"With the lyrics, I wanted people to get a glimpse inside my world and really feel what I'm feeling. There are songs on the album that are really deep and show things that you can't usually see just by looking at me."
In just under nine months Stan Walker has achieved the near impossible; the nineteen year-old singer has evolved from a mere contender, into one of the most refreshing and shining examples of talent the Australian music industry has to offer. Stan's undeniable vocal-gift and engaging boy-next-door charm have already resulted in him successfully releasing a couple of top selling singles (the double Platinum "Black Box" and Gold "Unbroken") and a platinum-selling album ("Introducing Stan Walker"). Along the way his confidence has blossomed, he's found his way to navigate through the industry with his expanding experience and his quest to speak the truth via his music. His new album "From The Inside Out" puts the past behind him, and reveals the true artistry of Stan Walker, away from the quick-turnaround recordings and the media fanfare. Taking his time to create a collection of personal, honest, and soulful songs, this new album showcases Stan's ability to party and have fun, whilst the same time also allowing him to flip the script, and strip his soul bare to reveal himself from the inside out.
"I think people are curious to hear what this new album will sound like, especially those that bought my first album, which was basically a covers album that we got out there immediately," he says with his trademark frankness. "This time around, we've taken our time to craft some songs that are very personal to me, and I think audiences will hear that deeper connection, and begin to find out more about who I am as an artist.
"With the lyrics, I wanted people to get a glimpse inside my world and really feel what I'm feeling. There are songs on the album that are really deep and show things that you can't usually see just by looking at me. By revealing the truths within my heart, I'm sure that the bond between my audience and myself will become even stronger."
The thirteen songs featured on "From The Inside Out" are a spirited and uplifting collection of songs that Stan feels profoundly attached to. "These songs are mine ? they speak my truth," he says proudly. "These days there are a lot of manufactured songs with nasty lyrics, but I wanted to make an album of real songs, with real lyrics, about how we all feel sometimes. I wanted to talk about real love, real situations, and songs that people could really connect to and feel like they're not alone. "I hate the fantasy of celebrities that some people aspire to become ? it's all fake. I wanna represent people's inner thoughts, experiences and emotions. I want to connect with people on a deeper level, and leave all that bling-celebrity pimpin' for other artists to deal with."
Stan's success and crowning-glory so far was noted around the world late last year, and in no time at all offers to work with him on this new album flooded in from around the globe. However, Stan was cautious about his collaborative plans, knowing in his own mind how he best wanted to represent himself. "I had a firm goal about what I wanted to do and what sort of sound I wanted to create, so the people that came along either helped me achieve what I wanted, or they weren't really suitable for this record. In the end I was able to inject every part of me into the songs for this album, and it was an awesome experience working with some very talented people."
Working on "From The Inside Out", Stan handpicked only the most suitable collaborators from around the world and in Australia to work with on this very personal album. Lending a hand to proceedings were producers Ryan Tedder (Beyonc , Leona Lewis), Stuart Crichton (Kylie Minogue, Sugababes), Audius (Jessica Mauboy, Delta Goodrem), and Israel Cruz (Ricki-Lee, Jade MacRae), as well as UK singer Pixie Lott and New Zealand rapper Young Sid, who both duet respectively with Stan on the album. The album was then given a final sonic-boost in the USA by in-demand Grammy Award-winning mixers Phil Tan (Usher, Rihanna) and Craig Bauer (Kanye West).
With recording sessions for the album resulting in a wealth of material, Stan carefully went about selecting what would be the final track-listing for this important album. "I had to consider a few different things when I thought about what would make it to the final album. The three most important things to me were that it represented me, that there was variety, and that the songs would go on to affect people. I think the end-result is that it's quite different as an album ? it's a whirlwind of pop, R&B, soul, rock and some gospel, all mixed together, and right in the middle of all that, there's me."
Opening up proceedings on Stan's new album is the song that inspired the title of the album - "Inside Out". It's a striking powerhouse-pop moment which sets the tone for the whole album. "There's no need to tell you much about it, because if you listen to the lyrics it explains it for you," Stan says, deciding to let his music speak for itself. "This is who I am, if you look within / Take me as I am, this is all of me," he sings on the song, which is truly made his own when the song breaks down half-way and Stan's gospel-styled vocals soar to the front with extraordinary resonance.
Elsewhere on the album, hit single "Unbroken" sounds even better than before within the context of the album, whilst new songs like "Homesick", "Stuck In A Box" and "Love Grafitti" gives listeners the full, wide-ranging Stan Walker vocal experience. New single "Choose You", written by singer/songwriter Cassie Davis, is a sure-fire sing-along pop anthem that will surely see Stan reach new heights and expand his audience with firm radio support, and frenzied fan appreciation. "I'd only met Cassie once before at the Aria Awards and we hit it off the first time we met, but I really didn't know her that well. I loved the song when I first heard it, and I loved the way she wrote it ? it sounded awesome. There's a real magic to the song ? it's a wicked pop song mixed with a little old skool R&B."
"From The Inside Out" is like a diary of personal thoughts and reflection for Stan ? an insight into the makings of a young man. Even the one cover song featured on the album ? "Kissing You" ? is transformed from Des'ree's one-time hit single into a song that Stan truly makes his own. "I wanted to have a really deep song on the album that cut to the very core of human emotion ? I've always loved that song, and it's always meant something to me, and I know it's meant something to other people too. When I was recording the song I really wanted people to hear the emotion of the song, and I guess in the process of getting into the character of the song, I ended up breaking down a little and crying whilst we recorded the vocals."
When asked what the best-case scenario for "From The Inside Out" is for him, Stan's response is a revealing reminder as to the profound nature of this young man. "The best-case scenario would be that it would change somebody's life.". Whereas another artist might have said ? quite fairly - that they wanted a #1 record, Stan's instant response is a striking representation of the man behind the music. "#1's come and go, but when you change somebody's life, that doesn't happen all the time. I want people to really take in the songs on this album, and not just hear beats and sounds. I want people to listen to the lyrics and feel the songs with their hearts, and think about them with their minds."
Luck, opportunity, or talent ? how did Stan Walker make it to where he is today, standing on the brink of international success? "I don't believe in luck," he laughs, with a huge grin. "Everything happens for a reason, and has its purpose ? I thank God for giving me this opportunity to be here. Now it's my time to take the stage and inspire others to make the most of their lives? and if they laugh, or sing-along to my songs on the way, well, that's even better, eh?!"