Interview with Allison Park
by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show
Lamitschka: Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?
Allison Park: I have a pop contemporary sound with a touch of edginess and a bit of a country influence.
Lamitschka: How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?
Allison Park: This last year has been crazy in the best possible way. I’ve been writing and recording my new EP “Listen” and I’m currently on tour with the Plain White T’s. My favorite thing about this year is that I get to wake up in a different place every day which is perfect because I love living my life spontaneously.
Lamitschka: What is your latest CD and how’s it doing?
Allison Park: My first and latest EP is called “Listen”. It’s getting a really amazing response and I hope to see it continue to do well.
Lamitschka: How did you choose the title for the CD? Is there a story behind the name?
Allison Park: A little over a year ago I was feeling like I wasn’t being heard by anyone and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t seem to find the right things to say. I decided to let music speak for me so i wrote “Listen”. After people started to hear it things quickly started to change and i was finally getting through to everyone. It means a lot to me that the EP is titled “Listen” because it is the closest song to me, and I want people to LISTEN!!!
Lamitschka: Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?
Allison Park: I co-wrote all but one song on this EP. I love to write my own stuff but sometimes I connect really well with songs I don’t write.
Lamitschka: Please tell us about the songs on your album (influences, etc).
Allison Park: My music describes me 100%. Each song shows a different side of me with free spirited feel and a message to always be you. I really like to mismatch the lyrics and the music. For example my song “Reckless” is fun and upbeat but the lyrics are talking about being a little messy and reckless. I also love to write like I’m telling a story.
Lamitschka: Your current single is being played by radio. What do you feel is special about this song that makes people want to hear it?
Allison Park: “Holding Me” is a feel good song about wanting someone who’s already taken and daydreaming about what would happen if they weren’t. I think that people will relate really well to its lyrics as well as its vibe.
Lamitschka: What kind of songs do you like to record the most?
Allison Park: I am definitely a ballad kind of girl.
Lamitschka: What is your favorite song among all the songs you have recorded and what’s the story behind it?
Allison Park: “Listen,” because a little over a year ago I was feeling like I wasn’t being heard by anyone and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t seem to find the right things to say. I decided to let music speak for me so i wrote “Listen”. After people started to hear it things quickly started to change and i was finally getting through to everyone. It means a lot to me that the EP is titled “Listen” because it is the closest song to me, and I want people to LISTEN!!!
Lamitschka: How much creative control do you have over your music?
Allison Park: I am lucky to say that I have a lot of creative control over my music and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Lamitschka: Do you have any interesting stories about how fans have been affected by your music?
Allison Park: I have had a few people tell me that “Listen” has brought them to tears…(hopefully in a good way) and people have been quoting “Reckless” on twitter which I think is one of the coolest things ever! It’s amazing when people really relate to the songs, that’s why I write them.
Lamitschka: Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?
Allison Park: I am inspired by so many artists but mainly I have been inspired by Jason Mraz, Leanne Rimes, Michael Buble, Alison Krauss, Adele and Duffy. My grandpap used to sing doo wop, and thats actually how i got started. I would open up for his friends bands when I was really young. I am also very much influenced by 50’s and 60’s music.
Lamitschka: What do you think about today’s music scene versus its post and where do you see it going in the future?
Allison Park: I think the music scene is always changing, and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of. No matter what, great music has always been around and it always will be as long as people want to hear it.
Lamitschka: What do you think about today’s music industry?
Allison Park: I think today’s music industry is really tough. You have to work hard and be at the right place at the right time.
Lamitschka: If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be?
Allison Park: I would want people in the music industry to be more open minded to new things.
Lamitschka: As an artist, you have so many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what’s your favorite activity?
Allison Park: My favorite thing about touring will always be that chunk of time I have on stage. It’s what I’m working for at every other moment in the day. That time is just about me, the fans and the music and nothing else matters.
Lamitschka: Are you doing anything to take music beyond its current borders or are you happy where it is?
Allison Park: As a writer I’m always trying to create something new that hasn’t been done before.
Lamitschka: What was your big break that got you into the music business?
Allison Park: I’ve been doing this for a while so there hasn’t been a specific moment I’ve just been working towards my goal.
Lamitschka: Before you became a star, were your friends and family supportive or was it a struggle?
Allison Park: My family has always been incredibly supportive. There were definitely those times where I got the “your being unrealistic talk” but they were there every time I needed them. They are my support system and I am so lucky.
Lamitschka: What inspired you to become an artist?
Allison Park: Music in general has been my inspiration to be an artist. It’s always been a part of me and it would be weird not have it be the main focus in my life.
Lamitschka: What drives you?
Allison Park: I want to prove to everyone that you can do what makes you happy if you work for it and that it’s ok to take chances sometimes. I think a lot of people give up on what they want too early.
Lamitschka: What’s unique about you that will differentiate you from other artists?
Allison Park: I’m trying to tell a story and not just sing you a song. Also everything I write is completely different from the last thing.
Lamitschka: What has been your greatest challenge in the music business?
Allison Park: Being heard. It is very difficult gain respect when you are younger.
Lamitschka: What moments in your career stand out in your memory as highlights and achievements which you are proud of?
Allison Park: Two moments that I am most proud of were when I started to hear all of the finished songs that I had written sitting in my living room and when I got to sing them on stage for the first time!
Lamitschka: Who is your biggest critic, yourself or others?
Allison Park: Definitely myself.
Lamitschka: When you get time off, how do you like to relax?
Allison Park: I like to hang out with my little sister.
Lamitschka: Is there anything in your life that you would change if you could?
Allison Park: No, my mistakes only help me in the long run and it’s no fun to be perfect. I wouldn’t have anything to write about! (Laugh).
Lamitschka: What hopes and desires do you have?
Allison Park: I hope to always have music be one of the biggest parts of my life.
Lamitschka: What can your fans expect to see when they see you in concert?
Allison Park: They can expect to see me and the band having a lot of fun doing what we love every night!
Lamitschka: When you’re on tour, do you have time to play tourist?
Allison Park: I try to be a tourist for a half hour every day before sound check. It’s normally just walking down the street near the venue, but I love to see just a little bit of where the fans live that I’m playing for.
Lamitschka: Many music fans today get their information about artists online. Do you have your own website and what will fans find there?
Allison Park: Ya, my website is www.allisonparkmusic.com , they will find my bio, pictures, music, etc… it’s also linked to my Facebook and twitter.
Lamitschka: What’s the best compliment a fan has ever given you?
Allison Park: The best compliments I receive are when the fans tell me how much they relate to the songs.
Lamitschka: What’s your favorite song that you wish you could have recorded?
Allison Park: This is a tough one because I change my favorite song everyday…Currently I wish I would have written “Stereo Hearts” (Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam Levine).
Lamitschka: What message would you like to send your European fans?
Allison Park: I want to send the message that it’s fine to be who you are, love your life and have fun with it, go with the flow and be happy.
Lamitschka: Fans are always hungry for good road stories. Do you have one you can share with us?
Allison Park: The best one I have so far is having to pull over really early in the morning for border patrol so they could check the bus and Pitbull’s bus was being checked right beside us! (laugh).
Lamitschka: How do you feel about being on tour with Plain White T‘s? What has it done for your career?
Allison Park: I feel very lucky to have been on tour with the Plain White T’s for my first major tour. They were completely inspiring and amazing musicians. I feel that I grew just watching them every night. So far it has been an amazing ride and I am making new fans and friends every day!