Ahead of the release of her debut album back in October, London-based singer-songwriter Arlo Parks spoke to BBC Radio 1 about her journey to the top during a pandemic. Twenty-year-old Parks began releasing music back in 2018 and has recently risen to fame due to songs like "Black Dog", "Eugene", and her latest release "Caroline".
At the start of 2020, the BBC gave Parks a camera to document her process, and watching the result of it, a year later, is pretty incredible. Last year, for her, she says, was a "year of self awareness", because despite the pandemic and all the negativity it brought, she realised how lucky she was to be able to write indoors and continue perfecting her craft. Like most of us though, the pandemic did take its toll on Parks's mental health as she said, "I did have a period of time where I allowed myself to grieve the year I never had," she said, adding that "as an emerging artist, I did have that fear that I'd be forgotten, that things would get stagnant, or that I wouldn't be able to grow."
While being able to go outside was a blessing, Parks admitted that "sometimes I wouldn't leave the house for ages", before she realised she needed to shift her perspective and focus on practising gratitude. It's something we all hope to do more of, but it's easier said than done. "I had a roof over my head, I had my family, and I started writing those things down every evening and journalling which really grounded me", she explained.
Fast-forward to January 2021, and Parks reveals "I never thought that I would get here, to this point where I'd have a debut album in my hands." Despite the fact that we're "in lockdown, and things are really difficult", Parks feels hopeful about the future, adding that "progress is being made and live music will come back at some point."
Check out the full video above.