Music / Interview

Conversation Corner: Platinum-selling singer-songwriter Stan Walker

This month we chat to multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter Stan Walker to get the inside scoop on his upcoming Springboard tour.

Stan Walker might have kick-started his career a decade ago by winning the final series of television show Australian Idol, but since then he has become a much-loved artist back home in New Zealand. His success as an artist has Walker earn six gold and four platinum-selling singles, collect eight New Zealand Music Awards and five ARIA Music Award nominations back in Australia.

He’s also won the Waiata Māori Award for Radio Airplay Record of the Year five times, and even taken his skills to the silver screen. Following a stomach cancer diagnosis, Walker stepped away from music. But instead of disappearing completely, he documented each step of his treatment and recovery, resulting in the powerful documentary STAN. Now back with a trio of incredible new singles ‘Gimme Your Love’, ‘Faith Hope Love’, and his most recent release ‘Give’ – Stan Walker is back in a big way.

He’ll be hitting the road later this month for his ‘Springboard’ national tour, and he’ll be bringing a trio of New Zealand’s best and brightest along with him. We sat down with Stan Walker to find out what he’s been up to and see if we could uncover any secrets about what to expect from these upcoming shows.

Tell us about your latest single Give. I wrote Give with Matiu Waters (Six60), it was written in the shadow of the shocking Christchurch tragedy. When something as sad and painful as that happens, everyone must respond in the way that will be most helpful. What we wanted to do is stand with the families in song, to write a song about everyone’s responsibility to be the best version of themselves they can be.

What does it mean to you to be back creating music again? It means everything to be back songwriting. I LOVE songwriting. The next single I wrote with Matt Sadgrove is a duet with Hamo Dell. We wanted to capture the feeling of Spring in New Zealand – you will hear it at my Auckland Springboard Show.

You’re preparing to hit the road, that must be exciting. What can you tell us about this run of shows? I have just toured Australia and am pumped to be playing new music live.  I want to hear the audience sing with me on Give. The band are smokin’. We have some major new tunes and some classic “Stan” hits. Plus I love that Springboard is about showcasing the next up and coming generation of New Zealand talent. What a lineup.

What are you most excited about for the Springboard tour? Hearing Lepani sing live, watching Niko Walkers, and seeing Jordan Gavet. They are all so strong. I did some YouTube sessions with Lepani – what a voice. Hearing is believing – New Zealand’s greatest resource is its human capital.

While we’re chatting about who will join you on tour, please tell us about your fabulous band. I am humbled by my band – we are psychic on stage – they just know where to take the music.

Stepping away from music for a moment, tell us about your documentary Stan. What was it like being so publicly open and vulnerable? People always respect the truth and I really wanted to make the documentary ultimately hopeful and prove you can come through the darkest of times. As tough as the whole process was, I am proud thanks to the love of all those around me to be making my best music ever. The Give video is a celebration of everyone that stood with me.

Once the tour wraps up, what else can we expect from Stan Walker? Big, big new music.

Stan Walker will bring his Springboard tour to Opera House Wellington on Tuesday 10 September, Auckland Town Hall on Friday 13 September, and Dunedin Town Hall on Friday 27 September. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.co.nz.

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