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Brett Campbell lives for his art, and it took a huge health scare to convince him that playing music for kids was where he should be heading.
The Ebbw Vale-born man has been making quite a name for himself as a children's singer/songwriter over the last five years, even spending time living and working in Memphis with Grammy Award-winning artists, but he needed the near-death experience as a catalyst.
“I was very ill for eighteen months or so, always in and out of hospital,” Brett said.
“I had four lots of surgery and nearly died, but it served as a spur for me and I told myself 'if I get out of this then I'll really go for it'.
“I haven't looked back since and I love what I do.”
The 44 year-old will be performing at Endeavour Foundation's Big Community Day Out on the Cultural Forecourt of Brisbane's South Bank on May 15th – part of Endeavour Foundation's 60th anniversary celebrations – and he brings huge experience to the stage.
Brett, who was schooled at St. Edmunds in Ipswich, spent 28-years touring, starting with rock and acoustic bands, playing the circuit with house bands, spending five or six nights in each town before moving on.
“Writing and playing for kids was always in the back of my mind, even before The Wiggles.
“I want to bring back real music and real songs for kids.
“I think it's treated lightly but listen to The Beatles, Peter Paul and Mary, The Seekers, they all did kids songs.
“People like Jack Johnson and Ziggy Marley are doing kids records so it's still around and I love being part of it.”
Brett has three children and this helps his song-writing.
“I keep my ears open and steal their ideas for songs!
“Kids say odd things all the time and I love trying to turn them into songs.”
Brett plays a range of instruments including the guitar, banjo, ukulele, harmonica and kazoo and it's this talent which has led him to working in the United States twice and touring just about everywhere in Australia.
“I was lucky enough to showcase at the Folk Alliance International Conference which was filmed for PBS television, and I got to work with the songwriters and performers, Cathy and Marcy, who have won two Grammys and have been nominated thirteen times.
“They're fantastic and I'm working on getting them over here.
“I've been invited on the Rhymes Kids Music Festival Tour, played the Auckland Folk Festival, performed in Perth, Victoria, Tasmania, Sydney, Townsville, just about everywhere I can go, and I love it.”
Note: For more about Brett Campbell, go to www.brettcampbell.net.au
Endeavour Foundation’s Big Community Day Out – featuring music, dance, street theatre, magicians, face-painting and much more - will be held at the Cultural Forecourt on Brisbane’s South Bank on Sunday 15th May 10am – 4pm and it’s free to the public.
The event is part of Endeavour Foundation’s 60th anniversary celebrations and is a huge ‘thank you’ to the community for six decades of support.
Endeavour Foundation is one of Australia’s largest service providers for people with a disability, supporting more than 3,350 people from more than 230 locations.