Jon Stevens reflects on the importance of learning ahead of his Orange Blossom Festival appearance

Jon Stevens has had an amazing life with Noiseworks and INXS and one thing he has learned during nearly 40 years in the music industry is that “if you don’t learn, you don’t grow”.

The legendary Stevens will be pulling out all the stops when he headlines at The Hills Shire Orange Blossom Festival showstopper, Lights, Beats and Eats at Castle Hill Showground on September 14.

Stevens has a wonderful, relaxed approach to life reflective of his early years growing up in New Zealand where he released his first studio album, Jezebel, in 1980.

A year later he moved to Australia and became an Australian citizen.

He laughs when he says he doesn’t remember much of the 80s but says: “looking back it was such an incredibly exciting time in Australian music … the pubs were absolutely heaving with amazing energy and huge support from fans all around the country”.

His rock ‘n’ roll dream came true as lead singer with Noiseworks between 1986  and 1992 with three platinum studios and Top Ten singles Take Me Back, Touch and Hot Chilli Woman. He says the stand out moment was the first international tour with Noiseworks which saw them performing in Europe and the US.

“To be in the world with ya best mates playing rock ‘n’ roll, what more could a young musician dream about, we had a wonderful time on that first tour.”

Playing Judas in the Australian Production of Jesus Christ Superstar gave Stevens a whole new skill set.

“I love collaborating,” he told Focus. “It’s such a big part of the creative process (it’s) a great way to learn new things as everyone brings something to the table, it’s just a case of whether you can connect and make something happen. Either way you learn. There really are so many different facets to being an artist. Learn and grow.”

His advice to young musicians is: “write, create, do whatever it is that inspires you and of course practice, practice, practice (drink beer) and don’t forget to have fun!”

Stevens has a wide range of musical tastes from Ray Charles to AC/DC and is always inspired by the ideas floating around him.

“I love deciphering the stuff that falls out of the ether.”

He believes that everyone needs to follow their passion and do what they love doing. “I feel very blessed to have known what I wanted to do from a very young age and I’m very grateful to still be doing it.”

He says the Orange Blossom Festival crowd can expect a Noiseworks and INXS collection on the day.

“It’s gonna be a whole lot of fun,” he added.

For more information on The Hills Shire Orange Blossom, visit: www.orangeblossomfestival.com.au.

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