Stan Roto Walker (born 23 October 1990), is a New Zealand recording artist and actor. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Walker auditioned for the seventh season of Australian Idol in 2009, and became the winner.
Stan Roto Walker (born 23 October 1990), is a New Zealand recording artist and actor. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Walker auditioned for the seventh season of Australian Idol in 2009, and became the winner. After Idol he subsequently signed a recording contract with Sony Music Australia, and released his debut studio album, Introducing… Stan Walker, shortly after. The album debuted at number three on the ARIA Albums Chart, and certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Its lead single, «Black Box», reached number-one in New Zealand. In 2010, Walker released his second studio album, From the Inside Out, which also reached number-one in New Zealand, and number-two in Australia. The album produced two successful singles, «Unbroken» and «Choose You». Later that year, Walker won four New Zealand Music Awards, including the «International Achievement Award». Contents [hide] * 1 Early life * 2 Australian Idol * 3 Career o 3.1 2009: Introducing… Stan Walker o 3.2 2010: From the Inside Out o 3.3 2011–present: third studio album * 4 Discography * 5 Tours * 6 Awards and nominations * 7 References * 8 External links Early life Walker was born on 23 October 1990 in Melbourne, Australia but moved back and forth with his family from Australia to New Zealand, before settling in Coolangatta, Queensland. He attended Fairfield Intermediate, Hamilton Boys’ High School and New Plymouth Boys’ High School. He is of Māori descent. In New Zealand, Walker’s heritage tribes is Tuhoe and Ngati Ranginui. Walker has compared his early life to that portrayed in 1994 New Zealand film Once Were Warriors, which tells the story of an urban Māori family and their problems with poverty, alcoholism and domestic violence. He explained, «I was brought up around a lot of drugs and alcohol. My dad was a very violent and angry man. He used to beat my mother. Home was not very secure at all. Mum did the best she could, but it was not very good. A lot of stuff was happening.» This led to him smoking marijuana and thieving. At the age of 15, Walker started going to church, after hearing a testimony of a girl who had a similar family background to his. Walker says his passion for music and church made him a «good boy» again. Before Walker had entered Australian Idol in 2009, he was a shop assistant at a menswear shop in Coolangatta, Queensland where his family currently lives. Australian Idol Main article: Australian Idol (season 7) In 2009 Walker auditioned for the seventh season of Australian Idol, singing John Legend’s «Ordinary People» at the Brisbane auditions. He received praise from the judges with Marcia Hines applauding him and stating: «You’ve got a beautifully mature voice… it resonates [and] this whole room was captivated by your voice. You coulda heard a penny drop and that to me is what a great artist is.» He progressed through to the theatre rounds receiving more recognition from the judges with Kyle Sandilands saying, «You’re the only person after the auditions that I ever told anyone about; family, friends other people that I run into. I only told them about you.» After all three theatre rounds were over, it was announced that Walker made it into the top-twenty four semi-finals. Walker was part of the first group to perform in the semi-finals. The following evening they announced the first two contestants to be put through to the top twelve according to viewer votes, who were Walker and fellow contestant Kate Cook. Throughout the season Walker was praised continually for his voice and for the daring choices he took with his song choices. One of his most highly praised performances was of the Prince song, «Purple Rain» which received a standing ovation from the judging panel and the audience. During the season, the contestants were mentored by established artists including Suzi Quatro, Liza Minnelli, Joel Madden, Benji Madden, Michael Bublé and Pete Wentz. After his performance of Miley Cyrus’ «The Climb», the judges including Joel and Benji Madden were left speechless. Joel stated that listening to Walker sing made him want to sing R&B music and Benji stating that he would watch him perform whether he won the competition or not. After his R&B influenced performance of «Eye of the Tiger» by Survivor, guest judge Pete Wentz stated that he had heard about him from Joel and that if he had nowhere to go after idol to give him a call. While being mentored by Michael Bublé, after being put through to the final 2, the singer compared his voice to Walker stating: «When he sang to me I wanted to kick him a little bit! Really, I just thought why am I here… ‘cause I’m gonna sound like crap singing next to Stan… that voice is like God kissed [his] throat… it’s hard when you’re a singer and you meet… a better singer than you and you have to come up and mentor them…» The grand finale was held on 22 November 2009, and after the viewer votes had been tallied it had been announced that the winner was Walker. He is the first person of New Zealand descent to win the Australian version of Idol. [show]Performances and results Week Theme Song choice Original artist Result Audition N/A Ordinary People John Legend Advanced Theatre Week Accapella performance Jesus Loves Me Anna Bartlett Warner Advanced Band performance Use Somebody Kings of Leon Advanced Concert performance Let’s Stay Together Al Green Advanced Top 24 N/A «If I Ain’t Got You» Alicia Keys Advanced Top 12 Contestant’s choice «Umbrella» Rihanna Safe Top 11 Rock «Nothing Else Matters» Metallica Safe Top 10 Top ten hits «Straight Lines» Silverchair Safe Top 9 Eighties «Purple Rain» Prince Safe Top 8 Pink «Dear Mr. President» Pink Safe Top 7 Big Band night «Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)» Beyoncé Knowles Safe Top 6 Stage and screen «Circle of Life» Elton John Bottom two Top 5 Contestant’s choice «Hallelujah» Leonard Cohen Safe Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell «Ain’t No Mountain High Enough» Top 4 Noughties «Let Me Love You» Mario Safe «The Climb» Miley Cyrus Top 3 Contestant’s choice «Eye of the Tiger» Survivor Safe «It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World» James Brown «Amazing Grace» John Newton Top 2 Contestant’s choice Winner’s single Contestant’s choice Contestant’s choice «How Can You Mend a Broken Heart» Bee Gees Safe «Black Box» N/A «Sweet Dreams» Beyoncé Knowles «Superstar» Delaney & Bonnie Grand Final New song «Feeling Good» 1 Cy Grant Winner Group performance «Take Back the City» Snow Patrol Previous song «It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World» James Brown Winner’s single «Black Box» N/A * ^Note 1 : Performed alongside Hayley Warner and Michael Bublé. Career 2009: Introducing… Stan Walker Main article: Introducing… Stan Walker After coming out of Australian Idol as the winner, Walker signed to Sony and received an artist’s development fund worth A$200,000. During this time he established his own company called Stan Walker Music Pty Ltd, which is run by his mother, April. The company was set up in order to negotiate his contract with Sony Music and not end up like past Idol contestant Damien Leith who claimed he didn’t make any money from his «Winners Journey» release. Walker’s debut single «Black Box» was available for digital download following his win. It debuted at number two on the ARIA Singles Chart, and reached a peak of number one on the New Zealand Singles Chart, receiving double platinum certifications in Australia and New Zealand. «Black Box» spent a total of ten weeks at number one in New Zealand and became his first number one single there. The single was followed by the release of his debut album, Introducing… Stan Walker which was recorded in just two days. It was released on 9 December 2009, three days ahead of its original release date. The album featured selected songs Walker performed as part of the top 12 on Australian Idol as well as a new single titled «Think of Me», produced by the first Idol winner Guy Sebastian. The album debuted on the ARIA Albums Chart at number three and received a platinum accreditation. It also made its debut on the New Zealand Albums Chart at number two and certified triple platinum there. 2010: From the Inside Out Main article: From the Inside Out In April 2010, Walker flew to Haiti to help Compassion Australia’s relief effort of the 2010 Haiti earthquake as an ambassador. He released his second studio album, From the Inside Out on 20 August 2010. Walker explained that he wanted the album «to be able to tell real stories» and the songs to «deal with real issues.» The album debuted at number two on the ARIA Albums Chart, becoming his second top-five album on the chart. It became his first number-one album in New Zealand and certified platinum there. «Unbroken» was released as the album’s lead single in April 2010. It was written and produced by OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder. The song peaked at number nine on the New Zealand Singles Chart and certified gold. In Australia, it peaked at number twenty-three on the ARIA Singles Chart and also certified gold. In June 2010, Walker featured on New Zealand rapper Young Sid’s «Stuck in a Box». The following month, Walker released «Choose You», as the second single from the album. Written by Australian pop singer Cassie Davis, «Choose You» reached number three on the New Zealand Singles Chart and certified platinum. It also peaked at number sixteen on the ARIA Singles Chart, and was certified gold. In November 2010, Walker served as a support act for the Summerbeatz tour in Australia, with Flo Rida, Jay Sean, Akon and Ciara, among other artists. He played the lead role in the New Zealand film, A Gift to Zion, playing a young, ambitious Māori boy who wants to become an artist. In February 2011, Walker held his first headlining tour in New Zealand. 2011–present: third studio album Walker plans to release his third studio album later on in the year, or in 2012. Its lead single, «Loud», was released in May 2011. Discography Main article: Stan Walker discography Studio albums * Introducing… Stan Walker (2009) * From the Inside Out (2010) Tours * 2010: Summerbeatz (Supporting Act) * 2011: New Zealand Summer Tour (Headlining)