“Music is the greatest communication in the world. Even if people don't understand the language that you're singing in, they still know good music when they hear it.” A quote from Lou Rawls, I believe, one of the legendary singers of all time, who sums up the way I feel about singing, performing and making music.
From the age of 5, I remember in primary school, while the other kids were bringing their toys or insects to class for ‘show & tell’, all I wanted to do was sing a song or two my Dad & Mum had taught me. One time the teacher said,” you can’t sing that song - ‘I’ll Be Your Long Haired Lover from Liverpool’, it’s too old for you & you wouldn’t know what it meant.” I went home upset telling Mum what the teacher said. Mum said that’s ok & she taught me another song, “Sing, sing a song, sing out loud, sing out strong. Sing of good things not bad. Sing of happy, not sad...don’t worry if it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear. Just sing, sing a song.” My parents always taught me to respect my elders and Mum went on to explain that the teacher had a good point.
When I shared my new song with the class, the teacher had the biggest smile on her face. This memory has impacted on me greatly & I began to choose the songs I sang with great thought. I had seen what it was like to touch someone’s heart with a song. This was the beginning of my passion to sing & perform for everyone & anyone at every opportunity.
I believe the emotion and message that a song can convey seems to supercede any other form of communication. I see the great responsibility I have as a performer. My songs & performances can evoke various emotions in the audiences & those who listen to my music. This has to be a gift from God. I cannot achieve this on my own. I never want to misuse or take this gift for granted. I am humbled & privileged that God has given it to me to share with others. I have experienced first hand how my songs & performances can set the mood & atmosphere. It’s encouraging to have people come to me with comments like : “ You have really brightened up my day! Thank you!” I’m often asked the question, “When did you first realise you had the gift of singing & performing?” My response has always been, “When I realised the One who gave it to me.”
I have a wide taste & influence in music from gospel & classical, to folk & country rock. With influences mainly from legends such Cliff Richard, Elvis, Billy Joel, Elton John, Lionel Ritchie, Engelbert, Tom Jones, Nat King Cole and recent artists such as Michael Buble & Keith Urban.
I formed a band in my secondary years at school with classmates, Ed Wong, Mario Cortes, Roger Macfarlane, Ivan Bader & Greg Ryan - all still close friends for almost 30 yrs. Our parents nurturing our interest, driving us to band practices. My Dad even taking out a personal bank loan to purchase us our first quality PA system so we had ‘the sound.’
I needed to fill one more subject in my final year at school, the music teacher recommended I study & train in classical singing. Reluctantly I enrolled. It was like a crash course, I had to present pieces in German, French & Italian. It was an amazing feat since I did not speak any of these languages, have any interest in language at school or could sight read music on a basic level. To successfully enroll in music & classical singing, there was one condition, I needed to take a break from our school rock band so as not to interfere with the technical side of my classical singing training & the new techniques I was to learn. We all agreed to disband for a year since the academic load of year 12 was demanding also. On reforming the band the following year, eager to perform together again and help us pay our way through University, we were all taken by our improved sound which seemed to come with maturity & how each of us had individually developed as musicians throughout the year. When I put aside my classical repetoire and came back to what I really loved doing, I remember the boys in our band saying, “Man what happened to your voice?” Worried I replied, “What do you mean?” They said, “ it’s much stronger & even better than before!” I owe it to my music teacher Mrs Boyle who encouraged my direction.
Today I am living my dream, performing cover songs from various genre of music and especially writing & recording my own songs. I am a blessed man, married to Trudi and we have seven children - Jessika, Elijah, Jordan, Moses, Jotham, Isaiah & Grace. They also perform and sing with me from time to time featuring on some of my CDs. We have toured Australia and the world - USA, Europe, NZ & Asia - sharing our music & testimony. My faith as a Christian is foremost in my life and I believe basis of my happiness & success as a husband, father, singer, songwriter, speaker and entertainer. What more could a man want? I AM LIVING MY DREAM!