Monday, January 23, 2012

Interview: Warren H Williams (part III)

The Tamworth Country Music Festival 2012 is now in full swing and Warren H Williams is there - here, there and everywhere, that is! Warren has a huge line-up of shows during the festival and if you're interested in seeing him, you can find his gigs on

And before you go, make sure you read this last part of the Jolene interview with this fantastic Australian artist, who truly lives and breathes music. Part I is available here and Part II here if you haven't read them yet. You can also visit Warren on the web at

Your new album has been described as harking back to the 1970s and 1980s. Is that your favourite era of country music?

Well, that’s when I was growing up. I was becoming an adult at that time and that was the music that I was listening to and I really enjoyed that stuff, because I was learning how to play my music sort of in that style back then. So I wanted to bring out what I learned, what sort of music makes me happy, what style makes me happy.

Do you have a band you regularly play with?

Yes. The fellas who played on this album come from Toowoomba – most of them are Toowomba men.

There’s a good, solid beat on this album which makes me think line dancers are going to love it.

[Laughs] I love that. That tempo, it’s a beat. For me, it’s like the Aboriginal beat – you hear beat. There’s always a beat in all the music that we do, it’s cultural – it’s the beat that makes it happen. It’s in the heart, it’s a beat.

But you could take the beat away and just have your voice and that would stand alone – so do you ever play these songs acoustically, just with you and a guitar?

I do. I do. And that stuff, I wrote it like that to make it easy if I was just by myself, I could sing those songs.

Do you like performing that way?

I used to hate it but now I like it because it sort of makes me sing better if I’m by myself because I don’t have to worry about the guitars and drums covering me up, and you learn how to sing better too.

And you grew up playing rock music as well?

I played everything. I played heavy metal, I played rock ’n’ roll, I played all sorts of music, and I loved it, through the 1980s.

So why did you choose country music to record? Why aren’t you playing heavy metal?

[laughs] Do you know what, this will sound funny – I found all the other music easy. It’s easy to do. For country, it seems like you have to do it properly. Like, not muck it up. With the other stuff, you can muck it up and it doesn’t really matter.

Is that because country music means more to you, or because it means more to the audience?

I reckon it means both ways, probably it means more to me and it will mean more to the people who are listening to me.

Country audiences really listen and they listen to lyrics, and they’re quite discerning about music - sometimes with rock audiences it’s just noise.

Mmm, yeah. That’s it. That’s it … You take a rock gig, for instance – at the end you have to do a really rock song to make people feel good. At a country show, you do them a love song right at the end, people will go back feeling happy. It’s the opposite, I think. [both laugh]

That’s true. You can end on a minor chord and they won’t mind.

They won’t mind, they’ll go, ‘Yeaaaah, that’s what I want’.

What’s your favourite venue to play in Tamworth?

So many. So many. When I first started with my band we just played - I always used to love playing in the street, busking … A couple of years ago I wanted to busk and someone said to me, ‘You don’t have to do it – you’re a star’. I said, ‘I’m not a star. I just want to do it.’ They said, ‘Look, listen – you don’t have to do it. You don’t have to do that any more.’ It seemed to me, because I’d been doing it for a long, and it was one of my dreams not to do it any more, but when it came to the point that I didn’t have to do it any more I just thought it was part of coming to Tamworth in the first place, to do the busking, but also for me it was part of coming to Tamworth to be a country star and winning a Golden Guitar. And I’ve done that. All my dreams have come true.

Well, you can retire now, Warren!

I know. [laughs] But it’s like … The first time you come to Tamworth, you have a dream of owning a Golden Guitar and singing at the Country Music Awards and walking up the red carpet. And I’ve done that. I still have to pinch myself. I come from a place that is 120 ks west of Alice Springs – it’s out in the scrub – and I’m signed to a major record label here in Australia. I’m signed to ABC. Which is, like, huh? I have to pinch myself! [laughs]

I have to say, it never happens by accident, that stuff – I really think –

It’s hard work, too.

It really is. And when it’s going well, when people are really good at it, they do make it look easy. So it can be hard for other people to understand how much work it is. But when one thinks about the logistics of you actually even getting to Tamworth in the first place …

Yeah [laughs].

It’s a long way.

It’s funny – when I talk to people and tell them that I’m signed to ABC, they go, ‘What? When did this happen?’ and I say, ‘Oh, a few years ago.’ Like you say, I probably make it look easy for people because I’m not pulling out my hair, I’m just going low. And then things happen to me. People ring me up and say, ‘Do you want a gig? We’ll fly you.’ And it’s amazing when that happens.

Again, I don’t think it’s by accident. But as you’ve raised the record label I’m going to ask you about it. You used to be an independent artist but I’m guessing things are a little easier now that someone else can take care of the distribution and the marketing and all that stuff.

That’s it, that’s it. I still have to ring them up and talk to them, but it’s a big weight off my shoulders, y’know.

It’s a lot of work purely to get your albums into people’s hands when you’re an independent artist.

Well, yeah. For me, I used to just get frightened taking music to anybody. Over the years you get to know the right people, you give them things and they take them, and it’s just how it happens. I just started to know the right people in the music industry and I just gave them my copies and they went, ‘Yeah, okay, I’ll pass it on to someone’. And that’s how I ended up with ABC Music, because I gave it to a friend of mine and he passed it on to someone and they passed it on to someone and it became that.

You’re on ABC Music, you’ve just got a new record out – is there now a feeling that you have to produce a new album within a year or 18 months?

The amazing thing about it is I’ve got two albums ready to come out with ABC – the one that’s already come out, which is Urna Marra, and next year’s a different one. It’s different to what I’m doing right now.

A different style of country or different subject matter in the songs?

Different subject matter. Altogether it’s different.

I started off by mentioning your radio show – can you tell us about it?

I do my radio show on CAAMA – Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association – if you just go onto CAAMA Radio, onto the web, - I do my shows from 8 till 12 [Central Australian time] from Mondays to Thursdays.

And do you enjoy doing that?

I love it because it’s part of music. This is what I do in life. I do music and I sit here and create my own world through music. It’s so good.

Does it feel like your whole life has been music? I know your father was a musician as well.

It’s everything. I reckon from the moment I was born. Because at Hermansburg, the old mission, we used to have music all the time. And I grew up born into music and I’ll probably go out with music. This is it. My life is music.

Which is a beautiful way to live.

Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Interview: Warren H Williams (part II)

In this second part of the Warren H Williams interview, Warren discusses his upcoming shows at the Tamworth Country Music Festival 2012, why he writes love songs and why all country music stars should play in Alice Springs.

[Part I of this interview can be read here. Links for Warren's website and Tamworth gig guide are below.]

You have a few shows coming up at the festival. You’re playing with The Wolverines.

That’s going to be madness, that one. I’m really looking forward to that show – it’s going to be mad.

Are you supporting them for all of their shows?

Yes, I’m doing thirteen of their shows.

Those shows are usually really late at night, aren’t they?

There’s one in the afternoon, from 2 to 4, and then one from 9 till 12 or something.

Well, you’d better have an afternoon nap!

[laughs] I know! And in between that I have to a couple of shows with Ted Egan. That’ll be really soft compared to The Wolverines …

You’re not going to have time to go and sit in on anyone else’s shows – because I know at Tamworth what tends to happen is that musicians who are between shows might go to someone else’s gig and get up for a few songs or something

Well, Troy Cassar-Daley usually invites me to go and do a song with him. I’m thinking I probably won’t be able to do that.

No, I think you’ll be far too busy! Which is great. Back to this idea of ten people being your ideal number of audience members - when I was listening to it, it seemed like it was … I don’t know if intimate is the right word, but it sounds as if you’re singing just to the listener. A lot of it is quite romantic, and revealing. It feels like a personal album,

Well, that’s what I wanted to do. Someone pointed out to me – this writer – he said that if you write something on the romantic side, people will stop and listen or look at it, like a flower on the wall. They won’t look at a picture that’s big and things. If you paint one flower, people will stop and look at it. It’s simple – make it simple, so people can understand it.

That’s a very nice idea. I think that’s true. When I had your album on, there was the odd romantic song and I pricked up my ears because it really sounded like it was coming from the heart. It’s one thing to write those songs – it’s another thing to deliver them and mean it.

Those songwriters carry their hearts on their sleeves. Those sorts of songs sometimes come out without you knowing it. Like love songs. Because everyone’s a romantic. Every single person in this world is a romantic. [both laugh] They are! I sometimes stop and think, ‘My god, I’m from the bush, I’m a traditional person – how do I write these sorts of songs that are, you know … [whispers] romantic. When I’m a bush man.’ [laughs]

But you have, so clearly you’re right – yes, you’re a romantic too.

Oh yeah, everyone is. For Aboriginal songs – culture songs – there are a lot of romantic traditional songs. So many. There are so many traditional love songs.

Maybe one of the things you can do when you’re performing is introduce those to a broader audience, if it’s appropriate.

Well, yeah - I have bigger plans – I have big dreams. I want to do this, I want to do that. I want to be the most famous black man in Australia, y’know? I want to do all this sort of stuff.

Well, why not?

Yeah. I have dreams. I just want to make Australia a better place. For me, that’s my dream. I love this country. I love the people that live in it. I love this place. It’s my country, you know?

One of the things I’m interested in is that country music is very popular in indigenous communities – has that come about because of Australian country music or all country music that’s popular?

All country music. The American country music out here in the bush is so big. It’s huge. I met this fella called Tracy Burns years ago and he was having a hard time doing a tour in the cities, and I said, ‘Look, the mistake they make is that when they bring the big stars to Australia, they just try to keep them in the cities. You bring them out bush – you put them in Alice Springs or something – people from all over the place will turn up and Alice Springs will be full.’ I told Kenny Rogers the same thing.

Did he listen to you?

Yes, he did. He said, ‘I can’t help it. The people who look after our gigs take me to the places.’ I said, ‘Come out to the bush. You have a gig somewhere, people will turn up from all over the place.’

Why do you think it is that country music’s so popular in indigenous communities?

Country music like old Slim Dusty, he used to sing about the stockmen ... A lot of the people out here – well, I was on one of the biggest cattle stations in Australia and we grew up that way. My dad was a bit of a stockman, another of my uncles and my cousins, they work on the stations. And we know what old Slim was singing about. And what the new country artists, the Americans, sing about, like driving the truck and going to the pub, that’s what people do out here, and it’s so easy to associate with them. Like old love songs – it’s a part of our lives, we live that.

Country music is also a storytelling genre, more than, say, rock or pop, and also a lot of those stories are about the land. You get a lot of songs that describe the land in a meaningful way – they actually describe how people feel about the land. I find that when Australian country songwriters write about the land, I can completely relate to it, because that’s how I feel about it. Do you feel that, that it’s a storytelling culture?

Oh, it is. For me, if I write a song about my place, I do - I write about my place. Albert Namatjira did it when he painted, but nobody believed the colours that he painted, they said, ‘No, you’re making them up.’ But, no, he wasn’t making them up – it’s for real, because we live out here and we see it every day. We can see the harshness of the country and we know how hard it is, but we know how beautiful it is at the same time.

For Part I of this interview, please click here.

For Part III, please click here.

Warren H Williams's official website:

Warren's gigs in Tamworth:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Interview: Warren H Williams (part I)

By the end of this month Warren H Williams may well be crowned the King of Tamworth 2012 - he's certainly going to be just about everywhere when the festival kicks off later this week, playing shows with The Wolverines and Ted Egan, for a total of 17 shows in eight days.

Warren's latest album is Urna Marra; it entered the ARIA Country charts at number 15 and I'm sure that by the time Warren has finished at Tamworth, it will be charting higher (and I'll be reviewing it at some stage too). I had the enormous pleasure of talking to Warren recently and part I of our chat is below. If you have never heard of Warren before, I strongly recommend you read this interview to get a sense of what a great person and great performer he is - and then try to see him play in Tamworth! A full list of his gigs is available here.

What is your earliest memory of playing music?

I would have been about six years old when I started playing – playing the guitar, just playing along. It was just amazing – when you’re teaching yourself to play something and it feels good. I’d play along with Dad and the band.

And did you start singing at that age too?

I used to hate my voice. We’d sing along with Dad – he’d strum along on the guitar – but [I didn’t do] much singing, as such. My singing probably came in the ’90s, that’s when I really started getting into it. But my singing wasn’t all that good.

What changed? Because listening to your singing, I find you’re a really warm singer – it’s almost comforting listening to you sing. So it sounds to me like you enjoy singing.

Oh, I love singing. It’s probably because when I was growing up, my grandfather and my grandmother – my grandmother was a really religious woman but my grandfather was a traditional man. So I would hear hymns being sung and all sorts of traditional songs too, like before I went to bed. And my grandfather would sing all night. His singing would put me to sleep. So I felt safe, you know. I knew that someone was always there to protect me when I was asleep.

That actually explains a bit about how you sing now, because to me, as I said, it’s a comforting feeling listening to your voice. Listening to your album, my first impression of it was that it was a road-trip album, in a way, but I then I thought, ‘No, I could cuddle up on the couch to this album.’

[Laughs] Oh, that’s good! For our people, singing is keeping people safe - that’s what the community is for – it’s to keep the community together, singing has always been part of that, so probably subconsciously I do it without knowing, you know.

So when you sing, do you feel like you’re part of a tradition? Or not even a tradition – that it’s such an intrinsic part of you that you can’t deny it?

Yeah, yeah – like, it’s just me – I’m singing to comfort that people who is in front of me. I’m trying to make sure that that person is feeling all right with my songs. I want to make that person feel all right. I don’t want to scare them. I want to tell them that I’m here. Like, ‘These Eyes’, one of the first singles, it’s about me telling them these are my eyes watching you, and my arms, they will always be here – if you want a hug, I’m here, I’ll hold you.

As a performer, there must be some times when you’re playing in front of a crowd when you think, ‘I really don’t care if I’m making you feel safe or not, because you’re being really ornery’. Is there ever a time when you think, ‘I don’t know that I can do this’?

I think about it right at the beginning, if I can hear – before I go on stage - people shouting and making noise, and I think, ‘How am I going to do this?’ but as a singer, it’s your job to make them happy. Because they came to see you. So as soon as I get up there – as soon as I do the first song – that’s it, I’m with them.

In country music it seems to be easier to make people happy, because the audience comes with an expectation of being happy. They don’t come thinking they’re there to be cool or trying to impress anyone.

Well, most of them are pissed anyway! [laughs]

I’m sure that’s not true of the Tamworth audiences!

There are … I’ve travelled with John Williamson for a long time and we did a lot of theatre shows, and theatre shows have a different sort of people – they come into a theatre and they sit down and don’t make a noise. They listen to you. They listen to everything that you say and do, and watch everything that you do. At a country gig in a pub or something, people are just there to have a good time. And lots of the people who come know your music and try to sing along with you.

Is it intimidating or hard when you have an audience that just doesn’t make a sound? Do you feed off the energy when there’s a more active audience?

You know, the best audience for me is about ten people. I don’t know why. It’s always been like that. The lesser the crowd, the more I give.

I think some people would find ten people really hard to play to, because they’re all there looking at you.

Yes, but that’s a good thing, because they’re watching every movement you do, and that’s the best way to hone your skills, in a way. It’s made me a better entertainer. The less people I have, the better the show. It’s more snappy. I still put on a good show if there’s a lot of people, but I don’t know what it is … The most terrifying shows are the home crowd people – because if you make a mistake, you’re still at home! If you’re on tour, you’re gone the next day.

But I would think for you this is a conundrum now, because as you become more well known, your shows are invariably going to become bigger.

Yeah, I’m … I really enjoy playing, There’s nothing like [that] natural high. And when I’m on tour, I get that every night. It’s something I just can’t put my finger on – you can’t describe how you feel – when as soon as a show starts, all of a sudden something kicks in, and bang, it snaps, and it’s like, ‘This is what I’ve been waiting for’, you know? But the thing about it is, at the end of the night, when you have to come off it, you can’t sleep and you’re watching television and you’re still awake in the middle of the night, that’s the problem – it’s very hard to get off a natural high.

Was it always like this for you, performing, or was there a point at which you realised that you were getting this natural high?

No, no, it was hard work. You have to work very hard to get it. Before, I didn’t feel it. Before I met up with John [Williamson]. Because he’s been at it for a long, long time, John showed me how to entertain, and sometimes when you entertain properly you get it, you get the high. If you entertain people properly, they will give you more back.

It’s definitely that idea of the exchange. You draw on the audience and they’re happy to do it when they’re having a good time and you’re having a good time.

Yeah, and you’ll feel it. They’ll give it back to you and you’ll go, ‘Wow, this is what I want.’ Because when I first did it I said, ‘I want more of this. I want it.’ [laughs]

It’s a good thing you can pick up a guitar and go on tour, then!

I can’t wait to go to Tamworth. Even just walking around, Tamworth is like a big candy shop. [laughs]

To read the rest of this interview, please click on the following links:

Part II

Part III

Warren H Williams's official website:

Gig guide for Tamworth:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Interview: Chad Shuttleworth (part IV)

This is the fourth and last part of my interview with Queensland musician Chad Shuttleworth, who is a finalist in this year's Toyota Star Maker. If you're heading to Tamworth this year, check out Chad's Facebook page regularly, as he'll be posting details of gigs during the festival.

To read the rest of this interview, please click on one or all of the following:
Part III.

In terms of those goals, what happens now for Star Maker, because you’re a finalist. So what actually happens? I’ve never been to the finals.

You’ve never been? Are you coming this year?

I’m undecided …

How can I sell it to you so that you come? I’ll make you an offer: if I end up winning Star Maker, you can be the first person to interview me. How’s that?

[Laughs] Sounds good! Well, I think you have a very good chance so I’ll get my tape recorder ready.

Thank you! Thank you very much.

I think there is a good chance – I remember that when I saw you play on Peel Street I thought, ‘That guy’s going to be huge’.

Thank you.

Well, it is that thing of … it’s an intangible thing. The ‘X factor’, for want of a better term. But when someone loves what they do – and as you said, if you love what you do then people see you enjoying yourself and they have a good time – it’s really true. There are actually very few performers, I find, who genuinely look like they’re having a good time – but there seems to be a higher proportion of them in country music.


And that’s one of the reasons why Tamworth is such a great festival – everyone’s happy.


All the performers are happy, the audience is happy. That ability to connect, in a country with a fairly large population with a lot going on in their lives, with a lot on their minds, they do seek those two hours, as you said, to forget about it, but what they’re looking for is that connection. And it’s great if it comes through the music but it’s even better when it comes through the performer who’s playing the music.

For sure … I’m still thinking about how we can get you down there.

[Laughs] In the past when I’ve been on the Sunshine Coast [where Chad lives] I’ve looked up to see if you’re playing but the timing has never worked out.

I’m just horrible at letting people know about gigs … Nah, I’m not. Sometimes it’s just spur-of-the-moment stuff on the coast, actually.

There wouldn’t be too many venues there, I guess?

There’s about forty live-music venues on the coast, but when we talk live music we’re talking restaurants that only have, like, a piano guy, so that’s about five or six of them knocked out – so you’re right, there’s probably not that many live band and solo venues, but there is quite a few. But it is still a blessing to live up here. I was living in Tamworth for five months – did you know this?

Yes, I read it in your bio!

I was in Tamworth for five months and I was touring around there, getting my ‘gigging legs’ together. That was an amazing experience as well. I lived out on a farm, out on Ryan Simpson’s nana’s farm out of town, then I was just travelling – I think I racked up 1800 kms in a weekend for three gigs. I think the longest, biggest gig – and that was the one I came home – was travelling up to Lightning Ridge, back to Tamworth, up to Narrabri and then home to the Sunny Coast. That was 2200 kms.

That’s a lot of driving.

That’s kind of the reason why I can now just come home and go, ‘An hour away? That’s nothing! Don’t worry about that – let’s get into it!’ Drive home and drive back. It’s made me a much stronger performer and also a lot more tour ready, which was one of the biggest reasons I was sent down there.

I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about playing remote and regional communities, but a lot of the indigenous communities love country music and it doesn’t seem like a lot of musicians get out there. So if you’re prepared to drive … I don’t know how you would set it up.

I’m always interested in going to those places. Out at Anakie there were a few indigenous students, and a little bit further out, and they were so enthusiastic about music – and they have it in them. I’d be more than happy – and more than honoured – to go out and play for those guys. So if there are any places that you think of, let me know because I’d love to go.

So one last question: where can people see you play at the Tamworth Country Music Festival?

There may be some secrets shows …

So people should check your website?

I will update people on Facebook. But there’s two walk-up shows at the Aero Club on the last Friday and Saturday, I believe that’s the 27th and 28th of January. There’s going to be some amazing artists getting up and having a play, but it’s also open to everyone. We all just love music. So I’m hosting that one and it goes from 6 p.m. till 10.

And the Star Maker is what date?

The 22nd. The finals are in the morning and then the grand final’s in the afternoon.

So you’re pretty much there for the whole festival.

Yes! But I think I get to freelance and go and have some fun, and go and enjoy it and catch up with some old mates. Just check out the Facebook – there’s going to be some shows announced on there during the festival. So it will probably be daily that I’ll be updating that.

If I make it I’ll let you know, because I’ll hit you up for an interview there.

Yeah, absolutely. And I’ve said and I’m contractually obligated now to fulfil my obligations to you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Interview: Chad Shuttleworth (part III)

This is the third of a multi-part interview with Toyota Star Maker finalist Chad Shuttleworth. The first part is here and the second is here.

I asked Chad about attending CMAA and also about his life as a full-time musician. His responses may surprise you - and inspire you.

You went to CMAA in Tamworth. I’ve heard about that and about Camarata – they’re separate, aren’t they?

They’re now actually joined.

Ah … I’m kind of curious as to what a typical day would have been like for you at CMAA.

Oh man. You can quote me on this one: we ate, slept and breathed country music for 14 days. It was amazing. There’s not much else I can say other than that there was no end to the amount of information – not just [about] country music as a craft but as a business, and about contacts, about … just everything to do with it. It was one of the most amazing experiences – if not the most amazing experience – of my life, except for a couple of shows that I’ve done that are probably on par, because this college sets apart the kids from the adults. It’s pretty amazing.

It would certainly sort out, I guess, whether or not you’re committed to continuing to do it, because it’s not easy to establish a career.


And a lot of people just don’t have ‘it’. They may have the talent, but you need to be more than just talented – you need to apply yourself.

Well, you have to, and that’s what they teach you. You’ve got to have the drive and you’ve got to be thinking outside the box to really be able to capitalise on what you do as a musician, as a performer, because a lot of the things – and this is what we were teaching to these kids – you can be the most amazing guitarist in the world but if no one knows about you, then what’s the point? You might be an okay singer – or a great singer who can play a little bit of guitar, and a lot of people can do that – and all you’ve got to do is market yourself well, build great relationships with all the people in the industry and never give up. It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked back, just keep getting back on the horse, because if you have that determination – and I believe I have that sort of determination – then there’s no reason why you can’t succeed.

I guess it’s also understanding the contract between the performer and the audience. I don’t know if you know Rufus Wainwright’s music – and he’s not country music …

Yes, I know about Rufus. He did an amazing cover of ‘Hallelujah’.

Yes he did! And when his first album came out – and he’s from a performing family – I remember reading on this very rudimentary website, him saying something like, ‘My job is to be a performer and if I don’t do that, then I’ve failed’. For him it wasn’t about how good the record was or how many he’d sold, it was about in that moment, with the audience, that’s it.

That’s a beautiful quote. From a purely business point of view, you can count numbers – you can count the number of people who like you on Facebook and all that stuff. But for me as a performer, the conversion rate of you as a musician playing on a stage to a whole bunch of amazing into-your-music kind of people, who cares about the sales? It’s that moment. That’s the thing – and I always say this to everyone – my home is on the stage. That’s where I feel the most comfortable as a human, is on that stage. Because I know that it’s my job to perform to those people, and if those people are having a bad day or some trouble in their lives, or just want to escape for a moment from the mundane part of life that we all know about, they go to a concert and they’re just rockin’ out, they’re enjoying it, they’re having a couple of drinks, they’re enjoying themselves – but if the band is crap they’re just going to have a couple of drinks and go home to the same problems. They’re going to be changed for those couple of hours that you’re spending with them, just because you’re on the stage giving them everything that you have and then walking off the stage saying, ‘Man, I’m so tired but that was so worth it’.

It quite often has the power to change just beyond those two hours. Part of the role of art and, particularly, performance in a culture is to change people. That they have a moment when they think, either ‘I’ve been made so happy by that that I want to see it again’, or ‘I’ve been made so happy by that that I want to participate in it’, and they might then change the way they live. Which is really an extraordinary thing to do.

One of the most extraordinary parts about sharing your abilities and crafts with someone is the ability to be able to change lives like that too.

And you’re now playing a few nights a week, is that right? You’ve decided to become a full-time musician?

Yeah, I took the leap of faith about two years ago now and I now play three to four days a week as a musician, and I sit down and I always think – I stop myself every couple of days and go, ‘You’re seriously living the best life. You get to play music for people – people pay you to play music – and you get to enjoy yourself and see people enjoy themselves, and then go home and work on the other side of your career and actually do something you love.’ I am one of the most blessed and honoured people and humbled people by just the fact that I get to do what I get to do every single day, which is brilliant.

That’s very cool. And you don’t often hear people say that about their lives.

No! You know what? Probably 80 per cent of the time you hear how crap people’s lives are and you just think, ‘Well, I must have the best life’, and I just constantly remind myself, ‘You have the best life. This is the best life that you get to lead, and you’re just blessed that you get to do it.’

Which is also great because it means that whatever happens for you now, it sounds like it couldn’t make you any happier with your life, it’s just going to be different experiences that expand what you’re doing.

Exactly. I have a few goals - I have a whole bunch of goals that I want to achieve – but in my own heart I know that right now I’m happy. But the thing about success and moving forward is that you never get too content. I’m so happy where I am but there’s so much more that I want to do with life. Like I really want to release my album fairly soon and I really just want to tour and play every place I possibly can, and then tour Europe and stuff like that. So many other goals. But right now, as a human being, I am pretty darn happy.