East Coast tour, song writing and recording
By SHIRLEY BROUN
CHARISMATIC 2012 X Factor runner-up Jason Owen is well on the way to strengthening his position within the entertainment industry and although he admits it is a challenge he sees the hard work he is putting in right now as a positive investment in his future.
“It’s like building a house. X Factor put down the slab and now it is up to me to put up the frame and build the house,” Jason said when On With the Show’s Shirley Broun caught up with him last Friday during the final few days of a month off.
He admits X Factor was a great launching pad. “Ever since I was 10, I wanted to pursue music as a career but I didn’t know how to or where to start,” he said. “Then I went to the X Factor auditions with my aunty who was also auditioning and that’s what gave me my start. The show had millions of viewers each night.”
Top selling album
On April 26 this year Jason, 19, released a top selling album with Sony Music called `Life is a Highway’ which featured a collection of songs he performed on X Factor. It went straight to No.5 on the ARIA albums charts … not a bad effort for a relative newcomer to the music scene who just 12 months previously had been performing a few gigs in his home town of Albert (population 12) and in clubs and pubs in nearby Dubbo.
His youthful talent was also on show during the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
X Factor, Jason said, was the best thing that ever happened to him and he encouraged anyone with a passion to perform to audition for the next series.
“I think the talent being showcased on X Factor is getting better every year. I still don’t think I’m the greatest singer but X Factor gave me confidence and a platform on which to launch my career. People know your face. It is such great exposure.”
What about life after X Factor?
“Couldn’t be better,” he said, brimming with excitement. “I am doing exactly what I have always wanted to do and I couldn’t be happier.”
Jason teamed up with country music star Amber Lawrence to record `Islands in the Stream’, which was a huge hit for Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. The success of Jason and Amber’s single, prompted an `Island in the Stream’ tour which was launched in June this year.
“We took it on the road and have already performed about 20 shows and mostly to full houses. It has been incredible,” said Jason.
Islands in the Stream tour
Taking the show on the road was a `first’ for Jason. “It’s a huge learning experience for me and you don’t really know what it is like until you are actually doing it. “
But Jason says he has adapted. “I have always travelled and was used to driving 700kms a day in my father’s fuel truck business. There are challenges along the way with constant touring but I am really loving it with a passion.”
During the past month on a break from touring Jason returned to his home town of Albert but was so empowered by his new found fame and career opportunities that he has spent almost every day steadfastly focussed on writing songs.
Focus on writing song
“I’ve never written songs before but I have always believed you can sing and present a song much better if it is a part of you … something you can relate to and really feel. People can always relate to a song that is sung from the heart.
“I am writing about life and relationships at the moment and want to create a big ballad that would connect with audiences of all ages. You know, like the Bryan Adams song “Everything I Do I Do It for You’. It’s so powerful and everyone loves it.”
Jason said most people describe his music as being in the `country music genre’ but he admits to always loving to sing country rock and powerful songs. “My favourite artists have always had strong vocal abilities like Celine Dion, John Denver, Elton John and Bruce Springsteen. I am much more at home with their music.”
New singles and album in 2014
After the success of his first album `Life is a Highway’, Jason is keen to get back into the recording studio next year with plans for several singles and a new album, mainly of his own originals.
“I have already started work on the singles and the writing work I have been doing during my time off will give me plenty of material for a new album.”
Jason said his main goal is to break into America within three to five years. “I’d love to record over there but I realise that to have this opportunity I will first have to achieve some hits with good songs in Australia.
On November 8 Jason and Amber’s `Island in the Stream’ tour resumes with the first performance in Canberra. “We will be on the road until May next year and the tour will include the Gold Coast and Brisbane as well.”
Albert’s `big’ attraction
It could be true to say Jason who even bought his X Factor mentor ex Spice Girl Mel B to the tiny haven of Albert, population 12, has certainly put the town on the map and it hasn’t hurt his family’s Rabbit Trap Hotel venture either. And soon the tiny town’s pub will have a launch of its own.
“I don’t want to say too much but you’ve heard or seen major attractions like the Big Banana at Coffs Harbour and the Big Pineapple in Queensland, well now Albert has its very own `Big’ attraction of interest,” said Jason, “And it’s sitting on the top of our Rabbit Trap Hotel.”
The launch will be in the next few months and this is one event Jason doesn’t want to miss.Tweet