Photos by Peter Ash Lee
Issue 07 of Hello Mr.—which clocks in at a casual 200 pages—features up-and-coming singer-songwriter Parson James. Back in February we chatted with James about growing up gay in the religious and conservative South, but Hello Mr. dives further into James's upbringing, accompanying an in-depth profile with simple, stunning photography.
Here are five favorite things we learned about James:
1. He's kind-of-almost-sort-of related to Whitney Houston:
"My aunt and uncle—I’ve never met them—Whitney Houston was their godmother."
2. His video-mentary for “Sinner Like You” was filmed in his actual hometown:
“I don’t resent the town at all, I just learned a lot from it,” Parson says in the video. “It’s definitely shaped me. I take all of it.”
3. He recently aquired a bulldog, which he aptly named Dolly Parson.
4. He's a mama's boy:
"Until I was on my own, she absolutely lived her life so that I could live mine.”
5. He still gets a little nervous before performing:
"I’m short, I pace around, I smile a lot. I can’t hold a conversation for very long, I have to keep going around and talking to people. And then I wanna be alone for a second, and I put my in-ears early, like an hour before I have to, and then I pace around."
Grab a copy of the new Hello Mr. issue here.
Make sure to watch out for two photo shoots we especially loved, one inspired by the legendary work of street photographer Vivian Maier and another based on the plays of Tennessee Williams. There's also a story by Steve Orlando, the first comic writer to have a gay male character with a solo-running series in a mainstream comic, that will leave you bug-eyed.