What is Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker’s net worth? The question is not all too easily answered. While Kevin Parker’s wealth, like his music, is a little mysterious, this is what we know.
Kevin Richard Parker was born on January 20, 1986, in Sydney, Australia. His father Jerry was from Rhodesia and his mother Rosalind from South Africa. Jerry was a mining executive and hobby musician. Parker has described his mother Rosalind as a “free spirit”.
The two separated when Kevin Parker was three. By his own admission, he had a difficult childhood. Music was a source of solace. Growing up in Perth, Western Australia, Parker started writing songs at age 7. He began drumming at age 11. His father would also teach him a guitar. At 12 he began recording music.
With little hope of national or international success, Kevin Parker spent his late teens and early twenties playing in a number of little-known local bands. He signed a major label record deal after several songs recorded under his Tame Impala alias were discovered on Myspace in 2008. Upon learning of the deal Parker dropped out of university to pursue music.
Fame and Fortune
Debut album InnerSpeaker was a global indie rock success. Following its release in 2010, Tame Impala became a regular presence at international music festivals. 2012’s Lonerism was another step forward, in no small part due to hit single ‘Elephant’. The pop appeal of the third album Currents broke Tame Impala to a mainstream audience.
After spending four years touring Currents, Tame Impala headlined Coachella and Glastonbury, two of the world’s largest and most prestigious festivals, in 2019. The same year Tame Impala would play two sold-out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Promoting an album of the same name, 2020’s The Slow Rush Tour was set to be one of Tame Impala’s highest-grossing and technically extravagant to date. After performing only two shows at US arenas Pechanga and The Forum the tour was canceled in April due to the international outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Tame Impala is set to resume touring in July 2021.
What Makes Tame Impala Unique?
A common misconception is that Tame Impala is a band. Tame Impala is the solo alias of Kevin Parker. The 34-year-old writes, records, and produces all of the project’s music. A band of friends assists him in performing his material live. With roots in psychedelic rock, pop, electronic dance music, hip hop, and R&B Parker’s experimental music defies easy classification. Despite their unlikely combination of influences Tame Impala’s chart-topping albums and reputation as an in-demand live act have catapulted Kevin Parker’s home recording project into the upper echelons of modern music.
Tame Impala’s live performances are sonically and visually stunning. Setlist.fm reports that since 2008 Tame Impala has performed 506 shows in more than 35 countries. Tame Impala has appeared at music festivals Glastonbury and Coachella multiple times. Kevin Parker and his band also frequent other top tier international festivals such as Spain’s Primavera Sound and Japan’s Fuji Rock.
Tame Impala’s festival sets have not always resulted in a profit. “We didn’t make any money from Coachella,” Kevin Parker revealed to newspaper The Australian in 2019. “I don’t even know that we broke even.” The show comprised of a Pink Floyd-inspired light ring, several additional projectors, lasers (which alone cost half a million US dollars to rent), and 18 confetti cannons. “It was a $2.8 million job interview,” Parker joked. “Hopefully, we’re hired.” The fee for a headline Coachella appearance is an estimated $500,000.
Tame Impala’s two August 2019 shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden were more profitable. Website Pollster states Tame Impala sold more than 24,000 tickets and grossed $1.32 million. Before its cancellation 2020’s The Slow Rush Tour also generated significant income.
Pollstar notes that Tame Impala’s March 9 Pechanga Arena sold 10,304 tickets and grossed $704,625. Two nights at The Forum, in Inglewood, California on March 10 and 11, sold a further 25,986 tickets and grossed an estimated $1.82 million. (The band’s biggest box office haul to date.) Tame Impala will perform at another two-dozen US shows when The Slow Rush Tour in 2021. This will be followed by a 6 date Australian tour.
Part of Tame Impala’s income comes from music royalties. While a single stream only earns an artist between $0.004 and $0.005 per play on platforms like Spotify, these payments add up in large amounts. And when it comes to Tame Impala a lot of people are listening.
As of August 2020, Tame Impala’s music had been streamed more than two billion times on Spotify. In October 2020, Tame Impala boasted some 13.6 million monthly Spotify listeners. Music data website Chartmetric reveals Tame Impala enjoys 1.1 million YouTube music video views daily. At the time of writing, this averaged out to 33.7 million a month. Statsmesh estimates Tame Impala has made $319,000 of royalties from YouTube to date. Tame Impala is also popular on other streaming services such as Pandora where listeners stream the music of Kevin Parker more than 620,000 times in the last month.
Tame Impala is an albums band. 2012’s Lonerism reached a peak position of #34 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart. Currents climbed even higher to #4 in 2015. It was topped by The Slow Rush which reached #3 in 2020. Tame Impala albums have enjoyed similar chart performances in Australia, UK, Europe, and Japan.
Kevin Parker has also had modest success with singles. ‘Elephant’ was an early success. “That song paid for half my house,” Parker shared in 2015. By far the most popular single has been ‘The Less I Know the Better’. The song has been streamed more than 600 million times on Spotify and recently achieved Platinum Single certification in the US after a viral resurgence on video-sharing app TikTok in 2019.
Several of Tame Impala’s songs have been covered by other artists. Most famously, Rihanna covered Currents ‘New Person, Same Same Old Mistakes’ on 2016 chart-topper ANTI. Kevin Parker has also collaborated with several famous artists including Kanye West, Mick Jagger, Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Daft Punk, A$AP Rocky, and Travis Scott.
The popularity of Tame Impala songs in product commercials has proven a lucrative source of income. “Blackberry and some tequila brand put my song in an ad.” Parker shared in 2014. “Then I bought a house and set up a studio.” The single featuring in the Blackberry commercial was ‘Elephant’. Posting to social media in 2013 Parker revealed he was offered $100,000 for use of the song in the ad. (Appearing in the 1800 Tequila advert was InnerSpeaker‘s ‘The Bold Arrow of Time‘.)
Tame Impala has since appeared in several other commercials. ‘The Less I Know the Better’ soundtracked 2015 Apple Watch campaign. ‘Elephant’ would again be used as a YouTube Music jingle in 2018. Currents opener ‘Let It Happen‘ was employed in a 2019 campaign to promote the Ford Edge motorcar.
Film and TV
The music of Tame Impala has also featured in films. Rapper Kendrick Lamar sampled Lonerism‘s ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’ for his score for 2014 sci-fi Divergent. ‘Elephant’ can be heard in the film adaption of the TV series Entourage. Tame Impala’s music has also appeared in several TV series. US music rights collection agency ASCAP states that licensing a song in a feature film can land an artist $15,000 and $60,000. The majority of synchronization fees paid to artists range from $20,000 to $45,000.
Kevin Parker owns three houses. As mentioned earlier, the advertising revenue from ‘Elephant’ Parker bought a house in Fremantle, Perth. A large part of the house was renovated to accommodate a home studio. Realestate.com.au places the average house price in the beachside suburb at $575,937 US ($790,000 Australian).
Promotional interviews for the fourth Tame Impala album The Slow Rush in 2019 revealed Parker had purchased a 5-bedroom home in Hollywood Hills, Las Angeles. The house features in the music video for Tame Impala and The Streets‘ collaboration ‘Call My Phone‘. Property website Zillow estimates an average home in Holywood Hills to be worth $1.8 million US.
In September 2020 Kevin Parker made headlines in Australia after acquiring a $2 million US ($2.75 million Australian) beach property know as the Wave House. The four-bedroom house, which incorporates a built-in professional studio, is situated on a 50-acre plot, in Yallingup, Western Australia. Parker first visited the property to record his first album Innerspeaker in 2009. He would also use the ocean-side property while recording Currents.
Built-in the 1980s by veteran producer Ken Eichenberg the property was previously used to record music by the Beastie Boys and Fatboy Slim. In addition to an inbuilt studio, the property also contains a 300 person natural limestone amphitheater perfect for private live performances. The site also contains a two-story guest house. The price was reported to be a steal. Real estate publication Property Observer notes Parker purchased the home for $1 million less than the $3.7 million asking price first advertised for in June 2020.
Kevin Parker is constantly upgrading his home studio and regularly tinkers with Tame Impala’s live sound. A complete list of all of Parker’s musical gear has never been made public. This said when a Californian wildfire destroyed an Airbnb Parker had temporarily converted to record material for The Slow Rush Kevin shared that he lost more than $30,000 of musical equipment. Only a laptop containing song demos and a vintage 1967 Hofner Bass were saved.
In the addition to his Hofner Bass, Parker has performed with several guitars including a Japanese Rickenenbacker 335 Jetglo, a customized Fender Roadhouse Stratocaster, and a Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster. He employs a combination of vintage and modern amplifiers as well as microphones. He is also in possession of an elaborate array of effects pedals. His love of synthesizers equals his passion for guitar. Parker has owned a Roland Juno-106, Moog Sub Phatty 25-Key, and several more.
Philosophy On Money
It is music and not money that motivates Kevin Parker. “I believe that if you do something good, make good art or make good stuff,” he told the radio station BBC 6, “the wealth will find you in some way.” Unlike many artists, Parker has expressed he does not mind that some fans illegally download his work for free. “It’s not really how much you pay for it or even whether or not it’s physical,” Parker has stated. “If music was free I think it changes the experience but it doesn’t necessarily cheapen it. It doesn’t make it any less profound.”
Tame Impala’s lyrics also provide insight into Parker’s non-commercial motivations. “I did it for love,” Parker sings on the fourth album The Slow Rush’s closing track ‘One More Hour‘. “I did it for fun,” he continues, “Couldn’t get enough.” Parker then sheds light on his regard for wealth: “I did it for fame, but never for money.”
“In the end,” he told Australian publication The Music in 2015, “I’m lucky enough to travel the world and make albums, and not have to worry about not having a job. I just find it counter-productive to get worked up over [royalty payments].”
While Kevin Parker has never revealed the extent of his fortune, the collective value of his real estate properties alone likely exceeds $2.34 million. How much he has accrued or spent on his way top remains a mystery. This said, with recent live performances grossing well over $500,000, Tame Impala’s net worth will only continue to grow when touring resumes in 2021.
Estimated net worth: $5-10 million
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