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Interview: Parmalee open up about their number one single ‘Just The Way’ with Blanco Brown

The collaboration has soared to the top of the charts in the US.

Parmalee and Blanco Brown
Credit: Cody Heckber

US Country band Parmalee have just scored a number one single with their Blanco Brown collaboration ‘Just The Way’.

The song is their second number one and their first since 2013’s Platinum ‘Carolina’. Written by frontman Matt Thomas with Nolan Sipe and Kevin Bard, the song was produced by David Fanning.

I caught up with the band to find out how they felt about adding another number one to their achievements, to find out how the collaboration with Blanco came about, and to find out their plans for the rest of the year….

Your current single ‘Just The Way’ features Blanco Brown and has just gone to number one at Country radio. How does that feel and how much do number ones mean to you?

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“Number 1 is as big as it gets! This is huge, there is really no way to explain it. It’s amazing to get a #1 and the odds of getting one are just crazy if you think about starting out in a small town, not knowing how to write a song or sing or anything. So to write something or perform something and it goes all the way to the top of the charts it’s unheard of, unreal, it’s awesome!

What it has done for us even this past year in quarantine has been amazing. 

How did the collaboration with Blanco come about and what was he like to work with?

The collaboration came about because we were friends even before he had “The Git Up,” we were working together and writing songs and knew we wanted to work on some sort of project together, but didn’t know what that was. We had “Just The Way” in our pocket, we had written it and the production just wasn’t finished, so our producer asked us to ask Blanco if he wanted to be on it. He said yes and we went down and got his vocal on it, and that is the version you hear. It’s pretty amazing how that all came together!

Blanco is just so great: his energy, positivity, good vibes, just good stuff man! 

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The song has also been climbing the main Billboard chart. Did you have any idea how special this song was and has its success taken you by surprise?

Absolutely, it’s taken us by surprise. I knew when everybody in the band liked the song when I played it for them, that it was different. It had something, and that is always a great feeling, but I didn’t think anything like what we are experiencing now. My mind is blown and that is just amazing – couldn’t ask for anything more. 

‘Just The Way’ has been labelled as a bit of a rebirth for you as a band. In what ways has impacted on your creativity and the music to come in the future?

I think it gives us more of a focus on what we need to be doing whereas before we had some hits and put some songs out that didn’t do as well at country radio. What we did with this song was tap into what we were doing originally creatively, so we started looking at “Carolina” and now “Just The Way” to see what is the common denominator with these songs and when we are writing to think about that. Our biggest thing is focusing in on what is connecting with our fans. 

The pandemic has caused havoc for all of us. How has affected you and what challenges has it presented for you?

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It definitely took a toll on our touring life for sure. It took us off the road and it’s been a very long time since we have been off the road so it has been different for us to say the least. But it did give us time to reflect, recharge and get ready to go back out there. I think we needed a little break, so having a “forced break” ended up being what we needed for sure. 

Coming off the back of ‘Just The Way’s’ success, what are your plans for the rest of 2021?

We are going to release new music. We don’t have a date but it’s going to be soon. We have a bunch of songs to wrap up which we are so excited about, and then tour! We are working a little bit and as things open up more and more, we hope to find those places that are ready to go and we will be there! We also hope to finally do these shows with Blanco that we had planned before the pandemic.

Parmalee and Blanco Brown’s single ‘Just The Way’ is available to stream and download now. Watch the music video for the song below:

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