1. The First Song I Wrote
A song called ‘Heart And Soul’ – a terrible, cheesy love song for an ex-girlfriend. I think I was 18. The chorus was, “I gave you everything I had to give / Without your love I don’t think that I can live / I gave you everything, it wasn’t enough, my heart and my soul.”
2. The Last Song I Released
A song and album simultaneously on November 11 called ‘Sorry’. It’s a song I wrote about my Aboriginal family and the history of Australia; things that have happened in the past and things that continue to happen. I perform it live with a band, which is rocking with big guitars, and also solo with a yidaki and a loop pedal. The album is a collection of songs that are literally the soundtrack to my heart over the last several years.
3. Songwriting Secrets
I think for me the only secret is that I need to be passionate about the subject I’m writing about. From there it flows. It’s like writing an essay, really. I need to have something to say, and then a direct story will flow.
4. The Song That Makes Me Proud
My biggest hit thus far is a cover of ‘Solid Rock’ that is also on this record. It’s a rocking version of the 1982 Goanna release that the original author and performer of the hit, Shane Howard, was kind enough to sing with me as a duet. And as much as I love that song and my version, the song I’m most proud of is the current single, ‘Sorry’. It’s a song that when I play it live, I move people. I often have people in tears after a show – the lyric and also when I play yidaki and sing in Aboriginal language connects with them in a way they don’t understand even – and to be honest, I don’t really get it totally either, but that said, it’s humbling and I am so stoked that my music has moved them and hopefully brought them some joy.
5. The Song That Changed My Life
‘Solid Rock’ was and continues to be life-changing for me on so many levels. The fact it was the first time that Aboriginal people actually heard a song about them on commercial radio … it’s also a rocking song. The other one as a performer was seeing Howie Day play ‘Ghost’/‘Beams Of Light’ live at the Roxy in Hollywood several years ago.