After months and honing his powerful skills as a singer, songwriter and performer with top music industry coaches at America’s leading artist development company PCG Nashville, Parker Layton is excited about dropping his debut EDM/pop single “Keep In Touch.” Showcasing his remarkable vocal, melodic and storytelling talents – and incorporating influences ranging from Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake to OneRepublic, Coldplay and John Mayer – the infectiously seductive track was co-written by Parker with the track’s engineers and producers, Harrison Boyd and Charles Harke of Shark Productions.
“Developing my craft over the past few years, I tended to write sad, acoustic guitar based love songs,” the 21 year old artist says. “Harrison and Charles helped broaden me musically and came up with the song’s incredible beats, and we emerged with the catchiest song out of all the material I’ve ever written. Because I grew up inspired by artists like Ryan Tedder and Chris Martin, who blend fresh electronic sounds with their strong melodies and lyrics, I feel ‘Keep in Touch’ reflects the perfect vibe for me as an artist. The song is about not wanting to end a relationship, but something’s wrong and I want the girl to tell me, even if it hurts. If we have to go our separate ways, then I hope we can keep in touch.”
Growing up in Las Cruces, New Mexico with his mom and a stepdad who is part of a prominent farming family specializing in growing green chiles and onions, Parker Layton was a multi-talented kid who pursued his two great passions – music and athletics. Throughout middle and high school, he excelled at and played a total of four sports, including football and baseball. After some initial resistance at an early age, he took to the guitar and his chorus teacher was so impressed with his voice that she submitted him as a potential national anthem singer for the Sun Bowl. He also sang Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” at his grade school graduation. Years later, he was playing baseball at Phoenix College when one of his teammates heard him singing in the outfield during practice. “If I had a voice like yours,” he told Parker, “I wouldn’t be playing baseball.”
Faced with the choice between pursuing an athletic or music career, music was the easy, logical choice. Even while pursuing athletics in college, Parker started taking a potential musical career more seriously. When he was 18, he enrolled in the vocal camp Vocalize You in Los Angeles, instructed by legendary vocal coach Dave Stroud, who has worked with superstars Justin Bieber, Kelly Clarkson, Michael Jackson, Martina McBride and One Direction. In 2017, he flew to Nashville to check out Backstage Pass, an introductory seminar conducted by PCG Nashville that explains its vast range of courses and instruction to budding artists. Convinced that PCG would provide the opportunities for artistic growth that he was seeking, Parker signed up immediately.
While enrolled full time as an agricultural business major at Arizona State University, working at a local bar in Tempe, AZ, and working on his family farm in New Mexico, Parker flew to Tennessee every few months for intensive sessions with PCG’s top industry coaches. While focusing on songwriting and production, he is also learning from experts who are helping him develop his inner confidence, authenticity as an artist, performance skills and stage presence. He recently had a chance to perform live as part of the PCG showcase series Opry Mills Unplugged.
One of Parker’s major goals for 2018 is to release his first full length album. “I’m working hard on developing my songwriting skills,” he says, “because being an artist who writes his own material can take me to a new level of legitimacy. I also want to continue to co-write with other great songwriters and start producing my own tracks. I’m excited about performing live more as well, working through those nerves that every artist experiences and connecting in a meaningful way and sharing my music with new audiences.”