Born in Melbourne in 1990, and raised in New Zealand before returning to Australia, 27-year-old singer Stan Walker didn’t have an easy life as a child and young teenager.
Family problems led to the young Maori heading down the wrong track of life—until he started going to church when he was 15, after hearing a testimony from a young girl with a similar family history.
That decision was one of the best young Stan ever made, and today the award-winning singer says his Christian beliefs are intrinsic to both his career and personal life. He values his personal time with God and sees his talent and success as a gift.
“To achieve what I’ve achieved in a small amount of time, God’s been the orchestrator of everything that’s happened in my life,” he tells The Salvation Army.
“I want to be used as a vessel for God, really—I’ve got a responsibility to people and as a role model I want to set the best example that God wants me to be,” Stan explains.
And Stan’s achievements are indeed impressive.
Having won the 2009 series final of Australian Idol, his debut album Introducing Stan Walker went triple platinum, and since then he has released four more successful albums, gaining him awards ranging from New Zealand Music Awards’ Radio Airplay Record of the Year for Black Box, to an International Achievement Award and the Deadly Award of Single of the Year for his duet ‘Galaxy’ with Jessica Mauboy.
Touring with Beyoncé in 2013 was another career highlight, and Stan names the international pop star as an inspiration for his own work.
Away from the recording studio and the concert stage Stan has diversified into acting, with roles in two New Zealand films, Mt Zion and Born to Dance, and the internationally acclaimed Hunt for the Wilderpeople. He is also appearing in the upcoming film The Stolen which is screening across the UK.
Stan has also made the journey from contestant to mentor, as a judge in The X Factor New Zealand.
In 2013, Stan continued giving back to society when he became an ambassador for The Salvation Army’s annual Red Shield Appeal, explaining that he was a big fan of the Salvos’ approach to helping those in need.
“They’re about bringing hope to people—that’s what I love about the Salvos; they do everything for people in need of help.”
Stan is also a thoughtful young man who chooses to ponder the journey he has made since those heady days of 2009.
“I’m a completely different person,” he tells the Salvos’ Jessica Morris in an interview with ppcorn.com.
“My foundation, my values, my conviction and my beliefs are all the same, but I’ve grown up—it’s like a becoming of me, as the man,” he reflects.
Collaboration is an important aspect of music to Stan, and in his 2015 album Heart & Soul, he chose to include duets with Australian X Factor star (and current Salvo Christmas Appeal ambassador) Samantha Jade, and X Factor winner Dami Im.
Stan is a huge admirer of both women, and he loved being able to work with them and other friends on that album.
“It was so awesome. I have two of my closest friends on there, and the choir that I use are all my mates, so I actually have friends and family on the recording, making an album of songs that I love,” he enthuses.
Sometimes the headlines about the music industry seem to indicate that it’s full of sad stories and broken people, so it’s reassuring to know that there are also people like Stan Walker, proudly living his faith and being the kind of role model we can admire.
Stan’s new single ‘New Takeover’ is out now.