Parker McKay Plans to Make Her Way Onto the Cover of ‘Rolling Stone’

The "Rolling Stone" singer may be new on the country scene, but her rock-influenced vibey sound is about to make a big stamp on what's next for country radio.

Written by Kelly Brickey
Parker McKay Plans to Make Her Way Onto the Cover of ‘Rolling Stone’
Photo courtesy Nashville Music Media

Parker McKay didn’t just waltz right into country music and make it a casual endeavor. Rather, she immediately got to work and set the bar high for herself right out of the gate.

After writing and playing for years, it was actually a song idea inspired by her friends’ success that popped into her head and led her to realize her goals for her music career. Enter “Rolling Stone,” a modern-made old-timey jam that lets people in to who McKay is and what she sets out to do.

“I had friends of mine nominated for a Grammy [John and T.J. Osborne of the Brothers Osborne] and I was just so taken back,” she explained to Sounds Like Nashville. “I just thought it was so incredible and they worked so hard for so long and I was thinking about all the milestones they’ve hit. Then I was thinking wonder what’s next for them and what are some huge iconic things to happen to you as an artist. I was thinking about being on the cover of Rolling Stone and then as soon as I had that thought, a melody came into my head. I was like, [sings] ‘cover of a Rolling Stone,’ like that part just came into my head. The song just came from there.”

Using that song as a catalyst for the rest of the writing for her album, McKay let the songs flow out of her, one by one, creating a vibey record where each track tells a new story and yet they all piece together perfectly to make one beautiful musical puzzle.

“I think every song was its own entity, but they are cohesive and I put them in an order that’s a story essentially. So there’s definitely a theme that goes through the whole thing,” she said.

While the theme has yet to be distinguished to the listeners’ ears, there’s one for-certain goal McKay made for the overall production: create something that’s not on the radio.

“Basically, my biggest thing was I wanted to write for a really long time so that I could curate songs that I was obsessed with, that I really felt super confident with showing people and introducing people to me with,” McKay told SLN. “The most important thing to me was to write something that wasn’t on the radio. I wasn’t trying to mimic anything. I didn’t want to take any baby steps. I just wanted to jump into what I like as a sound. It’s really raw-sounding, it’s really energetic and it’s not swampy but just vibey. I wanted to write what I think should be on the radio next, basically.”

With a rock-country sound inspired by empowering women like Sheryl Crow and Grace Potter, it’s sure to be said that McKay will find her way among those names after the release of her record. And while she may have plans to one day end up on the cover of Rolling Stone, she ultimately just wants listeners and music fanatics alike to get in the groove of her cool, unpolished sound.

“[My music is] just really fun, but not without meaning,” she said. “Really just country rock. Makes you wanna stomp your feet kind of thing and just do a stank face, I hope. You know what I mean? You know when you’re just so into something, you’re just like, ‘Aw, yes!’ I think I have a lot of fun syncopation and a lot of good thematic elements. I hope there isn’t a boring moment on the record. I think it’s all just really fun and different.”

Be on the lookout for McKay’s debut self-titled album coming out on August 12. Listen to “Rolling Stone” on streaming services and don’t forget to add it to your digital music library!