From Harry to MACEY

From Harry to MACEY

Harry Parsons had a Smokefree Rockquest win, a debut single, a degree in pop music and a clear trajectory to stardom ahead of him. The only thing missing was Harry.

His heart wasn’t in it. “Being a little pop star” had lost its allure. So in 2019 Harry took time out from gigging and spent a year writing songs, hanging out with producer Ben Malone and getting back into the big band sounds he loved but had forgotten. Bands like The Smiths, The Cure, The War On Drugs and The Killers.   

Harry wrote about 50 songs during this period. He also changed his name to MACEY, the name under which he has released his debut album, Lovers – a “proper” album, he says, with a story of heartbreak, loss and ultimately a kind of resolution.

And it’s as MACEY that he is finally getting the attention as an artist that he warrants. Ironically, taking another name has been the key to him bringing his authentic self to his music.

The album’s songs track a chronology of loss, first of his musician father, Ian Parsons, who succumbed to a long illness, and then of his long-term relationship. The energy is lighter and “more naive” on Side A – you can hear that in “Lonely” and “Summer Grunge”, which predate the worst of the pain. With Side B, “I’ve grown,” says MACEY. “You grow up fast when you go through big events.”

Now he hopes his music can help others going through a rough patch, to give them catharsis and a sense of not being alone.

Along the way he has had some cool collabs with other artists, notably fellow ‘80s tragic Troy Kingi. They met at the SongHubs songwriting camp in Christchurch in 2021. The camps are a week of writing and collaborating with other musicians.

Troy was working on his ‘80s album project, Year Of The Ratbags And Their Musty Theme Songs at the time. Says MACEY, “Six months later he rang me up and asked me to come in to the studio. He’d written the song and my part as well. The man has an incredible work ethic.”

Right now, MACEY has gigs to prepare for. Good thing he loves to rehearse. And then before heading to the microphone it’s a couple of whiskies (Jamesons, neat) and a big hug and kiss for each of the band.


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