Parker McCollum on Lessons from New Album 'Never Enough': 'Stop and Smell the Roses' (Exclusive)
The country singer exclusively talks to PEOPLE about being mindful of his accomplishments while still continuing to pursue success in the wake of his latest album
Parker McCollum refuses to let life just pass him by.
His latest album, out last Friday, is aptly titled Never Enough to serve as a reminder.
"There's a silver lining that is learning to be grateful for what you have, and taking the moment to stop and smell the roses every now and then because it'll never be enough. And it really is plenty if you think about it — I'm just as guilty as anybody of forgetting that sometimes," the 30-year-old shares exclusively with PEOPLE.
"I found myself several times last year realizing that regardless of whether you're talking about the effort you're putting in or how many accolades you could obtain or how many goals you could reach or mountains you could climb, it seems like nothing is ever enough. And just the more I said it out loud, I said, man, it's a pretty good album title!" he recalls with a laugh.
The new, 15-track album includes popular singles like "Handle on You," which is McCollum's third consecutive No. 1 hit on country radio.
His prior No. 1 singles, "Pretty Heart" and "To Be Loved By You," were featured on his last album, Gold Chain Cowboy.
"I haven't listened to that record in so long. I probably should go back and listen and see if it's any good!" he quips about the 2021 album.
McCollum's process hasn't changed from one album to the next. He's not here with a goal of only cranking out radio hits — he just wants to make good music.
"I still just sit around trying to make up melodies and write songs that could stand the test of time and not be so worried about a No. 1 that is a flash in the pan," he explains. "You've got to write real songs from the right place, and that's what I've always tried to do. That's still what I'm trying to do. So I hope this record showcases that a little bit."
Writing real songs from the right place isn't always easy, either. For McCollum, caring so much about country music is a blessing, but it can also create added pressure.
Related: Parker McCollum Says He Wanted to 'Earn' a Successful Career: 'I Wanted to Do It the Hard Way'
"It's kind of a painstaking process for me, writing songs. Sometimes I wish I didn't care because then I could just throw them out there like they're coupons or something, and it wouldn't matter," he says. "But I really, really care a lot about what I'm putting out there, and when I'm putting my name on it, I just want it to be great."
McCollum has admired country music stars since he was a child (a lifelong dream, he says, is to sneak his way into the Country Music Hall of Fame "when nobody is looking"). He grew up in Texas, and he even carries around a piece of advice he received from another Texas-born country star: Miranda Lambert.
Related:Miranda Lambert on Pushing Back Against Pressure to Change Her Look: 'It's About What I Have to Say' (Exclusive)
"One time, Miranda said, 'You just need to slow down. You got what it takes to get there, but don't try to get it all today,' which is probably exactly what I needed to hear and probably still do [need to hear]. You can get caught up and lose your sense of patience at times. And so, for someone who's a seasoned vet like she is and who has been around and done it on such a high level for so long, she knows what she's talking about."
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McCollum adds that he would love to collaborate with Lambert on a song in the future, and keeping the Texas connection alive, he'd also love to work with George Strait.
"I know that'll never happen, he doesn't do that!" he says, "But I'll always kind of be holding out hope that it could happen maybe one day."
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