Can you describe what you do for a living?
I am a musician and part time music teacher living in Sydney.
What is your current state of mind? How happy are you with things at the moment?
I’m completely happy at the moment. I recently moved into the city, I’m playing music and have all the aspects that I want at this time. I think I’m on track for a 26 year old. I’ve got family, friends, hard work, music and passion. It’s all in the works. Maybe not enough money but apart from that I think things are going well.
The money thing is not too important to me.
As long as it gets me from A to B. I more think of money as a means to do something. Whether it be to travel, perhaps buy a new piano, or piece of clothing. I’m not really looking to seek it out so much right now. I think that’s one big thing that keeps me happy, that I’m not always trying to amass my own empire as such, just trying to keep doing the things that I love and dream about.
What is a typical day for you?
I start my day at a café, doing some work there. Then off to a rehearsal space for a few hours to practice my piano ability. After that I’d probably be booked into teaching a few students. Perhaps a gig in the evening and return at home at 3 in the morning.
How much of your life involves music?
Well in terms of my life, a lot of it is just preparation but in my head I am constantly thinking of music. I was up late last night and couldn’t get some songs out of my head. I ended up going to bed at 4am. I think with music, you always need to be pushing the passion further past your comfort level. You need to choose who you play with carefully, it’s not about playing with everyone, but playing with people who want to go the same direction as you. With any work or friend prospect, you need to be friends with people who are going in a similar direction to you.
What is your favourite part of the creative process? Is it creating songs or performing them?
Performing. That nerve wracking point where you are in front of an audience and there is a response instantly to the work. It’s kind of a litmus test for prepartion and if you going to give it 100% in that moment. There are a lot of things that happen in a creative process. I guess improvising on the piano where you have to make it up on the spot, really all that preparation happened in the hours of practising in the shed before you can take the stage. A simple line in front of nobody may be really easy, but if you take that line and put it in front of the audience it could feel like the most difficult thing you could think of playing, just because there’s that feedback straight away.
Yes, there’s a thrill that comes with that instant gratification as well.
There's a flight or flight aspect that goes on as well. There’s incredible fear, and you have to push past it otherwise the thing will fall. Laughs.
I do like that because there have been so many times when it has crashed and burned and then there have been moments where it has taken off to a level that I didn’t think it could. That’s quite addictive as well, almost like someone jumping out of an aeroplane to skydive, you take a leap of faith.
Fear is good like that. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Do you have a favourite gig memory to date?
In the last year I went on an Australian tour with a band called Set Sail and we played at a venue in Maroochydore. The chorus of a song called “hey” had everyone dancing and singing the words to a song which the band wrote. Being on stage with your best friends and seeing the joy on their faces was amazing.
I played in a show called “After The Beatles”. During that show I definitely felt inadequate because the level of musicianship was huge. Being part of three big shows was a phenomenal experience to hear what a higher level of musicians could achieve. It really inspired me to work on my craft. Even just listening to the band while I was working, enjoying it for my own purpose, those were the stand out shows for me.
Who are you influenced by?
My first inspiration was from a piano player named Bill Evans. He played a song called “Waltz for Debbie”. That was the first song I learned on the piano and another song called “A time for love”. His solo piano ability and the way he worked in a trio was always phenomenal so I always looked up to him in that way. For maybe a more modern Jazz approach Brad Mehldau and Aaron Goldberg. Brad has a way of juxtaposing classical themes into jazz and it just sounds so beautiful, you can tell he has checked out a lot of classical music through his playing.
Outside Jazz, I’d say The Beatles, I can’t go past them. Also U2, Johnny Cash and The Beach Boys.
What have you got coming up next?
I usually get booked for a lot of other people. So this year I want to start my own creative projects and get to be the boss of them. Long term, I want to do another EP or perhaps an album. I want to play jazz, rock, Indie, really play it all! Learning the vocabulary, and language of each style and applying it in that way. Also learn how to use analogue synthesizers, music technology, playing in a trio and jazz quartet.
There’s a lot of work ahead so when I think long term, it would probably be the next 15-20 years till I am content with where I’m at musically.