Sydney dance student, Japanese musical theatre star, Nashville singer-songwriter — it seems there are many sides to openly gay Australian performer Lucas Kane Hall.
Hall, now settled in New York and with one album (My Name In Wingdings) under his belt, told Sydney Star Observer there had been one common thread running through his career thus far.
“Music was always my main focus. I’ve written songs since I was 16 and I also taught myself to play the guitar. I’d cut school all the time to practise with my band and always used to get into trouble for it.”
Stints in a Melbourne performing arts college and studying dance at Sydney’s Brent Street parlayed into a contract as a performer in the stage musical Wicked — in Osaka, Japan.
“I got to live in Osaka for 13 months, and loved every single moment. Most of the songs [in Wicked] were in Japanese, so that was a huge learning curve, learning to sing in Japanese,” he said.
“During my time in Japan, I rekindled my love of songwriting, and I recorded a collection of new tracks with a band who only spoke Japanese. It worked out really well and some of the tracks from that time made it on to my album, My Name In Wingdings.”
The sound of the songs — tender acoustic pop with the occasional country-folk flourish — was a world away from the overproduced nature of Japan’s music scene. Hall knew it was time to move on.
“America was always in my plans. Whether I tried or failed, I really wanted to take my career to that next level, so I packed everything up — without ever having been to America before — and made the leap,” he said of the move to New York.
Hall recorded his album in Brooklyn and Nashville and signed a deal with the Tyler Music Group, who’ve worked with the Dixie Chicks, Taylor Swift and Jewel.
While the Nashville country music scene isn’t exactly the expected home for an openly gay artist, Hall said he hadn’t encountered any problems so far.
“I figured, why not just start out being truthful about who I am, and at this point it hasn’t really mattered. Good music is good music. Artists like Rufus Wainwright, Antony and the Johnsons and Missy Higgins are planting the seeds of change in the entertainment industry and it’s inspiring. If I’m able to do even half of that in my career, it would be a true blessing.”
Hall’s album is available from his website, where he’ll soon be doing a series of live online shows so Australians can see him perform.
info: Visit www.lucaskanehall.com