STAR RE­TURNS TO HIS ROOTS

ARIA award win­ner re­turns to MC fes­ti­val

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News - Tari Jef­fers

As the Man­jimup Cherry Har­mony Fes­ti­val fast ap­proaches, the re­gion wel­comes back a fa­mil­iar face.

Raised in Yor­nup, Wy­att Nixon-Lloyd has since made a name for him­self as tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ter, co­me­dian, event MC, and more re­cently an ARIA award win­ner.

Wy­att makes his an­nual re­turn to the re­gion this week to be one of the MCs for the fes­ti­val.

Af­ter spend­ing much of his child­hood in the re­gion, Wy­att went to board­ing school for Year 11 and 12.

“I would come down and pick cauliflow­ers ev­ery hol­i­days to earn my pocket money,” he said.

“I picked all the dif­fer­ent veg­eta­bles: pota­toes, corn, broc­coli, let­tuce, car­rots and even cap­sicum.

“I’ve al­ways felt re­ally lucky to have grown up down there and hav­ing fam­ily there, it means com­ing back all the time.

“It’s al­ways just nice to al­ways come back and con­nect to your roots.”

Af­ter Wy­att fin­ished high school, his life could have gone in two — very dif­fer­ent — direc­tions, as he ap­plied to univer­sity to be­come a sci­en­tist or as an ac­tor.

His life’s di­rec­tion was de­cided af­ter a suc­cess­ful au­di­tion for the Western Aus­tralian Academy of Per­form­ing Arts.

“It’s pretty fas­ci­nat­ing to think about those mo­ments where you have re­ally big turn­ing points and either one of those out­comes would have been re­ally dif­fer­ent,” Wy­att said.

He has had a suc­cess­ful ca­reer so far, with highlights in­clud­ing co-host­ing Nick­elodeon’s Camp Or­ange, Kid’s Choice Awards, work­ing at Perth’s Mix 94.5 where he per­formed com­edy songs on air, work­ing at the ABC’s Tonightly With Tom Bal­lard and cur­rently work­ing at Chan­nel Ten’s The Pro­ject.

Wy­att said his time at Nick­elodeon was “a lot of fun” as well as a great ex­pe­ri­ence and fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity.

“It was in­cred­i­ble to be paid to en­ter­tain kids,” he said.

In a ca­reer full of highlights and mak­ing peo­ple laugh, one of Wy­att’s re­cent achieve­ments was win­ning an 2018 ARIA for Best Com­edy Re­lease in co-writ­ing the com­edy song Sex Pest.

His jour­ney to win­ning an ARIA be­gan with his job at the Tonightly show, where he was ini­tially hired as “au­di­ence warm up”, where it was his job to pump up the au­di­ence be­fore the show.

Over the course of the sea­son, he be­came a writer and per­former on the show and co-wrote the songs for the show.

“One of the songs we wrote was about sex­ual ha­rass­ment,” he said.

“We were talk­ing about how it’s a weird thing to talk about.

“We wanted to do a re­ally sexy song about a re­ally se­ri­ous is­sue.”

Af­ter writ­ing the song and per­form­ing it and its video clip, Wy­att said they “kind of for­got about it” un­til they found out it was on the short list for the ARIA Best Com­edy Re­lease.

“We were re­ally grate­ful to be recog­nised for mu­sic be­cause we’re just a bunch of kids muck­ing around, mak­ing songs,” he said.

“And then we pick up the big­gest mu­sic award in Aus­tralia.

“We made a song that gets peo­ple talk­ing about a hugely im­por­tant is­sue be­cause a lot of the con­ver­sa­tion about sex­ual ha­rass­ment this last year has been about peo­ple of celebrity and peo­ple in the me­dia.

“But it’s an ev­ery­day is­sue that faces ev­ery­day peo­ple.”

Among all this while liv­ing in Perth, and later Mel­bourne, Wy­att had been part of the Big Hoo Haa, a com­edy im­prov show started in WA about 17 years ago, which he de­scribed as “an in­sti­tu­tion”.

“It’s so good at giv­ing ac­tors an op­por­tu­nity to per­form and earn a lit­tle bit of money, while in be­tween other gigs,” he said.

“It’s been go­ing for so long be­cause it was so good.

“When I moved to Mel­bourne dur­ing my Nick­elodeon time, I helped found the chap­ter in Mel­bourne.”

Big Hoo Haa was part of the Man­jimup Cherry Har­mony Fes­ti­val for sev­eral years, of which Wy­att would par­tic­i­pate.

In re­turn­ing to MC the Man­jimup Cherry Har­mony Fes­ti­val, Wy­att said he loved cel­e­brat­ing agriculture.

“Where we live has some of the best food pro­duc­tion in Aus­tralia,” he said.

“You don’t re­alise how lucky you are to have such fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles un­til you move away.

“Man­jimup is a very di­verse place with a lot of things to of­fer.

“I hope there’s al­ways cher­ries and I hope there’s al­ways this fes­ti­val.”

We were re­ally grate­ful to be recog­nised for mu­sic be­cause we’re just a bunch of kids muck­ing around, mak­ing songs.

Wy­att Nixon-Lloyd

Pic­ture: Chloe An­gelo

From the pad­docks of the Lower South West to the ARIA stage, Wy­att Nixon-Lloyd is a prime ex­am­ple of a lo­cal man do­ing well.

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