There is something indefinable about Troy Cassar Daley.
At the top of the country music scene in Australia, he has a reputation among his peers and is the most loved and respected singer/songwriter in country music. Troy’s career has spanned eight studio albums over 20 years. His latest album, HOME, released in March 2012, debuted on the official ARIA album chart at #9 and the National ARIA country album chart at #1. The album won the Deadly for Album of the Year in 2012 and four Golden Guitars, including Male Artist of the Year and Album of the Year at the 2013 CMAA Music Awards.
Throughout this time he has been awarded numerous accolades including four ARIAs, 25 Golden Guitars, two APRA Country Song of the Year awards, eight Deadlys (Australian Indigenous artist awards), and four CMAA Entertainer of the Year awards. He is one of the many amazing acts at Bluesfest this year.
Can you tell me about why you have such a deep belief in community? Because where we live is important to me and I hope that our kids have a chance to grow up in an open and loving community like I did.
How do you feel we could enrich our communities? We need more community events that bring people out, bit of music, kids jamming or dancing would be fun! And to celebrate our young talent.
How do you give back to your community? And what do they give back to you in return? I try to send what I can or show up when I can when a charity or person is in need; and it’s not for publicity – I prefer to keep most activities like this to myself because the satisfaction is gained through helping others, not heaping praise on yourself.
I also take great pride in being a role model.
Do you think governments place enough value on the role community plays in keeping people feeling connected and well? I guess they try but the cycles that we are trying to break are ones that are generations old now so we have a task ahead of us, that’s for sure. I think we need to look at and address issues such as lateral violence within our communities first before seeking answers from the government.
What have been your finest personal triumphs? My marriage and family.
You have a deep connection to your land and your people – what is your feeling over what has been happening at a federal level where the protections that have been there for native title are being taken away? These laws to me are smokescreens. When things like these are taken away it highlights the reasons the Indigenous peoples of this land are frustrated with the amount of red tape coming between them and Country. We have a way to go before true sovereignty is achieved for our people and their land.
(Sovereignty is the quality of having an independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory.)
Are you a political person? Are you careful to make decisions about what you speak out about? I am not political, really, but I am interested in everyone in this country that I love having equal basic human rights. We are not a third-world country.
What are the issues that you are most passionate about? Kids staying on at school and getting a great education. This gives our kids many keys to many doors for their future.
How do your songs find you? Where do you get your stories? Some people share their stories; some I remember from my childhood; and some are put together from experiences.
What are the experiences that have transformed you? Do you always turn these into song? Yes. Meeting people is a great experience in itself. Sometimes I choose to be a little on the quiet side to take in what someone is trying to impart to me.
What should we expect for your Bluesfest shows? When you find an old cupboard at a secondhand shop, you can see many people have changed its colour to suit the era or their personal taste. You take back the paint layer by layer until you find the original timber. I want to show the folks at Bluesfest what my songs are like in raw form – like they have just been written, before the layers of paint have been applied to make them more pretty and embellished with different textures. We are going all the way back to find the beauty in the timber. It’s a great thing for me to see again and can’t wait to share it with everyone.
For tickets or program information go to www.bluesfest.com.au or phone 02 6685 8310.