Teen achieves his dream

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page - ZOE NAU­MAN In­spire is out now

IN THREE years, Jack Vid­gen has gone from liv­ing rough on a Queens­land beach to rub­bing shoul­ders with some of the world’s big­gest stars.

The teen singing sen­sa­tion, who be­came a house­hold name af­ter win­ning the re­al­ity TV con­test Australia’s Got Tal­ent last year, has sung in Las Ve­gas, will try his luck in China and Ja­pan, and has just re­leased his sec­ond al­bum.

Vid­gen says his dream to be­come a star kept him go­ing while he lived out of a car with his mother, when the fam­ily was too poor to pay rent.

He says of his time liv­ing rough on El­lis Beach north of Cairns: ‘‘ When we were in that sit­u­a­tion it didn’t seem pos­si­ble I could ever achieve this.

‘‘ It seemed very far away. This dream is some­thing I al­ways wanted.

‘‘ What’s hap­pened has been amaz­ing.’’

Vid­gen, 15, re­leased his gold- sell­ing de­but al­bum, Yes I Am, just eight months ago.

His sec­ond, In­spire, is set to be just as suc­cess­ful.

De­spite his voice break­ing be­tween record­ing the two al­bums, he is con­fi­dent fans will em­brace his new sound.

‘‘ Be­cause my voice has changed, it sounds com­pletely dif­fer­ent to what it did be­fore. But I think my fans will love it.

‘‘ It’s very in­spi­ra­tional and very up­lift­ing. I hope it helps peo­ple who have been through a rough time.’’

Vid­gen, who has met in­ter­na­tional stars in­clud­ing John Tra­volta, Jon Voight and Kevin Spacey, says he had a rough time grow­ing up. Apart from the poverty, he didn’t have many friends at school and has found fame tough.

‘‘ Most of my friends I have are through mu­sic,’’ he says. ‘‘ I only re­ally had one friend at school. In fact, I see more peo­ple now than I did [ then].’’

He says he has also found be­ing in the public eye chal­leng­ing.

‘‘ There is a lot of pres­sure to keep your­self look­ing good.

‘‘ I do it for me, but they say to me here [ at record la­bel Sony] you need to do it.

‘‘ I do go to the gym – that’s about do­ing it for me as well as for what I do.

‘‘ It helps with my breath­ing for singing and helps me get fo­cused.

‘‘ Ex­er­cise helps me keep strong and keep healthy.

‘‘ I have a per­sonal trainer and go to the park as well.

‘‘ I try to be fash­ion- con­scious. For my photo shoots and al­bum shoots I have a stylist.’’

Although Vid­gen may not have as many scream­ing fans as Bri­tish boy band One Di­rec­tion, he has his share of ad­mir­ers.

‘‘ Oh my good­ness. Like ev­ery guy, I would love what they [ One Di­rec­tion] have, but it is in­tim­i­dat­ing. On my first tour, I did in- store ap­pear­ances. At one point there were 6000 peo­ple in the shop­ping cen­tre.

‘‘ I do have a few scream­ing girls. I love see­ing all their mes­sages on Twit­ter.

‘‘ If I am ever not feel­ing the best, I look at those.’’

Vid­gen says he has a wide- rang­ing fan base from tod­dlers to se­niors.

‘‘ They start off at three- year- old girls and they cover my tunes on Youtube and then you see the oldies. I’m sur­prised about how many older peo­ple are on the in­ter­net. I don’t get that many peo­ple cry­ing. I don’t know why they cry but they say they love me, which is great,’’ he says.

With a na­tional tour just kick­ing off, Vid­gen is hop­ing to con­quer China and Ja­pan.

He is in talks to ap­pear on one of China’s big­gest TV shows and will sing at a fes­ti­val in Nagoya, in Ja­pan, at­tended by hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple.

‘‘ It’s like a dream come true,’’ he says. ‘‘ I’m so ex­cited about it and can’t wait.’’

FASH­ION- CON­SCIOUS: Australia’s Got Tal­ent fi­nal­ist Jack Vid­gen.

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