Make no mistake, things may not have come easy for Scarlet Parke, but she understands a good mindset can get you places. The soulful singer/songwriter is a rising star in the Seattle music scene and the product of a broken home, where drugs and alcohol touched her life continually. Scarlet overcame and now sets an example for youth with similar experiences.
Singing since she first saw the Little Mermaid at the age of four, Scarlet’s voice led her through church, school, and up to college where she earned a vocal scholarship. It was two months into her university career that the music program got cut, but once again tackling adversity, she would follow her voice out of school and onto the stage.
Influenced by soul and jazz music, Scarlet began to hit the scene, sometimes seeing multiple shows a night for almost nine months, to talk to every musician she could. Her break started at a local jam with those same musicians in attendance. She was able to get on stage and use her improvisational style of singing to form her first of many bands. Now playing bigger festivals like Seattle’s own Upstream, her passionate style of singing is hitting home to audiences. “All my songs are very emotionally charged and all true stories. It makes all the crazy stuff I’ve gone through okay. It doesn’t have to live with me anymore, it lives in whatever song it is.”
Goals evolve. Scarlet’s ultimate goal used to be to get through the trauma she experienced, to become her own rock. Now, it’s to be other peoples’ rock, for those who don’t have one. “I remember feeling overlooked as a kid,” Scarlet says, “feeling like I didn’t matter because grown-ups have their own problems. Kids become grown-ups and their problems multiply.” Now, Scarlet uses her voice to give a voice to others. Recently having the opportunity to partner with an alternative school in the Seattle area, she hopes to have more chances to mentor kids of broken homes, and those who want to know there’s hope on the other side.
Once Scarlet followed her voice. Then she let her voice lead. Now, it has a purpose. “Everything is temporary. It’s not necessarily a bad thing or a good thing, but it’s a thing that reminds you that where you are now is not where you’re always going to be. Where you are going depends on your mindset.”