Parson James serenades a crowd of influencers atop New York's hottest roof.
“Musically, I am really honest,” says 24-year-old singer-songwriter Parson James, who recently moved from New York City to Los Angeles after living everywhere from Bushwick to the Lower East Side and the Bronx. “I don’t hold anything back. Everything I go through has to be written down, and it has to be used in some form of art.” James sang from this deep part of his soul when he recorded his chart-topping single “Stole the Show” with Kygo. Back in town during August, that same energy was palpable when he performed at Gotham’s annual Summer Sundown bash poolside at Life Time Athletic at Sky. “I don’t take this for granted,” he told me moments before he hit the rooftop stage overlooking a breathtaking cityscape. “Only a few years ago, being openly gay as an artist wasn’t accepted. I’m lucky to be dropping my debut album this fall. It wouldn’t be possible without those before me like Freddie Mercury, Elton John, George Michael and Adam Lambert. They paved the way for me to be myself.”
Photography by: PHOTO BY MARK SAGLIOCCO/GETTY IMAGES