Yep, the teenage bad-boy and X Factor Australia winner Reece Mastin, who stole hearts across the country back in 2011, is no longer. In his place stands Mastin, a contemplative and earnest man – a man who has already lived a lifetime of peaks and pitfalls, caused in part by the ruthless nature of a career in the commercial music industry.
Now 23-years-old, Mastin is ready to show the world who he really is – and what better way to do that than with a brand new sound that is guaranteed to surprise and impress.
Releasing his first single as Mastin, Not The Man For You is a rock ‘n roll belter and completely unlike anything fans have heard from him before.
“Not everyone will love this, and I’m very OK with that,” Mastin said.
“But for those who share the same taste as I do for the grand and world-changing genre of rock n roll, I wanted to make something special and long-lasting. I wanted to make something that can change your day, change your mindset, and make you feel like you can take on the world.”
To add to the excitement, the debut EP, Suitcase of Stories (available April 6) follows in its wake, a release that truly solidifies Mastin as one of Australia’s most exciting new voices in rock ‘n roll.
This new sound has been a long time coming for Mastin. From the outside, it might look like he’s already achieved it all – he won X Factor Australia in 2011, released two Platinum #1 albums with three consecutive chart-topping singles. He continues to travel around the country and the world, performing to thousands of adoring fans every year.
But while he is deeply humbled and grateful for his early success in this business, he admits that it came at a cost.
“Giving a 16 year old kid the opportunity to travel the country and play to thousands of screaming fans is obviously a dream come true,” he said.
“But, as I learnt, it’s not the reality of this industry. I was kept at an arms length from all decisions made in my career at that time, and to be honest, I wasn’t thinking about it in the slightest. I was being a kid and living out my fantasy. When I left behind the big labels and went out by myself, I started to realise the damage that my neglect had done. I felt utterly exhausted by it all…which has made where I am now all that much sweeter. I’ve worked my ass off getting back up. Now I love having the confidence that I know exactly how to run my business. I’m getting to be really comfortable with the man I have become.”
Mastin has taken it all in his stride, taking mistakes as lessons and continuing to chase his one true passion, his calling, that thing that started it all – music.
“In my opinion the closest things we have to magic in this world are music and love,” he said.
“Taking the path through music that I have has made it hard to let people know the real me. But, I know that this new record explains who I am as an artist, and where I’m heading. Music has aways been for me, anyway, and it’s as much about how the music makes you feel as the words that accompany it affect you too. Marrying the right sound to the stories I have is crucial.”
Mastin plays Transit Bar in Canberra on Thursday 10 May.