Newton woman chosen to sing ‘La La Land’ opening song

NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) – A Kansas woman has made it big in Hollywood. While many people may not know the woman’s name just yet, it’s likely they have heard her voice.

“La La Land” is one of the most talked about movies in the nation after winning more Golden Globes on Monday than any move in history.

While people in Hollywood are eating the film up, a family in Newton is too.

“I have seen it three times,” said Kathy Parrish.

Parrish admits the film’s plot is intriguing, but that’s not why she and her husband, Marv, love the movie so much. They have their daughter Angela Parrish to thank for that.

“I never saw the movie coming,” said Angela Parrish.

Parrish moved to Los Angeles in 2012 to pursue a music career after earning her undergraduate degree from Wichita State University and her graduate degree from Northern Colorado University.

“She landed a job the first day she got there with a private academy and taught several piano students and that’s how she made her living for a while and she eventually found jobs at restaurants and clubs,” Kathy said.

When Angela wasn’t at work she was either writing songs or performing them. She said music has always been a passion of hers.

“It just sort of feels like the only thing that I was meant to do or the only thing that makes me feel like I am living my purpose,” Angela said.

While Angela has accomplished a great deal during her time in LA, she recently got a big break. She was selected from dozens of artists to sing the opening song in the movie “La La Land.”

“It was kind of surreal. I definitely called my family first and I was really excited and really looking forward to going in and doing my best,” she said.

Angela’s parents are extremely proud of their daughter. Her dad was brought to tears talking about Angela’s accomplishment with KSN.

“One of my daughters is singing a song on a production that is going to be known world-wide. It’s hard to down play that, so it’s overwhelming as I’m demonstrating,” Marv said.

Angela’s mom said it was bittersweet.

“She has always been a driven child, kind of exhausting to raise, I might add,” Kathy said. “There were many, many concerts and lots of practicing, so it’s very much all worth it.”

The family said Angela’s success is proof that anything is possible, even for a humble, small town Kansas girl.

“I think sometimes people think it can’t happen to them, but it really, really can. I think everybody should feel that they can pursue whatever their dream is whatever that may be,” Angela said.

Parrish is currently working on her next album. Her family said she credits the town of Newton and her mentors for her success.

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