To celebrate the release of Heidi Parton’s newest single, “The Very Thought of You”, Lula 1892 caught up with her to chat about life, love, and exactly what music means to her. To listen and download her newest single, please visit her website-we’re already hooked!
Heidi Parton grew up with music in her blood. You may recognize her last name; the Parton family as a whole is no stranger to the country music industry. Parton grew up on stage with her father, a performer at his sister’s Dollywood theme park. At the ripe old age of four Heidi had memorized her father’s entire set list. From then on, Parton performed with various members of her family at Dollywood, on holiday specials, and at the Hat House Café. Heidi Parton, however, is blazing her own trail in the industry with a soulful, smooth sound. Her genuine love for and deep knowledge of music shines through in her EP This Kind of Love, released last October. We had the chance to learn a little bit more about her career and where she hopes to go from here.
Parton attributes her love and comfort with music to her family, many of whom have had their own careers in the industry. On top of the success her family has seen in Nashville and beyond, Parton remembers members of her family recording the Country Countdown for her when she was young, and singalongs in the car between Nashville and Sevierville, the small east Tennessee town the family has made its home for generations. “Music really was our way of communication. We are all so musical, that’s how we communicated as a family. When words fail, music speaks and that is still my way of communicating- that’s a big part of how I became the artist that I am.”
Parton’s childhood was steeped in the community and traditions of country music, and there are some things Parton would like to hold on to and see continue as her career takes off. “One of the greatest traditions of all time, I would have to say it is the heart and soul of country music, is The Grand Ole Opry. Once you are accepted into the circle that circle cannot be broken no matter where you go or what you do. You can always come home. I want to be an artist who inspires others to want to be a part of that family. In a family they say blood is thicker than water; The Grand Ole Opry is the musical form of family and the music is the blood. Together they make a family full of love, laughter, and memories. I want to not only be a part of that family but lead the way for future generations to carry on one of the greatest traditions in country music history.”
Parton also touched on the rich love that can be found in the industry. “Country music to this day still runs deep with love; even in the hardest of times you can turn on country radio and feel the deepest roots of a love story. For me, love makes the world go around. I want to be that artist that when you go to someone’s wedding, my song is the one they walk down the aisle to.” Parton’s newest EP, This Kind of Love, is chock full of songs that celebrate this particular heritage. A collection of love songs that range from Gospel originals composed by her family to Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man”, Parton describes her album as a “collection of inspirational songs that will speak to people in every type of relationship, from a romantic one to a Godly one”.
When asked about her inspiration for the songs she chose to include in her first EP, Parton explained “Each song has a special meaning to me. Some of them my Dad covered when I was growing up so I have an early memory of them. I also have the family connection to “I Am Ready”- written by my Aunt Rachel, and “Circle Of Love”- written by my Aunt Dolly. That connection makes these songs particularly special to me!”
In addition to her EP, released last October, Parton has just released a new single in honor of one of her good friends. “I am very excited about my new single! A friend of mine asked me to be the maid of honor at his wedding and I wanted to do something special for them. I didn’t know what that would be and then I was watching a movie when a character began humming “The Very Thought of You” and I just knew that it was something I had to do. Soon after I got the idea, I went into the studio and recorded it, and it was actually my friend and his partner’s first dance at their wedding! I wanted people to enjoy a song I recorded for someone very near and dear to me.” “The Very Thought of You” has been a favorite for many musicians throughout the years, and we particularly love the inspiration behind Parton’s rendition; it harkens back to her desire to fill her music with love, joy, and community.
Though music has filled most of Parton’s life, she has another passion she hopes to incorporate into her professional career as she grows her own brand. A graduate of the Paul Mitchell School of Aesthetics, Parton hopes to have her own skincare and makeup line down the road. I think it’s safe to say we would all buy any skincare and makeup line endorsed by a Parton, much less designed by one! Though she took a short break from music to pursue her secondary education, Parton says “I never really left music. When you love music like I do, it makes up who you are. At the time, visiting LA for makeup courses and living in Nashville, I didn’t have the opportunities to pursue my musical career like I wanted- but I plan on making up for that time now!”
Parton does not have plans on the horizon for a full length album in 2018, as her first EP was just released a few months ago. But with her last words to Lula, she reminds us that “anything is possible when it comes to Heidi Parton.”