There are also many other people, places, things in our lives that continue to influence us daily and keep us pushing forward.
Some of our earliest industry champions are Jason Boyarski (of Boyarski Fritz), Peter Lloyd, Barbara VanderLinde, Tricia Fontneau-Ramos and the rest of the Disney Music Group team, Sam Cox & Brooke Morrow (BMI).
We also would not be where we are without David Wolfert (Songwriter & NYU Professor), and The Grammy Foundation (we met at 2011 Grammy Camp LA).
Ben Zucker Photos