Phillip Michael Parsons had an old clock radio next to his bed when he was a kid. And while his ultra-conservative Mennonite upbringing discouraged listening to music with any sort of instruments included, that old clock radio opened up the world of country music to him.

“I remember that it only picked up one tiny radio station in my hometown,” Parsons says during a recent interview with Taste of Country. “And the only thing that station played was 90’s country.”

Through those little speakers came the crackly sounds of legends including Diamond Rio, Tim McGraw and Brooks & Dunn, and it’s those influences that one can hear loud and clear on Parsons’ new single, “Give It to Me Country.”

Premiering exclusively on Taste of Country, the hard-hitting song has already been on quite a journey, receiving a half a million views across all social media platforms.

All in all, it’s been a somewhat surreal chain of events for Parsons, whose life has never seemed to have nearly enough silver linings. The oldest male of nine children, Parsons grew up under some challenging conditions, with his parents eventually making the decision to separate. After graduating from high school at the age of 16, Parsons went to work as a summer intern in the Department of Defense for the U.S. Navy. But in his heart, he knew there was something else out there for him.

But family always came first.

“I didn't necessarily pursue any of my dreams until a little bit later than most people because I just always wanted to give some stability for my brothers and sisters,” he remembers. “Making sure they had a place to live and food to eat was the most important thing. I always felt very responsible for the rest of my siblings.”

But after his mom found a man that took care of them once again, Parsons found himself at a personal and professional crossroads of sorts.

“I basically started asking myself, ‘What am I doing with my life now that I actually have the time and the mental capacity to figure out what I wanted to do?’" he remembers. “I just knew I wanted to pursue country music.”

With his new guitar in his hand and a few videos uploaded onto Facebook, Parsons quickly found that his down-home attitude, paired with his awfully impressive voice, was starting to gain some traction with a growing legion of fans.

“I remember, when I did my first show, I just had this sick addiction to entertaining and making sure people had a good night,”  the Maryland native states. “I just realized that entertainment was something that I was extremely passionate about.”

So, like countless before him, Parsons decided it was time to go to Nashville.

“I sold my boat, I sold my truck, I sold my house, I sold everything,” remembers Parsons, who has gone on to play alongside major artists including Chris Janson, Jimmie Allen and Craig Campbell. “I left a job making almost a hundred thousand dollars a year and four weeks of vacation a year, and decided to go all in.”

Flash forward to this past June, when Parsons decided to put out “Give It to Me Country” on TikTok, and the song quickly went viral.

“As crazy as that may sound, I would like to have a number one,” he admits. “I know that coming from somebody who's never had a song chart anywhere near that is sort of crazy, but that's my goal. I would like to have a number one.”

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