Orillia country artist Parker Graye is set to realize one of her dreams this summer.
In an interview with OrilliaMatters last month, the Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School graduate said the only way things could ge better for her burgeoning career would be to play a concert at her dream venue at Boots and Hearts.
“If I got that call from Boots, I would die,” she said at the time. “It’s home turf. It’s full circle. It would be amazing.”
Last week she got 'that call' and will perform at the Boots and Hearts Music Festival on Friday, Aug. 11.
“This is mind-boggling to me,” Graye said.
The 33-year-old took part in an interview with Front Porch Music last week when they surprised her with a guest appearance from Boots and Hearts director of booking and brand strategy, Brooke Dunford, who invited Graye to play at the festival.
“I had no idea this was coming,” Graye said. “I was floored.”
Graye says she was so shaken by the surprise that she "blacked out" and started to cry.
“I feel wildly blessed, grateful, and overwhelmed with joy,” she said. “People always say it’s different on home turf and I’ve yet to experience that.”
Graye, who lives in Vancouver where she started her music career, has never performed live in front of her hometown fans, her local friends, or her family.
“This is something I’ve dreamed of,” she said. “It’s an absolute honour to be able to play in front of Orillia folk, people I’ve gone to school with, and family. It’s going to be pretty crazy.”
Graye says she will be extra nervous for her homecoming show.
“Sometimes playing in front of strangers is almost easier,” she said. “My family has never seen me play, so I feel like there is going to be more pressure.”
Already, lots of people from back home have reached out to Graye to say they are buying tickets for the Friday show.
“It’s going to be so fun,” she said. “I’m so thrilled to be on that stage.”
To be a part of the same lineup as Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, and Nickelback is "an honour," Graye says.
“Boots used to be such a pipe dream for me,” she said. “This is heavy in the best way.”
Graye plans to make the most of the opportunity by staying in Orillia with friends and family in the weeks leading up to the show.
“It’s going to be an incredible weekend to not only be a part of it but also really experience it,” she said. “I’m going to really enjoy this really cool, full-circle moment with my friends and family.”
Graye, who recently graced the cover of Canada’s Country playlist on Apple Music, is releasing a new single in the coming weeks called Who’s Lying Here. She encourages her fans to keep following her music journey on Instagram TikTok, and Facebook.