Alumnus Allen Parker graduated from Belmont with a degree in music business and is now a recording and mix engineer and manages a private studio owned by Dan Auerbach. With many exciting opportunities under his belt since graduation, he says his favorite was working on an album with Yola, who was nominated for four Grammy Awards including all-genre Best New Artist.
“We didn’t win, but it was pretty cool to be in the conversation. I’ve been fortunate to work with some really great artists and musicians,” Parker shared.
While at Belmont, Parker worked as a student staff engineer at the campus studios and Ocean Way while he was simultaneously trying to start a freelancing business as an engineer. After graduation, he accepted a part time position with Ocean Way in client services in which he primarily set up rooms with assistant engineers and made coffee. At the same time, he was building his freelance business and gaining more and more high profile gigs. Over time, his freelance business took over the majority of his workload.
There have been a number of projects Parker has worked on over the years, but he has three favorites that resonate with him most. “I love the Yola album we made, ‘Walk Through Fire.’ The Black Keys album ‘Lets Rock’ was really fun to make, and I think it’s a really good one,” Parker said. “There’s also this album coming out by Marcus King, ‘El Dorado,’ that I really love. He’s an incredible singer and guitar player, and I think it’s just a very good album top to bottom.”
He says the most rewarding aspect of his career in music production is creating music that means something to people. Parker loves to hear that something he was a part of is resonating with fans. His education from Belmont has largely contributed to his successful career and laid a strong foundation for his future endeavors.
Parker explained, “As I was finishing school at Belmont, I worked at Ocean Way where I was able to learn from folks who were making records every day and had been for years.” Looking forward, he aspires to continue making better and better records.
To students, Parker recommends practice, grit and patience. He encouraged, “You’ve got to want it really bad. Bad enough to put up with a lot and wait longer than you’d expect before any kind of success. Belmont lays the foundation, but you have to practice what you’re learning on your own.”