The platinum selling, chart topping, country music band, Parmalee, and the viral sensation behind the “Git Up Challenge,” Blanco Brown, have joined forces for a collaboration that is creating a new renaissance with song and self-love.
“Just the Way” is a feel-good track focused on embracing the imperfections and loving each other for those physical features and personality traits that make us so individualistic. The video, which premiered on February 24th on a Times Square jumbotron, has gone viral with its powerful message that celebrates women of all ages, body types, and ethnicities. “We were all surprised by having to give away roses during the video and I think all the guys can attest that, it was a moment and real reactions,” explained Brown while at The Sir Henri Rooftop Penthouse Bar at Hotel Henri in New York City.
Watch the PARMALEE + Bronco Brown “Just The Way” music video, here!
“A long- time, dream come true” for the Parmalee band, as lead-singer Matt Thomas, remembers being in New York City to record an album in years past and “walking through Times Square and being like man, if we could ever be on one of those big screens, that would be amazing. We were always wishing.” Parmalee, comprised of brothers Matt and Scott Thomas, cousin Barry Knoz and life-long best friend, Josh McSwain, is no stranger to success as their song “Carolina” hit #1 in 2014 and their music has earned over 373 million Pandora streams, 123 million plays on Spotify, over 31 million YouTube/ VEVO views, and 1.7 million Shazam subscribers.
“Just The Way” was written by Thomas, alongside a few friends, and holds personal meaning. One of Thomas’ co-writers walked into the room talking about his wife who was feeling insecure that day as he told her, ‘what you call imperfections, I call beautiful babe.’ “When I heard it, I lit up. I was like ‘alright, I think everybody needs to hear that right now,” explained Thomas. While the song was being recorded, Parmalee knew it needed something else, something different in order for them to release it. That’s when they called on long-time friend and “Country Time” artist, Brown, whose melody and ‘positivity and purpose’ aligned well with the track. “It just happened organically in a way that, I don’t think any of us could really make happen. The song actually sounds like we wrote it for him and it was written for this collaboration, but it wasn’t and the way that it came together so perfectly, is just amazing,” Thomas. Once the track was finished, Parmalee and Brown knew they had something more than special. Brown explained that ‘from the moment we cut it, you could feel it’ and the reaction from the record label reinforced it.
Brown found early success in music while being a songwriter and producing tracks for big names like Fergie, Chris Brown and Pitbull. Brown’s debut single “The Git Up” was released in April 2019 and currently has over 165 million streams on Spotify.
“I’ve always been an artist my whole life. I just got behind the scenes to figure out how to be a part of the music industry because I love music the most,” said Brown while discussing his transition from producer to performer. “I’ve always been working on that canvas, as a kid all the way up until thus far. And may god continue to allow me to do what I love the most.”
Famously known as the “Git Up Challenge,” Brown’s dance moves went viral as people across the world demonstrated their version of the cheerful dance via TikTok which he said was a “gift. “I’m just glad to be serving my purpose. We always look for our purpose in life and once we find it, we must forward with it. I’m just glad I’m living in the positivity of my purpose. You never expect anything to go viral. I didn’t expect “Just the Way” to go viral, but I knew it was a great song,” explained Brown. They’re all “blessings.”
The “TrailerTrap” creator is also breaking boundaries with a genre of his own, blending together his two biggest musical influences, Johnny Cash and Outkast. “Country, R&B, and Rap music is all the same,” Blanco explains. “It’s story telling. It’s just the way we choose to narrate our stories and what instrumentation we put behind our vocals. I hear records now that are placed in certain categories and it’s because of instruments and the vocals, so the feeling has nothing to do with that genre. The world is one big playlist, just hit play and let’s get it!”
The authenticity of “Just The Way” is felt not just through the melody and lyrics, but through the roots of the storytellers themselves. The Thomas brothers began their musical careers in a band alongside their late father, Jerry, whose legacy they continuously embrace, whether it be with “Big Blue,” his pick-up truck they now drive and which is proudly displayed in recent press photos, or the motto he imparted them with, “Keep on Plugging.” Matt explained, it’s about “work ethic.” If you stop, then you’re finished. “We wouldn’t be here, if we didn’t keep on plugging.”
When asked on the spot who from the group fit the description best:
Most likely to write a song on the spot? “Blanco.”
Most likely to get lost in an airport? “Scott.”
Mr. Congeniality? “Blanco.”
Most likely to star in their own reality show? “Josh.”
Who takes the longest to do their hair? “Matt.”
Most likely to belt out a 90s boy band lyric? “All of us.”
Biggest fan of Nashville hot chicken? “Matt.”
Most likely to win the Lottery, but lose the ticket? “Matt would lose Scott’s ticket.”
Most likely to forget a lyric? <This one drew some laughs>
By: Jenna Guarneri
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