Arlo Parks says cancelling string of concerts was ‘really difficult decision’

Arlo Parks said cancelling a string of concerts last year was a “really difficult decision” as there is “always that fear of disappointing people”.

The Mercury Prize and Brit Award winning musician in September scrapped some of her US tour dates before saying she would fly home for a period of rest and recovery.

The 22-year-old later restarted her tour and is to play London, Leeds and Dublin in the upcoming months this year.

Parks told Elle UK’s Why I… Move podcast series that after playing 125 shows in 2022 she felt a “real sense of sluggishness, slowness and discomfort”.

She said: “I definitely think people around me saw it before I did… Being an artist was not as joyful as it always was, and something felt wrong.

“It was really difficult to make that decision because there’s always that fear of disappointing people.

“It goes far beyond me, but it was honestly one of the best decisions I ever made because I had to go away and retreat, be at home, rest and be around my favourite people, take my dog for walks, eat right, try and get enough sleep and get back to the place where we could put on a good show and be happy again.”

Parks, whose real name is Anais Marinho, released her debut EP, titled Super Sad Generation, in 2019 before her profile grew over the pandemic years.

She was named “one to watch” at the AIM Independent Music Awards and recognised as BBC Introducing’s artist of the year in 2020.

A year later in May, she won the award for best new artist at the Brit Awards and in September 2021 the Mercury Prize following her critically acclaimed debut album Collapsed In Sunbeams that placed number three in the Official Charts.

She also embarked on an international tour, opening for acts such as former One Direction singer Harry Styles and American singer-songwriter Billie Eilish.

AIM Independent Music Awards
Arlo Parks with the best independent album award at the recording of AIM Independent Music Awards (Ian West/PA)

Parks also told the podcast that she has since moved to Los Angeles from the UK.

She said: “A lot of my music is talking about the people around me and the stories of the people around me.

“The second song that I just put out is called ‘Impurities’ and it’s the first song that I’ve made that’s purely joyful.

“I feel like I found my people. That was during my first trip to LA, where I decided that I wanted to move, and I felt myself really taking care of my body and my spirit. I felt creative and happy there. I definitely feel like it’s working its way into my work.”

For more see Elle UK’s Why I… Move podcast.