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Exclusive Interview with Stan Walker

We were lucky enough to catch up with Stan Walker, Australian Idol's hot favourite to win. Read on and find out what his favourite Kiwi bands are, why he loves smoothies and where he wants to be in ten years time.

TV: How are you feeling now you've got this far in the competition?
Stan: It's awesome, I didn't think I would get to this point at all.

TV: How far have you come since your audition and the first week both musically and personally?
Stan: I've really grown a lot. I've got stronger in my character and musically I've come to appreciate lots of different styles of music.

TV: What was it like meeting Liza Minnelli, Suzi Quatro and Harry Connick Jr.?
Stan: Oh man, they're awesome. It's so wicked because when we go into the work shops, I don't go in there on a high because they're celebrities. I'm not about that because at the end of the day, we're all people and we're just people who have accomplished stuff and they have too. They've got a lot of knowledge and I love learning from them and the experience they have to share.

TV: What song have you enjoyed singing the most?
Stan: I enjoyed singing Single Ladies by Beyonce the most. It was so much fun it was a real challenge for me but I had a lot of fun singing it.

TV: Which contestant do you fear the most and why?
Stan: We are all so, so different and so strong at what we do. They're all my competition!

TV: In your Week Six Blog (on the official Australian Idol website) you say you get nervous. What do you do to combat your anxiety before you walk on stage? Do you have any special rituals before you go on stage?
Stan: I always pray before I go on stage. I zone out from the whole crowd, noise and lights and I humble myself. I just do what Ive got to do and remember why Im there and do what I love doing.

TV: How has your Bible College and time at church helped you musically? Is your religion a big part of your music/who you are?
Stan: It's probably the biggest part really. Without god, I can't do this. Hes the reason why I'm here and why I've got this voice and do what I do. The least I could do is to give it back to him and represent him. It's really helped me a lot and helped me grow and helped me have integrity in my character and standards in my life.

TV: What message do you aim to spread to your fans through your music?
Stan: My biggest goal is to be an ambassador for broken people who have come from nothing to gain everything. You don't have to be anyone special or come from anywhere special to be someone special. I just think no matter how many times we fall and get back up, we've just got to keep on moving forward and we can achieve what we want to do. Dreams are not impossible.

TV: You've talked about your love of smoothies and juices, do you drink these to help keep your voice in good condition?
Stan: Its a great start to the morning! I haven't had a few lately, I've been a bit drained. It actually helps you poo good (laughs very loudly). It is the bomb, it cleanses your body out, it really does. I've been feeling a bit yuck so I'd better get on those smoothies soon!

TV: You've said you wanted 10 kids but would settle for 7 as its more logical - thats going to be one hell of a sing song!
Stan: I was bought up around family. I've always got family around me and I love kids. I can't wait to get married; I'd get started straight away. My wife better be ready!

TV: Please finish the sentence, Music for me...
Stan: Music for a refuge, a language that everybody can speak and a passion.

TV: What is it going to take for you to be the winner of Australian Idol, Season 7? What are you going to have to pull out of the bag?
Stan: I think just being consistent, to hold on to what I represent and keep on pushing the boundaries with music and doing what people haven't done before. I need to be creative and take risks. A big part of standing out and being a great artist is taking risks and doing things no-one has ever done before. I try.

TV: You're of Maori decent and from Tauranga, New Zealand, how do you weave your Maori heritage in to your music?
Stan: Im so proud of who I am and where I come from. Every chance I can get, I always try to get my Maori thing in there and make known to the world who and what I am. Were really proud people. I'm so blessed to be in such a strong culture. Anything I can be a part of back home (our Maori, our language) Im all for it, man.

TV: What Kiwi bands do you enjoy listening to?
Stan: I love Katchafire, House of Shem, Che-Fu, Fat Freddys Drop, Kora Im actually related to a few of them.

TV: Will there be a trip to New Zealand given your new found fame?!
Stan: Its definitely in my goals and future plans that I will go back home and do a tour and hopefully do some collaborations with people back home.

TV: Apart from wanting to win the show what are you looking forward to over the next few weeks?
Stan: I'm looking forward to what happens after the show regardless of winning it or not. I just want to get started, I want to start making music and doing my stuff with this.

TV: It's October 2009, let's fast forward ten years. Where are you? What are you doing?
Stan: Hopefully I will have a few albums and I will have toured New Zealand and Australia by then and expanded in to America and England. I'll be married and have a few kids I need to get started on my tribe!