Parson James, the New York based singer who went 2 x platinum last year with his single 'Stole the Show' is escaping the current political upheavals in his homeland to headline Big Gay Out in Auckland on Sunday.

'What's going on in my country at the moment, I think it's going to be great to be so far away from home and still be able to unite with people that I'm not really that familiar with and just feel that pride and feel that energy 'cause it's kind of bleak back where I'm from.'

'I feel like we're going through a really tough time but it's also beautiful that so many people are uniting together and showing solidarity.'

Along with performing as part of the Auckland Pride Festival James has teamed up with New Zealand's own Stan Walker to record a goosebump inducing version of the American country classic 'Tennessee Whiskey'.


The pair, who met in July last year at a Fifth Harmony concert in Auckland, have been texting each other since, scheming to find a project they could work together on.

'I just knew that I have always wanted to do something with him and his voice has always kind of mesmerised me so it's cool to finally be able to do it.' James said from the Auckland studio the duo were recording in this afternoon.

One would be forgiven for thinking that the 1981 song 'Tennessee Whiskey', originally performed by George Jones, was James's contribution to the double act, but in fact it was his trip down under last year that brought the song to the forefront of his mind.

'When I was at a Marae last year one of the girls sang 'Tennessee Whiskey' to me and I've never been so emotional, I was really going through it'.

Parson is looking forward to his family arriving in New Zealand tomorrow to see him perform his solo show at REC on Friday night ahead of Sunday's big act, but also being able to explore the country properly.

His connection to New Zealand stems from his manager, Scott Maclachlan (Lorde's former manager) who won the singer over through his open and honest conversation while James was still playing open mic nights in the States.

'He came to one of the shows and sat in the back and we just sat and we talked and he's a lover of music and after that connection with him and learning about the culture through him and all of his friends, I just always wanted to come.'

Once he finishes discovering New Zealand with his family he is off to Europe on a solo tour ahead of his debut album launch in June.

When asked about whether New Zealand could be a permanent escape from the Trump debacle he replied 'I always said that the second Trump gets elected I'm coming, but it's a bit more difficult that I anticipated.'

'It just feels beautiful to be here'.