Getting high on life with Ethan Roberts
"I NEVER considered myself much of a planner," Ethan Roberts says.
"Basically I'm always thinking about what's going to happening in a year, rather than knowing what I'll be doing next week."
But if you were to ask this young Gympie singer-songwriter a year ago where he would've found himself today, even he'd be surprised.
After all, this week saw him reach a massive milestone any young artist would be proud of- the release of his first song 'High on Life' and an accompanying music video shot in and around the Gympie region.
Ethan's initial forays into music were supported by the team at the Australian Institute of Country Music, continuing a long tradition of supporting up-and-coming performers.
He says it provided him with a framework that encouraged him as a songwriter and allowed him to grow in confidence in live performances.
Last year, he took the plunge - stepping out on his own to work professionally.
It's a move that's paid off wonderfully, largely due to the work ethic and drive he's bringing to his passion.
"This year I've been gigging a lot, not only in Gympie either," he says.
"I went to Tamworth this year, which is the third time I've been able to go."
The experience of Tamworth, the beating heart of Australian country music, can be disorienting - especially in the presence of hundreds of other musicians clambering for an audience.
For Ethan, who lists standalone icons like Billy Joel and David Bowie amongst his influences, the goal is to create music that goes beyond a simple four chord progression.
"The challenge is to create something that doesn't sound like what anybody else is doing, to make something that sounds like me," he says.
His song 'High on Life' noticeably does away entirely with one rock 'n' roll cliche, with lyrics about how his friendships, his family and his town give him a buzz chemicals can't compete with.
The music video, which he made with his long-time schoolmate Hudson Meads, showcases the beautiful scenery of Gympie and the wider region.
"It was an absolute ball to film it,we drove around just looking for places to shoot," he adds.
"We would stop at all these places and go 'oh we should film here, or we should film here', so there's a lot of Gympie there but a lot of other places too."
So with one major milestone out of the way, 2017 is shaping up to be another big year for Ethan, with a planned EP release hopefully before Muster time.
"It'll have five more songs, and we're hoping to do some more videos for all of them," he says.
In the meantime, you can check out the video for 'High on Life' above, the song is also available for purchase on iTunes as well.
As for when you can see him live, make sure to follow his Facebook page.
While you're at it, you can also check out the work of video director Hudson Meads here.