This week saw the release of Sinner Like You – the debut solo single from Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Parson James whose collaboration with Kygo on the Norwegian producer’s hit Stole The Show has received over 170 million streams worldwide and charted across the world.
Sinner Like You was produced by Sweden’s Elof Loelv (who co-produced Rihanna and Mikky Ekko’s Stay) and is a powerful and semi-autobiographical story of a young man coming out to his mother, and questioning the stark contradictions of growing up in the religious south, and what it really means to “sin” in the modern world.
“Telling her was easy, but beforehand, thinking about how I was going to do it, was not,” says Parson about his own experience. “I had this image in my head that I couldn’t do it because we have this whole community and congregation of people who are constantly judging us.”
The singer and songwriter calls his music “conflicted-pop-gospel,” and it draws upon his experiences of growing up as a bi-racial man in a predominantly white population in the small, conservative town of Cheraw, South Carolina, singing in church and listening to the likes of Otis Redding, Bill Withers, The Supremes, Johnny Cash, Elvis, and Wanda Jackson.