Rome teen releases ‘Relate’ album

Spencer Parrish

Spencer Parrish, son of Cornell Parrish Jr. and Lori Parrish, of Rome, is a performer, a musician, a producer, a singer, and a teenager. At 14 years old, Parrish released his debut album "Relate" on iTunes, Amazon mp3, Spotify, Zune, MySpace Music and iHeartradio on Sunday.

The album sports "a young R&B feel with sprinkles of pop on every song."

Parrish self-produced all 12 songs on the album and write the lyrics with the help of his older brother, Cornell III.

Parrish started his music production career with a keyboard, an old microphone, and a laptop, which he was later able to transform into a professional home studio. Production of his new album took place over the course of a year, with Spencer’s family and friends always giving him extra motivation. One of his friends even got the opportunity to feature in one of the songs himself.

"These songs were a lot of fun to create, especially because all the songs are relatable," said Parrish. "That’s the reason why this album is called Relate. I had a blast making the album and I can’t wait to see who else will enjoy them too."

Parrish was strongly influenced by R&B artists John Legend and Usher as well as his family, friends, and day-to-day experiences, but his inspiration comes first from God, he said.

Parrish is a student at Rome Free Academy and is known by the Rome community for playing music at school functions and playing the organ at the Mount Calvary Baptist Church, 203 Erie Blvd E. At age 10, he played piano at the Capitol Theater in a benefit for the Rescue Mission. He also plays the drums, guitar, and trumpet.

Parrish learned of his passion for the piano at age 5 after learing an elementary version of "The Entertainer." After just a few months of piano lessons, he and his family learned that he could play songs by ear, a gift he credits to God.

The Parrish family is also very musical. It plays at church and has formed the gospel group the Parrish Family. The group consists of Cornell Jr. and Lori along with their children Cornell III and Spencer. Cornell III is able to play the drums by ear, much like Spencer is able to do with the piano.

Despite the family’s collective musical efforts, they still show unwaivering support towards Spencer’s blossoming solo career. Now that his first album has been released, Parrish hopes to establish a name for himself by advertising and performing throughout New York.