The bug-eat­ing, pitch-per­fect, song-con­test-smash­ing whiz kid An­thony Cal­lea is coming to town. Well, if it’s good enough for Whit­ney ...

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - BRI­ANA WOOD­WARD

When it comes to en­ter­tain­ment, An­thony Cal­lea has pretty much done it all. He took on Aus­tralian Idol more than 12 years ago, de­voured bugs and guts for prime-time TV on I’m a Celebrity Get Me out of Here ear­lier this year and is one half of a power cou­ple Aus­tralia sim­ply adores. And he’s not done yet.

The Mel­bourne-born singer-song­writer is pre­par­ing to hit the road this month to pro­mote his forth­com­ing al­bum Back­bone. His sixth stu­dio re­lease, it’s been pro­duced by James Roche of Bach­e­lor Girl (re­mem­ber them?) and will drop Septem­ber 16. It will be a mix­ture of much-loved cov­ers and new, orig­i­nal songs.

“Es­sen­tially, most of these songs are from the ‘80s and ‘90s,” Cal­lea says, not giv­ing too much way. “There’s no bet­ter feel­ing than singing great lyrics and amaz­ing melodies. When you take all the bells and whis­tles away you are left with some of the most beau­ti­ful lyrics and melodies ever cre­ated.”

And he’s known his far share of those. From tour­ing with greats in­clud­ing Tina Arena, Mariah Carey, Whit­ney Hous­ton and Ce­line Dion, Cal­lea has had the kind of ca­reer most vo­cal­ists can only dream of.

“(Ce­line) is just a beau­ti­ful hu­man be­ing who is so giv­ing, ex­tremely gen­er­ous and some­one who will tell it like it is,” he says of the icon, adding that “sharing the stage with Tina Arena was also a treat”.

While Cal­lea may be best known for his soaring, pitch­per­fect vo­cals he’s also wormed his way into the hearts of Aus­tralian au­di­ences who tuned into I’m a Celebrity. Thanks to his up­beat dis­po­si­tion and en­dear­ing perma-smile (de­spite be­ing on the bru­tal beans-and-rice diet for six weeks), it wasn’t just Bren­dan Fevola who thought he’d found a new BFF.

“Be­ing on the show was one of the most in­ter­est­ing six-anda-half-week (pe­ri­ods) of my life. I don’t re­gret do­ing it. I loved the whole ex­pe­ri­ence and where it took me men­tally and phys­i­cally,” An­thony says.

“It was al­ways great to prank peo­ple. Bren­dan Fevola is the king of pranks so it was fun to re­turn the favour. Bon­nie Lyth­goe’s an­tics were also en­ter­tain­ing. It was great to have a fun ex­pe­ri­ence while also rais­ing some im­por­tant funds for my nom­i­nated char­ity, Life­line.”

The good news for lo­cal fans is that the Gold Coast holds a very spe­cial place in Cal­lea’s heart as well.

“I love coming to the Coast; I love the sun­shine, the beaches, the peo­ple, and es­pe­cially the re­laxed at­mos­phere. My hus­band and I have friends who live there so we visit quite a bit. When the time comes to give all of this up, I’d love to re­tire on the Gold Coast.”

That’s likely a ways off yet, as Cal­lea’s focused on mak­ing the most of his jam-packed ca­reer. Han­dling it all comes down to a few sim­ple rules.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff, don’t be over­whelmed, take small steps, breathe and re­lax, “he says. “Don’t be too hard on your­self.” An­thony Cal­lea, Twin Towns, to­mor­row night


Pic­ture: Jake Nowakowski

An­thony Cal­lea’s new al­bum is ru­moured to feature a Brit­ney Spears cover.

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