When Reece Mastin won the third season of X-Factor (Australia) he was a 16-year-old with huge dreams.
His single Good Night was released digitally following his win in November 2011, and it became Sony Australia’s fastest selling digital single when it sold an average of one copy every 2.7 seconds two days later.
It was a huge moment for the English born singer who moved with his family to Australia at the age of 11 and started writing songs at the age of 12.
While X-Factor gave him a national platform and thousands of fans he admits it was a time with some “great” and some, “not so great” moments.
“It’s taken me a while to start making people look at the musician that I am and the music I make, as something totally different than a reality TV. Nonetheless, I’m where I am today because of (X-Factor) and I will always appreciate that. It is great to be in a space where I can write what I want and enjoy doing it,” he said.
Mastin started singing along to the radio at a very young age and also taught himself to play guitar.
He told Focus: “I played piano in England when I was younger, I had the guitar there but never played it. When we moved to Australia dad made me bring it, we obviously didn’t know anyone so I started playing the guitar, listening to Guns and Roses and Aerosmith. When I met some good mates we started a band and I’ve basically being learning off everyone else ever since.”
He’s had some great mentors along the way. Jimmy Barnes let him use his studio to record Change Colours which Mahalia Barnes and Ben Rodgers worked on.
“I met Chris (Chris Cheney – The Living End) and Mark (Mark Lizotte –Diesel) through them and even cooler than that, they had a play on the record,” says Mastin, “yeah, wow pretty epic.”
Mastin has been opening the Red Hot Summer Tour alongside some of Australia’s top performers and learning all the way. “Being one of the younger guys playing on the tour has been a massive privilege and lesson. Watching guys and girls play their whole back catalogue with passion (is) a great thing.”
“All the guys there have a different story and pieces of advice, you listen to all you can and some of it has stuck with me through my career.
“Stevie Nicks was one I’ll always remember, she played in Sydney and I went to the gig. Basically she told me to never let go of rock n roll, and I haven’t yet. She is an amazing person and a joy to be around.”
His song writing process changes all the time. “I generally play music all day in bits and pieces, if something really catches my ear I’ll record it and then spend a few hours on it. Other times I’ll write little bits over weeks or months. It’s hard to know when something will be a great song but it’s a great surprise when you get them.”
Mastin has a huge bank of songs waiting to be recorded and is hoping to squeeze more time in the studio soon.
As for The Hills Shire Orange Blossom – Lights, Beats and Eats, at Castle Hill Showground on September 14, Mastin says: “Bring it on!”
“I’m very excited to be playing in Sydney again. I know that (the) Jon Stevens show is incredible, and it’ll be great for me to see that as a punter, and to share the stage is just awesome.”