What a year it has been for Arlo Parks, she really has burst onto the music scene, and she’s only just getting started. The debut album, Collapsed In Sunbeams, has lead Arlo Parks to many awards this year, winning breakthrough artist at the Brits and clinching the Mercury Prize. We caught up with the British singer-songwriter and poet at the beginning of her tour to chat her highlights of the year, tour and what’s to come.
How good does it feel to be back on the road and playing in front of your fans?
It feels so energising and heart-warming! I look into loving faces every night and people send me messages afterwards saying how safe they felt, how they’ve never felt energy quite like it – I never felt more filled with purpose. I’m beginning to think this album was made to be quietly digested in bedrooms, cars and buses then experienced completely together in a sweaty, heaving room.
How important is it to have that physical connection and to share your energy on stage with your fans?
It’s the most important thing. Historically, sharing music has always been this almost sacred thing. There’s a sense of being present, of being completely in an experience, of feeling the bass in your bones, of being close to strangers. When I’m on stage, I feel free and I would hope that everyone watching feels free too.
Congratulations on winning the Mercury Prize 2021, how did it feel when you heard the announcement and what does it mean to you?
I couldn’t quite believe it! I re-watched the footage and there was this distinct look of shock and disbelief on my face! I felt like I was floating up to accept it, out of body almost, then there were a lot of random bursts of tears and laughter over the next few days – it’s such a complicated thing to process big life events. The Mercury prize, to me, is a music prize for music lovers. There’s a purity and an honesty to the way the shortlist and winner are decided by people within the industry who 100% care deeply about music. It’s definitely one of the things I’m most proud of achieving in my lifetime so far.