Parker is a long time friend and inspiration. We've listened to his musical gifts surrounding many a fire pit in many a Venice backyard. Last year we were so blessed to have him perform at the shop, and he brought a bunch of talented musicians along with him for an epic evening. He is a star in the making.
I actually consider myself more of a storyteller than a musician, especially when I’m working alongside some of the genius musicians I’ve met in the world. Though I’ve always been fascinated and enamored by the brilliance of highly skilled musicians, my focus has been on the narrative that’s being communicated and how it makes me feel.
That said, songwriting has definitely been my preferred medium for as long as I can remember. I believe that began when I was a child and my father had to go away for a spell. Though I was too young to really grasp what was going on, I could see the sadness and fear in my mother’s eyes fall away for a moment whenever a song spoke to her.
As the years rolled by, I continued to observe how sound could tell a story and change the emotional tone of a room in a matter of minutes. At times celebratory, often cathartic, sometimes both, music has always been a huge gift in my life that way.
How do songs come to you?
So many ways, it really does change depending on the day and whether or not I’m writing alone. Sometimes there's a prompt or an idea, like the song I wrote for “The Peanut Butter Falcon.” I came over one night, they showed me a rough cut and we framed out a concept of how this song would function in the story.
Other times it’s listening to a series of chords, hearing a melody begin to emerge and listening for the story it wants to tell. The song “Fire swing” came about this way. I was playing those changes for awhile as something that reminded me of where I’d been, what I’ve known. The chords kept singing this melody to me and as I began to gather words from the placeholder syllables on my voice memo, I realized it was the story of my life.
What are your biggest struggles?
This will come as no surprise to anyone that knows me but, my biggest struggles in life have been internal, save the usual money problems and a couple crazy relationships.
I’m too hard on myself and it can get very dark inside my head. There’s a loud asshole that lives in there, and I’ve spent many years struggling with self doubt, anger and sadness; depression's greatest hits.
Though I’m doing much better today and I know I can beat this thing if I choose to use the tools at my disposal: meditation, yoga/exercise, nature, clean eating, micro-dosing, etc. I also know how easy it is to bullshit myself into self isolation, loneliness and depression again.
Long story short, my biggest struggle is keeping my heart open, my mind aware and remembering to love myself just as I am.
What are your favorite accomplishments?
• Taking the time to work through enough of my crap to finally have a healthy relationship
• Moving out to LA ten years ago, living out of my pickup truck, then a sailboat, then an apartment, then a house
• Backpacking solo through India for 6 months
• Teaching myself how to sing and play guitar
• Playing music in Antarctica and the Arctic
• Writing my first original song for a motion picture
• Playing the Troubadour last year
What part of your personality are you most thankful for?
My ability to stay relatively cool even when I’m losing it. I also love my dark sense of humor, it helps me not take life so seriously.
What does your favorite or ideal sunday afternoon look like?
Being outside with everyone I love whether hiking, dancing, chilling by a body of water, just enjoying life and feeling free.
Ideally culminating in a delicious feast of some sort which gives way to an evening of firelight, cozy blankets and lovely instruments.
Then, I suppose being visited by kind extraterrestrial beings of light whom teach us how to heal ourselves, each other, our planet and all pain in the cosmos wouldn’t be a killjoy either.
What gives you hope for the future?
What would you like to bless the world with? Pick one word.
What excites you about being an LSA ambassador?
More reasons to drop into the store for hugs and high-fives, plus all the bitchin free swag.
What are you doing next? How can people get involved?
Currently concentrating on recordings and wrapping up a wealth of new music to share, the first release should be out by early spring titled “Running for so long.”
Best way to get involved is to personally share the two songs I already have released, bring all your friends out to a show and pass along the new stuff when it’s available as well.
Following me on your preferred streaming services, social networks and subscribing to my newsletter is also a helpful way to get involved.
Where are all the places people can learn more about you?
Website - parkerainsworth.com
Instagram - @parkerainsworth
Spotify - parker ainsworth