Parmalee: The Music Industry Is A Roller Coaster

Platinum-selling country group PARMALEE, whose hit single Carolina topped the charts years back, is now back in the spotlight and a-top various music charts again with their latest single Just The Way, which is performed with viral mega rapper Blanco Brown.


Hi guys, thanks so much for the opportunity to interview you. To kick things off, I’m wondering how did the band come together in the 2000’s?
Me (Lead singer Matt Thomas), my brother Scott and our cousin Barry were playing in a cover band called Jerry Thomas and The Thomas Brothers with our dad. Eventually we were ready to step out on our own and do our own material. We were fans of another local band called Amsterdam, notably their guitar/keys player Josh McSwain. One night at the local bar where we both played, I ran into him and asked him if he would like to come out to our rehearsal spot to jam. We knew that night that we had found our fourth member of the band, and we have all been together ever since.

How would you describe Parmalee to the Entrepreneur Mindset magazine reader?
We are a group of small town guys that grew up together and all had the same passion for music. A little bit rock, a little bit country… and a LOT of heart and soul. Started in a small town in North Carolina and worked our way into playing some of the largest venues and having multiple country radio hits, including our first #1 hit ‘Carolina’ that changed our lives forever.

Let’s talk about your newest single, “Just The Way”. What inspired that song?
A couple years ago I was in LA and got hooked up to write with two buddies of mine. One of the writers already had the hook when I walked into the room, and when I heard it for the first time I knew it was special. I knew that this was more than a song and more of a message that the world needed to hear, especially in this day and age.


“The music industry is a roller coaster, sometimes you are at the top and sometimes you are at the bottom. I think we have been through enough lows to really appreciate the highs.”


What’s your relationship with Blanco Brown? How did you hook up with him? Did he reach out to you or did you have to reach out to him?
We met Blanco a few years back at CMA’s when he was talking to the VP and President of our record label, so I figured that anyone that got the attention from the people that have helped shape our career, was somebody I needed to get to know. We we went and introduced ourselves and asked him to come write. We hit it off and have since been friends, written songs and worked on projects together ever since.

Success is a very personal concept. How do you personally define your own success?
I think for all of us, being able to play music for a living, and provide for ourselves and our families, that’s the ultimate success. Being able to do what we love in front of thousands of people everyday is really a dream ‘job’.

Let’s talk about the business side of being a music artist. What do you look forward to accomplishing as entrepreneurs? For an artist, why is it so important to be educated about the business and entrepreneurship?
We ultimately want to continue to create a brand that stays and connects with people even after we are gone from this earth. In the entertainment industry, a lot of the times you are dealing with people like ourselves who are creative but didn’t know when we got into this, that we also need to be business savvy. Business education was crucial to taking us from a local band to a professional touring act.

Is there anything you wish you knew back when you first started that you now know today?
This goes back to the education part, I wish we would have known how much ‘business’ is in the music business. It is really just as important as the music part of being a musician. From what it takes to keep a bus going down the down the road, to taking care of … Read more

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Entrepreneur Mindset magazine Spring 2020 issue featuring Parmalee, Josh Elizetxe, Jason Winkler, Cyrus Mohseni for The Keystone Team, Irina Shakhova, Anouare Abdou and many more…

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