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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

INTERVIEW - Stan Walker

Stan Walker has been absent from the charts for a while due to following a acting career and being a mentor on X-Factor New Zealand. Well that is all about to change with his new album Truth & Soul being just released. It was a long overdue catch up with the singer who talks about his new record, working with Sammy Jade and Dami Im, his reactions to the Natalie Kills scandal, working on new movies and also some exciting news about even more music. Its the SnapCacklePop Interview with Stan Walker...
Welcome back to SnapCacklePop how the devil are you?
Yeah great, just been doing X-Factor in New Zealand and everything else I am trying to do.

How's the TV talent show going for you?
It's really good, full on and different. I mentor three girls now.

It's like the tables have turned. Is it weird for you now being a mentor? 
I was weird at first, however as this is the second season so I am getting used to it and getting better. Well hopefully I am getting better [Laughs]

We have to ask has the controversy over the Natalie Kills and Willy Moon died down?
It has, thank god! That was just crazy and so unnecessary for everybody. They didn't realise the repercussion for them , the show and especially the contestants.

Onto your new album. Its been since 2013 since a whole new album, why have you gone down the soul path?
It was actually an unexpected for me. I have been writing for the last three year and I'm so pedantic about my music, my songs, my lyrics and my song writing, that I have nearly put out new music but changed my mind as it was not ready. Then it was put to me "Would I do a soul album?" and I was like "No way!".

Then I thought about it. I realised at home I love to sing all these old school soul jams, so why wouldn't I release an album of some of my favourite covers. Its kind of self indulgent, however also a treat for the fans to hear something different from me. It's also a bit of freedom for me, to be able to release songs that I wish I wrote and I now can share my own take on these great songs.

So paying respect to some of the soul greats too?
Definitely! If it were not from them, I would not be the person I am today as a singer. Before I wrote or sung my first song, I listened to them growing up and I have now fallen in love with these tracks all over again.

Looking at the track listing, there are some exciting collaborations featured. Care to explain how they came about?
As I could do my own arrangements with this album, I wanted to get some of my friends involved. Samantha Jade is a good friend of mine, an incredible singer and amazing to work with and Dami Im is one of the biggest voices in Australia and needed to have her on this album. Then I have my best mate sings with me on the Boys II Men track and the choir on some of the tracks are all my friends, so was an amazing experience to record these tracks in a new way.

You have mentioned a few times you have made these tracks your own. What do you mean by that?
Expect them to be different [Laughs] I had to do something to these tracks to make them my own, turning them new school soul, a bit like Amy Winehouse.

Are you excited about her new documentary?
OMG, I can't wait. I saw the trailer and it looks amazing.

Back to your album, why Truth & Soul as a title?
I was thinking about it and with this album I get to be free with how I see these songs. Its my truth mixed with great soul tracks. It's not just the soul music, its also my soul being throughout each track. I get to put my spin, my truth onto these amazing songs.

You mentioned before you have been busy writing too, when should we expect to hear some Stan Walker originals?
There is going to be ALOT of new Stan Walker coming soon that people will be sick of me [Laughs] I want be EVERYWHERE! I have been writing this new album for the last three years, its changed direction so many times, however its finally getting to a point, that after this album, it will be ready to come out. I have another film due out in September and a lot of my new music is going be similar  to that sound.

What is the new film?
It's called Born To Dance and I've been filming it in New Zealand. Its about the New Zealand story of hip hop as we are currently the number one nation in the dance genre. They have taken out the nationals in Las Vegas and they get gold medals and many of the top acts entering are from New Zealand. So this film is about that scene and I'm one of the leads, I get to dance and sing.

Do you now see yourself as now both an actor and singer?
Yes indeed, I love both. I'm getting exciting about acting. I have the same passion for it as I do for music.

It's been 6 years since winning Idol, how have things changed?
Well I was 18 when I was on the show and now I'm turning 25 this year. It's been a massive journey for me yet this year is going to be one of my biggest with touring, this album, new single, new music and more movies.

What do you think you have learnt about yourself in those six years?
That I am make with weaknesses

Thats an interesting response, why so?
I think because in this industry and my career, there is so many ups and downs as a artist. I have learnt from all these experience, that it has highlighted some weakness, that has enabled me to grow. My weakness and downfalls have been my biggest inspiration.

Ok so onto our Big 5 silly SCP questions this week...

What is the weirdest thing you have received from a fan?
Has to be undies.

If you were any animal, what would you be an why?
A white lion as they are gangster [Laughs]

When did you last cry and why?
It was when I was chatting to my family, its been a long time since I have seen them, as I have been away so long.

What is your biggest fear?

The Avengers is out this week, which character best suits you?
The Hulk. He's just unstoppable, he is the strongest of them all. He does not die, his weakness is anger and he turns it into his strength. I am the hulk [Laughs]

Stan Walker, its always a pleasure, good luck with the album and look forward to having you back on tour soon.
Thank you SCP and watch out I'm coming back for a tour later this year!

Stan Walker's new album Truth & Soul is available on iTunes now..!

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