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Youth Profile: Kyle Maher

Darwin is full of talented young musicians, and a regular face on the scene is multi-instrumentalist Kyle Maher. The 20-year-old has supported some of the biggest names to tour through Darwin – including The Cat Empire, Grinspoon and The Baby Animals – with his former-band GAIA, and is now working on his solo career.

By Tamara Howie

Describe your solo sound.
I go for a relaxing, chilled sound. I try to convey my thoughts through a relaxing atmosphere.

When did you start playing music?
I started playing about six years ago. I started out on drums in middle school then moved to guitar.
What instruments do you play?
Drums, guitar, piano, saxophone and I sing, too.
Musical influences?
Stevie Wonder, Prince, and a really cool jazz guitarist called George Benson.
First tour?
I did my first tour with a drag queen cabaret show, Constantina Bush and the Bushettes. I was playing guitar and doing all these Motown covers and we had the lead singer in full drag.
You’ve recently been selected to perform at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music after a battle of the bands at the PINT club – how’s that feel?
I think I got lucky (laughs). 
I’ve got my former guitar teacher, Dan Davies, playing bass for me. He was teaching me when I was 13 and now he’s playing in a band with me. It’s really cool.
What’s the transition from teacher/student to musical peers been like for you and Dan?
I’ve grown up a lot now so we can joke around a bit, and it’s really cool to bounce ideas off him. He can see where my thought process has come from because he’s known me for so long.
Best musical advice you've ever got?
Being a musician isn’t extravagant. It’s a lot of hard work and you have to put in a lot of time to make it worth it. It takes the right sort of person that’s really passionate about it.
What is it about music that drives your passion?
I feel like I can play an instrument a lot better than I can talk to someone. I feel far more at home when I’m writing music and when I’m able to connect with someone while I’m doing what I love. 
What next for you?
I have a single launch at the Railway Club on December 15. 
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