Five Questions with David Parks

After attending the University of Memphis, where he earned his bachelor’s in jazz performance, bassist David Parks was tapped to participate in MTV’s hit show ‘Making His Band.’ Shortly after, he started touring the world – with platinum recording artists Sean Kingston, Justin Bieber and Jason Derulo. He’s an in-demand bassist and a native Memphian who reps our city all over the globe. We got him to slow down just long enough to answer Five Questions.

When did you become a touring musician and what was your first national tour?

My first national tour was Sean Kingston. We opened for Justin Bieber on his first Tour “My World Tour.”

What do you love the most about representing Memphis while you’re touring?

When I tell someone I’m from Memphis, it’s received with level of musical respect. Memphis artists before me have done a great job in creating a legacy of excellence. It’s an honor to be able to carry on that tradition.

What about coming up in Memphis prepared you to be a full-time touring musician?

The thing about Memphis musicians is that everyone can really play. Iron sharpens iron. This helped my confidence and ability. If you can play in Memphis, you can play anywhere.

Who are your favorite Memphis artists, past and present?

Like everyone else I’m a huge Stax fan and also an alum of the Stax Music Academy. From that era, I love Isaac Hayes, Al Green, The Bar Kays.

I’m a huge Memphis hip hop fan as well. Some favorites would be Playa Fly, Project Pat, 36 Mafia, Young Dolph.

Everyone knows Memphis is a city that has soul – but what does that mean to you?

Soul is something that is born in the mud of the Mississippi. Soul is that beautiful grittiness that can’t be bought, and only earned. You can feel it in the music and see it in everything that we do. Every time I take the stage, I make sure to represent that.

You may also be interested in: Memphis Hip-Hop: What We´ve Learned From 4 Decades

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