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Arlo Parks: 'I find peace in having a focus for my brain'

Mr. Nimbus | 02/12/2022

British singer-songwriter Arlo Parks joins Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 to discuss her new single “Softly”, how creating brings her peace, the story behind her song “Black Dog”, and more.

Arlo Parks Tells Apple Music About Reflecting On The Power Her Music Has To Move Fans….
I definitely try and actively take time to process that. I feel like I get that at shows a lot. When I just, for a second, remember that I am just standing in front of thousands of people and they know who I am and some of them are crying, some of them are having this euphoric moment. But I think it’s important to actively be present, especially when the pace of life is so fast and it’s always looking towards the next record, the next idea. But I try and, in my journals and just in myself, just think about what it is that I’m building and have a second to be like, “Yeah, I’m kind of proud of myself.” I think I get drawn in sometimes when I start reflecting over the story that it was that inspired that song. I’m a very sensitive person. So it’s really hard for me to set up boundaries in that way, but it can be kind of beautiful because even if it’s a song that I’ve sung a thousand times, seeing that person have their moment reminds me that what we’re experiencing together is really special. And some people only go to one or two shows a year, and that someone’s chosen me is really beautiful. So, yeah. Try and put myself in there.

Arlo Parks Tells Apple Music About The Artists That Inspired “Softly”…
There was Mazzy Star, but there was also Objekt, that techno DJ.There was a bit of Madonna. There was a bit of MF Doom. Literally, it’s always all over the place and everyone’s like, “Wait, what?”. And Jai Paul, Jai Paul as well. Jai Paul’s a big influence.

Arlo Parks Tells Apple Music What Steers Her Creative Process…
I think the only thing that steers me is my taste, and my taste does evolve, but there are certain things that are at the core of what I do. That’s things like poetry and being inspired by a vast kaleidoscope of different things. I’ve been experimenting with some more electronic sounds. I guess I have, I feel like I have time now and I have a kind of wealth of collaborators that I really trust, but for me, yeah, I try not to like think about it too much. Because I feel like then I get in the way of myself and I’m like, “Wait, should I do this? Is this right?”

Arlo Parks Tells Apple Music How Creating Brings Her Peace…
I find peace in motion. I find peace in having a focus for my brain. I don’t find it restful to just sit down and look at the ceiling. I mean, I don’t know if anyone does, but I need to find something that I feel like I can completely immerse myself in and almost obsess over. I think that’s what making music does for me. And also just exploring different creative avenues, whether that be film or acting, writing prose.

Arlo Parks Tells Apple Music The Story Behind Her Song “Black Dog”…
It was one of my closest friends and we’re still best friends now. And we met at school when we were like 13 in Spanish class, and she was just in this really kind of deep pit in terms of her mental health. And there was this real sense of helplessness. I think it’s that, where it’s like you would do anything to either take that pain onto yourself or try and solve things, but it’s like … I mean, it’s in the hook. Sometimes it is for no reason. Sometimes it’s not like, “Okay, what is causing this? Can we solve this? Can we have this conversation? Do you need water? Do you need food? Do you want to go to this place?” But sometimes even trying to address those elements, it’s just like an inner turmoil.

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Written by Mr. Nimbus

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