Las Cruces Sun News

Tunes: Singer-songwriter Daniel Park to perform at Harvest Wine Festival amid busy September tour

By James Staley /
Posted:   08/30/2012 01:00:00 AM MDT

Here is my interview in the Las Cruces Sun News! Link to the article

After so many miles, so many shows, the dates begin to blur.

Daniel Park, a versatile singer-songwriter with Las Cruces ties, knows he will be back in town to perform at the Harvest Wine Festival.

Road weary, he didn't know the day when asked earlier this week.

"It's a tiring thing," said Park, who will perform Sept. 3, Labor Day. "But I love it."

A regular feature on Park's website is called "Song of the Week." He posts videos of himself covering well-known songs. It shows his eclectic musical interest and talent, and provides a glimpse into his nation-trotting lifestyle.

One was shot by the Pecos River near San Juan. It's Park's version of "What a Wonderful World," the song jazz legend Louis Armstrong made famous.

Another is by the alternative band Death Cab for Cutie, which was shot from the window of his seventh-floor room at The Palazzo on the Las Vegas strip.

Park spent more time than usual in Las Vegas this year. He was part of the reality television series "America's Got Talent," advancing to the Las Vegas round which aired earlier this summer on NBC.

He never planned to be on such a show, and, frankly, never wanted to. Park loves performing on stage, and said he wants his music to reach as many people as possible — but "I never wanted to do it that way," he said.

Added Park: "If you get fans really fast you can't keep them. I'd rather go slower ... even just one at a time."

But this circumstance was different.

Park lives in Austin, Texas and the show's producers held an initial audition there. One of his friends flew in to try out, so Park took the personally counterintuitive step to join him.

Wrote Park in a January blog entry: "I don't know if I'm getting more desperate to get my music out there, or maybe it was convenience."

Park advanced from Austin to Las Vegas, though his audition never aired. In Las Vegas, his performance was edited down to a seven-second clip. He didn't make the cut.

As far as the feedback Park received from the panel of celebrity judges — Sharon Osborne, Howie Mandel and Howard Stern — he doesn't remember much.

"They said, 'You close your eyes a lot,'" Park said.

His reply: "I am Asian."

That irreverent response never aired. Though it does parallel the racial humor in Park's tune, "You Say Hello, I Say Herrow (The Asian Song)."

Park said he likes to have fun with the audience, in that and other ways. On his website, Park sells T-shirts bearing the song's title — the company that prints them, ROJO Apparel, uses proceeds helps to feed children in impoverished countries.

Besides Las Vegas, Park has been to Los Angeles, Phoenix and Miami this year. According to his online performance calendar, Park will spend parts of September in San Jose, Calif. and Green Bay, Wisc. between regional shows in Albuquerque, El Paso and Cloudcroft.

He gets contacted by people all over the country, and, while that can be exhausting, it excites him.

"I always go hell yeah, not even yeah," he said. "... I want to see as much as possible."

Later this year the touring will stop, but not the traveling. Park's planning to go to Thailand to help a friend shoot a documentary about a refugee group.

When he returns, it's back to the road.


James Staley can be reached at (575) 541-5476. Follow him on Twitter @auguststaley


Get to know Daniel Park

• The singer-songwriter's next public Las Cruces show is the Harvest Wine Festival - he gets on stage 3 p.m., Monday, the last singer of the weekend to perform

• From Albuquerque, Park has an electrical engineering degree from NMSU

• Park's EP, "Search and Rescue" is available on CD at his website, and on iTunes

• Online:\

A video of Park's cover of "What a Wonderful World"