By Ashleigh Heaslip
Nambour musician Jason Daniels rocked Nashville stages previously shared by country music royalty Billy-Ray Cyrus, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan before releasing a full-length record.
With his second yet-untitled debut EP scheduled for release in early next month, Daniels has promised that soon will change.
In the meantime, fans at Caloundra’s Music Festival, which starts on Friday, will be given a sneak preview of his latest material.
Daniels, 22, said it would be an emotional homecoming performance, with a relaxed, reggae-inspired sound, which has been defined by his experiences of living by the beach.
“Since moving to the Sunshine Coast, it’s definitely had a big influence on the type of music I write and the sound,” Daniels said.
“It became very chilled with a beachy kind of vibe.”
Originally hailing from Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains, Daniels has lived on the Sunshine Coast since 2014.
Years honing his craft spent busking on streets all over the Coast, from Noosa to Maroochydore, taught Daniels the skills required to perform on stages across the world.
Now a veteran of almost 300 gigs, from the Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland to Nashville’s world-renowned Commodore Grille, Daniels still credits those days performing on the street as a major
help to ground him driving him to succeed in music.
“You’ve got to get gigs from anywhere you can find them, from house parties to festivals,” Daniels said.
“Even if you’re only performing for one dude who looks at you kind of funny.
“But obviously we’re in an online world now, and you can’t just have YouTube or Spotify, you need eggs in every basket to get yourself out there.”
The online approach to music has helped Daniels spread his growing brand far beyond busking sessions on the Coast ever could.
To support himself, the multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter also teaches music and is pursuing this as a career until his performances are able to pay the bills.
Daniels’ humility is ever-present, in his music and in person.
He said a recent trip to Papua New Guinea helps maintain the balance in a life that involves striving endlessly towards a goal.
“Visiting PNG has really given me a balanced perception of their environment, also influencing my song writing, over the past few years,” Daniels said.
Daniels said he hopes that his musical success can help him give back to the community, with travelling to Africa and other third world countries high on the bucket list.
The humanitarian journey will have to wait, with the Caloundra Folk Festival, Maroochy Music and Arts Festival, Scarborough and Originals music festivals all rapidly approaching.
If his forthcoming EP is well received, a return to Nashville will be on the cards.