Kurtis Parks’ approach to life, is the same as his approach to music -"If you always do what you’ve always done…you'll always be what you’ve always been."
Based in Washington DC, Kurtis just finished recording his 2nd worship EP with acclaimed Nashville producer and friend, Akil Thompson. The album features some of Parks' most heartfelt worship songs that he's written since he started leading worship in churches, at age 14. After spending the last 3 years on the road with his band, The Season, Kurtis has emerged with a fresh sound all his own and is beginning to be known as a true voice of worship in today's ever-changing world. Since June of 2009, Parks has been on the road solo, leading worship at camps, conferences, and camps all over the country. He now joins National Community Church, in our nation's capital, serving as a worship leader on staff, alongside pastor and best-selling author Mark Batterson.
While still in college, he honed his songwriting skills, writing albums for people by word of mouth to pay his way through school. He was a finalist in VH1's Song of the Year competition for his inspirational tune "Everything that You Are." Kurtis also gained national exposure through American Idol's fourth season, where he climbed to the top 50 finalists. After Idol, he joined forces with longtime friend and guitarist Josh Kim to form "the Season". The Season has been featured nationally on CNN, NBC, and the Fox Morning show, with Kurtis' song "Forever Changed”, written for the Virginia Tech families that were affected by tragedy of April 16, 2007. The song was one of the first ever to reach 1 on a top 40 radio format from an independent artist, and was the most requested song of the year on Roanoke, VA's popular K92 Radio.
Having written over 1200 songs in every genre since the age of 13, this young talent is a diamond in the rough among songwriters and is quickly becoming a fan favorite with Indie pop/rock listeners. Kurtis has penned songs with some amazing chart-topping lyricists, including Calvin Nowell, Keith Dudley, Scott Davis, and Aaron Rice. His songs have won the "Track of the Week" and numerous "track of the day" awards on Garageband.com and he’s been nominated twice for Artist of the Month out of over 10,000 bands on Stereofame.com. On Ourstage.com, Kurtis’ songs have held the #1 slot for 3 months, as well as 7 “top 10”s. His band, the Season reached #16 worldwide on Myspace Unsigned Pop Artists. Kurtis has shared the stage with many well known artists, both Christian and Secular, including John Mayer, Sanctus Real, Rachel Lampa, Reliant K, B. Reith, Ben Folds, Cowboy Mouth, and The White Tie Affair. He’s also appeared on BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel Hour, been featured in Worship Leader Magazine, and has written songs for several major label artists.
Although Kurtis has experienced success, his priority has always been to write songs that inspire others to live for a higher purpose. His new release “Light Will Shine” is not your traditional worship record, and it’s met with much anticipation. His first indie worship EP, “I Believe” sold more than 1,000 copies independently, in less than a year! With the new album, Parks and producer Akil Thompson have thrown tradition and normalcy out the window. “We’re using sounds that have never been used before, and our hope with this collection is to set the trend, instead of following it.”
- Kurtis Parks and The Anthem are being dubbed new heroes in DC’s Rock scene
Washington, DC – Alt Rock sensation, Kurtis Parks and The Anthem, are unleashing their new self-titled EP, on March 30, 2012. Kurtis Parks is an American Idol semi- finalist from season 4, performing in front of over 50 million viewers. Kurtis then went on to sign a publishing deal and traveled to Nashville, TN, with his successful indie rock group, The Season. Kurtis went on to have a #1 song “Forever Changed”, sold thousands of records, and toured for nearly 4 years, packing out venues across the east coast, such as the Bitter End in NYC, 12th and Porter in Nashville, and DC’s 930 Club. Kurtis is a songwriter/producer now based in the Washington area. He joined with longtime friends in the DC music scene to start up Kurtis Parks and then Anthem, and their new single “City of Lights” recently won Best Rock/Alternative Song and the BMI Songwriter Award, in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. The single will be up on www.kurtisparks.com for free download starting March 1st.
When asked about the new album, Kurtis Parks said, “I've never felt as strongly about a collection of songs that can reach any audience. We're a pop/rock group and are mostly inspired by groups like U2, The Police, and more recent bands like Coldplay and Mutemath. Putting together a collective of great musicians naturally will bring on great music, and that's the first and foremost selling point of this album. I approach the music with my life mantra: ‘If you always do what you've always done, you'll always be what you've always been.’ So, we're doing something new musically - think rock n roll guitar, pop vocals, with R&B drums. As an artist who mainly thrives off songwriting, each song is written with lyrics that get caught in your head, and will hopefully inspire and challenge people to live for more than just everyday existence.”
Having written over 1200 songs, and receiving dozens of songwriting awards, Kurtis has music licensed by MTV, video games, independent films, and his songs have been placed on multiple major label and indie records, in nearly every genre. This self produced EP has six songs that are sure to connect with audiences from every background, from the foot-stomping intro track “City of Lights”, to the intimate closing track “Letting Go”. The album hits iTunes and other outlets March 30th!
- Q&A with Kurtis Parks — Roanoke.com
When "American Idol" began auditioning contestants in Washington, D.C., Roanoker Kurtis Parks never dreamed that he'd make the first cut, let alone become a finalist during the show's 2004 season.
At the half-joking urging of his brother, Parks took the bait and beat out 100,000 other hopefuls to become one of 193 semifinalists. He got the ax right before the group was cut to 44.
Bummed but unwilling to give up, he returned to Roanoke and quickly reunited with friend and foil Josh Kim to form the Season...
Read the rest at Roanoke.com
- Roanoke-area guys sing their way through 'Idol' land — Roanoke.com
Roanoke "American Idol" fans may spot a couple of hometown boys during the newest season of the hit show, which premieres tonight on Fox (WJPR/WFXR Channel 21/27).
At least one local Web site reports that Kurtis Parks of Roanoke County made it to the show's semifinal round. Parks, 22, declined to go on record about anything other than that he'd been one of more than 100,000 who auditioned for the show at seven cities around the nation.
In the past, though, "American Idol" contestants have had to agree to not talk about anything about the show until after it runs on television.
Read the rest at Roanoke.com
- American Idol helps launch music career of Tech graduate — collegiatetimes.com
Looking back at the history of now-famous artists, one can see that it was usually chance or mishap that rocketed them to stardom. The road is never easy, and the artist or group is often discovered by bookings, gigs, perseverance and being at the right place at the right time.
While these are still the predominant stepping-stones to making it big, another avenue has become prevalent for becoming the next American idol, and that is to appear and succeed on the show ?American Idol.? Winning certifies a contestant?s superstardom, or at least provides all the necessary elements for becoming one. Kelly Clarkson did it, Clay Aiken managed reasonably for a second-place winner and, well, the list goes on from there.
Season four, which began last week, looks to see who will fill the shoes of a budding star and fulfill dreams in which only the strong survive. Although it may seem easy to pull off stardom, pressures abound for contestants, as recent Virginia Tech graduate, Kurtis Parks of the band Temple, can attest...
Read the rest at collegiatetimes.com
In addition to leading worship and engaging youth in praise, Kurtis also has an anointing to speak life giving messages. While serving as a worship leader, Kurtis is also one of 6 campus pastors at National Community Church, in Washington DC, under the leadership of Lead Pastor Mark Batterson.
In Spring of 2010, Kurtis held his first worship conference and workshop, called the "Avodah" Conference. Avodah is the Hebrew word for worship, essentially meaning our "work and daily living". The message behind the conference is that worship is not limited to a Sunday morning experience. Rather, it is a lifestyle, and a continual attitude of service to Jesus Christ. With the "Avodah" conference, Kurtis speaks on the heart of worship, then conducts a worship workshop for musicians and singers, as well as capping it off with a passionate time of praise and worship with his band.
Whether you want to book Kurtis for a concert with his band, or just an acoustic show, or if you're interested in having Kurtis in to speak and hold the "Avodah" conference, this young and upcoming worshipper is excited to come alongside YOUR vision and invest in the Kingdom of God.