TAKING three minutes off someone else’s bad day gives Tyson Lucas the desire to keep doing what he’s doing.
If he can transport a listener’s mind elsewhere for the short space of a song, the Townsville country music star is relieved he’s done his job from the stage.
“That’s what I do music for, in a way,” the 17-year-old says.
Just graduated from St Anthony’s College, Tyson has been a country artist since the age of 14, racking up three hit singles.
His string of successes has led to the official release of his first EP, It’s OK to be Me, at this weekend’s Tamworth Country Music Festival.
“It’s an honour to be able to release it at Tamworth and I really can’t wait,” he says.
“I’ve got some really cool acts coming to support me and the launch, where I’m collating all the stuff I’ve learnt over the years and bringing it to a show.”
His latest song is all about the pressure society places on people to follow someone else’s dream.
“I’m saying to the world It’s OK to be me,” he says.
“It’s about following your dreams and not anyone else’s.”
The youngster grew up in Dysart before moving to Townsville.
With no musical background, he first picked up a guitar at the age of 13, and began singing after joining Townsville’s Country Music Club.
“They asked me if I could sing and when I said no, they told me I was about to learn how,” he says.
Tyson has not looked back, after attempting football, swimming and even golf for a little while.
“I didn’t know my place until I found music and as soon as I found it, I knew where I sat in the world,” he says.
Tyson has already made great progress in his short time on the music scene, even taking to the stage with one of his icons, Troy Cassar-Daly.
“Troy and I did a little bit in Tamworth and I really loved listening to Troy and how he told a story and his songs,” he says.
“I started to listen to him a lot when I moved to Townsville because I started to miss home and I found a lot of memories that I could relate to in Troy’s songs and in the songwriting behind it.”
Along with writing, Tyson has learned to love the stage despite his fear of public speaking, a pursuit he “hates with a passion”.
“On stage behind the guitar or microphone, I just feel at home. I feel really comfortable when I’m on stage, more so when I’m off stage so it’s something unique and different,” he says.
This will be a big year for the teen, who plans to continue writing and recording, with the hope of touring more frequently, and adding shows in regional Queensland.
Tyson has big dreams — one day he’d like to go international and play at the The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.
“Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do,” is his advice.
“Music is played through the heart so follow your heart wherever it takes you.”
Tyson Lucas’s EP, It’s OK to Be Me, was released on iTunes yesterday and will be officially launched at the Tamworth Country Music Festival on Sunday.