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UK Songwriting Contest and Billboard Starmaker Winner Jamie Parsons

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Posted April 13, 2017 by Peter Burns in Headlines

Jamie Parsons is a Roanoke, VA native, a musician and songwriter. He was a Semi-Finalist Winner in the 2015 UK Songwriting Contest for “Last Call”,  Winner of the 2014 Billboard Starmaker Award for “Last Call”, and moreover, 3 Time Winner in the Billboard World Song Contest for the songs “Get Right”, “We’re Done”, “How It Used To Be”. Jamie is studied at the Appalachian State University, and is trained in piano performance, theory and composition.  He was the Unanimous 1st Place Winner of the Appalachian State University Concerto Aria Competition (’79-’80), and was also the 1st Place Winner of the Radford University Concerto Competition (1983).

Jamie enjoys writing in different genres, including, Blues, Country, Contemporary Christian, Gospel, Rock, Pop and Inspirational. Throughout my over 25 years as a professional in the music business, I’ve noticed there isn’t always a large difference in talent level among creative people.

Why, then do some songwriters, like Jamie Parsons  seem to have an overabundance of music awards, diverse artists singing his songs, and people wanting to hear his music, while others struggle to get their first song heard? The answer is there is a certain amount difference in skill most writers process. And that extra percentage makes a major difference. Skilled songwriters like Jamie share some common mental habits which you can pick up in his songs. Not least the multi-award winner “Last Call”.

We all know how easily the words and melodies flow when we’ve been inspired by a life event. But songwriters need to know that songs are like a conversation with the listener. If the writer is feeling the impact of the song but the audience is not then it’s not an effective song.

Listen to “Last Call”. Jamie drags you into an everyday experience that most of us know and can relate to. Through the words and music Jamie allows the singer Luc Doppler, to have a conversation with us. How can we ignore that last drink or the urge to pick up that gorgeous girl: “It all comes down to who’ll be the one that leaves on your arm to continue the fun. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. So close the deal or cry in your beer, because if you hurry you can have another round. Well its last call, drink them all down!”

“Last Call” is a fairly simple and straightforward honkytonk beat and melody – it’s a drinking song, with no complex rhythms or cryptic lyrics. Yet the thing is so damn catchy and relatable, it’s really hard not to get caught up in its forward momentum and fun Saturday night theme.

Anybody could write this type tune of with the right mindset. But the key to convincingly successful songs – whether or not you want to become an amazing songwriter or build a lucrative career – is that songwriting firstly is a passion, then maybe a job. Ask Jamie.

A quick run through Jamie Parsons’ catalog will teach you another thing – write as honestly as you can.  Chances are, if you’ve gone through something, your listener has too, and they will hear that honesty as it applies to them and (hopefully) connect with it. And I’m particularly thinking of the heartfelt ballad “I Don’t Need This Hurt Anymore”, sung by Leijiah Cooper or the soulful “We’re Done” interpreted by the husky voice of Richie Marso.

Jamie Parsons is clearly a songwriter for all seasons. He writes a wide variety of songs. He doesn’t have just one “thing” that he does. He has lots of pitches that would suit lots of different types of singers. This gives him the edge over many of his colleagues.

Songs should catch our ears in order to register in our consciousness.  It can do so in any way – a riff, a lyric, a melody, a rhythm or an atmosphere. But once it registers in our consciousness, to be special, it must earn its right to stay there. It must say and be something. That’s what Jamie Parsons’ songs achieve.

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