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Music

Tame Impala's Kevin Parker once named his favourite artist of all time

@josephtaysom

Tame Impala maestro Kevin Parker is one of the most vital artists of the last decade. Having explored the depths of creativity in a bid to push contemporary music in a new direction, the Australian once provided a glimpse into his musical DNA by revealing his “favourite” musician of all time.

The Perth musician has incorporated a vast number of influences under the immersive umbrella of Tame Impala, and he can’t be tied down to just one specific sound. Parker has adopted an experimentative approach throughout his career and continues to evolve with every album he puts his name towards.

However, the one artist that he named as his “favourite” of all time is a musician that you would struggle to hear strongly in Parker’s work, but there’s no doubt of the broader influence of late popstar on the industry, which he single-handedly changed forever.

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Reflecting on his musical upbringing in a past interview with The GuardianParker detailed the records that have soundtracked pivotal moments across his life. He named Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’ as the first song he can remember.

“My brother Steve, who was a few years older than me, had Bad on tape,” Parker remembered. “I remember listening to ‘Smooth Criminal’ and just thinking it was the coolest thing ever. I must have been five or six at the time and I remember walking around school by myself thinking I was Michael Jackson. I wasn’t dancing, exactly – more like walking musically. It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

“It had a pretty lasting impact on me – I got so obsessed that I used to walk around my school with my cardigan around my elbows, pretending I was Michael Jackson,” he later remembered to NME. “I didn’t bother with friends and stuff. The rest of the guys were having running races.”

Further elaborating on his love of ‘The King Of Pop’ in another interview, Parker said: “Michael Jackson’s one of my favourite artists of my whole life, In fact, I think he is my favourite. It’s one of the first things I fell in love with before I learned about genres and before I knew what was cool to like.”

Twice in his career, Parker has paid tribute to his childhood hero by covering his work. The first of these came in 2014 when the Aussie sprinkled some magic dust on ‘Stranger In Moscow’ with some assistance from Theophilus London, and the two teamed up again a couple of years later to take on MJ’s ‘How Does It Feel’.

Listen to their take on ‘Stranger In Moscow’ below.