A new artist on the rise

Junior drops first jazz EP on Spotify and Apple Music

Submitted photo
Junior Eric Parmelee playing his favored instrument, the alto- saxophone

Abby Lincks, Staff Reporter

Humming a tune, he is most likely focusing on composing a perfect melody for his music. One that excites him and hopefully intrigues listeners too. 

This year, junior Eric Parmelee set out to do something he’s never formally done before. His first EP album released on Spotify and Apple Music, Memories of Midnight, includes five original instrumental songs he wrote, as well as a new single “Lost Without You.” The songs feature Parmelee on the saxophone, but also include other instruments. 

“When I originally started, I wasn’t too good, and I wasn’t throughout sixth grade,” Parmelee said. “But eventually I kept working on it and I got better and I found out that I would be able to get good at the saxophone.”

In ninth grade, a classmate and friend Noah Levine, told Parmelee he should try out for regional jazz the following year and Parmelee was all for it. Recently he made second chair alto saxophone in all state jazz. 

“Once I started doing jazz music, I instantly fell in love with it,” Parmelee said. “That was the moment I was like, I could do this the rest of my life and never get bored of it,” 

Growing up in a household that was steeped in a love for music, Parmelee’s will to carry out that same compassion started at a young age. 

“My mom had me take piano lessons when I was younger in early elementary school, so from a young age, she was always encouraging me to do music and she always thought it would be cool if I did that,” Parmelee said. 

Not only does Parmelee dabble in piano, but also bass guitar, flute and the recorder as well. He mainly plays alto, tenor and soprano saxophone which are three different types of saxophones. In Memories of Midnight, you’ll even hear his dad play a guitar solo in the song “Horizon.”

“So, I think originally when I started making stuff because I’ve, you know, dabbled in it before this quarantine, I was kinda like ‘This is fun to do,’ but I wasn’t really good at it, I didn’t make anything refined,” Parmelee said. “So when I sat down and wanted to actually do something, it kind’ve challenged me because I knew other people were going to be listening to it.”

An audience of close friends and family is a little bit different than an audience of anyone who is interested in listening through streaming. While it can be fun and worthwhile, composing music can be challenging as well.

“So, it wasn’t so much of coming up with the music, it was I wanted to come up with music that people would like,” Parmelee said. “Which is I think, for me, one of the biggest things I had to get around.”

As a fairly new artist, Parmelee set out to create music that people enjoy. He knows he will face more challenges and critiques from others.

“I can’t always focus on what everyone’s going to like because no one person is going to like everything,” Parmelee said. “Everyone isn’t going to like my music and I’m okay with that because I know everyone has different taste.” 

Throughout composing his EP album, Memories of Midnight, Parmelee had challenging moments where he was struggling to come up with new ideas for more songs. Until one night when he woke up from having a nightmare, inspiring him to write a song called “Out of Mind.”

“So, it was just like, that is supposed to be the nightmare bouncing around in your head and it’s supposed to be haunting you,” Parmelee said. “Throughout the entire thing, it’s just progressing and progressing until the end when it just fades off into nothing and you wake up.”

It’s easy to get stuck and struggle to find ideas, but with inspirations like a nightmare, Parmelee is able to transform an emotion, a feeling, a mood, and turn it into something worth listening to.

“I think for me mostly, it’s like when I’m in different moods or feeling different emotions, that’s when the stuff comes out,” Parmelee said. 

Starting out, Parmelee didn’t know everything about playing the saxophone and he said he’s still learning now. He said he would advise beginners to go with their gut.

“I know that’s probably what a lot of people say but go with your gut, stick to what you know. If you like something then just do what you like. For me, when my new single, “Lost Without You,” came out it was more of, I didn’t know if people liked it, but I was really proud of it.”

Social Media Handles:

Eric Parmelee’s Music Instagram