“ … as a support act on this tour, a Tasmanian, Dewayne Everettsmith, a uniquely gifted singer with hints of the soul of Marvin Gaye and the sunny beauty of Johnny Nash. His short opening set, full of memorable songs and glorious harmonies, was spellbinding” Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald, August 2011
High praise, indeed, from Australia’s pre-eminent music critic. But, typical of the praise heaped on Dewayne around Australia during a recent national & international tour with Gurrumul Yunupingu.
And audiences were even more enthusiastic when Dewayne repeated this support role for eight shows across Europe during October 2011 – with the promoter, Dramatico Entertainment’s managing director Andrew Bowles, saying, “We’ve never before had such an amazing audience response to a support act.”
His debut album won’t be released until early 2013 and he’s not backed by a major label or big-league promoter. And yet - on his stage presence, song writing and the beauty of his voice – he’s spoken of as a rising star, a future great, of the Australian music industry.
Even without the album, or serious industry support, Dewayne’s been places and done things most Australian performers only dream of … • Supported Gurrumul Yunupingu nationally and in Europe; • Performed a private show for Oprah Winfrey’s best friend, Gayle King, and her entourage; • Starred in a Tourism Australia video, receiving over 560,000 hits on Youtube; • Supported artists of the calibre of Archie Roach, John Farnham and Guy Sebastian; • Wowed audiences in two shows with the prestigious Black Arm Band – including a duet with Paul Kelly during the Melbourne International Arts Festival; • Performed in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York as part of G’Day USA; and • Been appointed national ambassador for the official Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal.
Topping all of these, he’s recently become the voice of Australia as his song‘Its Like Love’ is the centrepiece of the new $250M global TV advertising campaign for Tourism Australia (BELOW). This international marketing drive centres around Dewayne’s song and has received over 20,000,000 views since June 2012.
None of this is surprising, though. From his childhood appearances within his own Tasmanian Aboriginal community, through many festival stages around Australia and across the Pacific, his audition for Australian Idol, one thing has become very clear – Dewayne’s a very special performer.
One of those rare performers with a gift, a presence, Dewayne simply tells his story to a crowded room and most individuals listening feel he’s singing just for them. He can’t explain it and he’s not consciously trying to use it; it’s just there, it’s just him.
He’s an Aboriginal man, descended from both the Aboriginal community of Cape Barren Island and the Gunai/Kurnai people of Victoria, but his music can’t be neatly pigeonholed as Indigenous. It’s been influenced by his heritage, then shaped by his tough early years and love of so many musical styles and great singers.
Never doubt it - Dewayne Everettsmith, a name and a voice you’ll be hearing much from for years to come.
While you wait for the release of his debut album, you can download a couple of Dewayne’s songs via the iTunes link on the Skinnyfish Music home page -: Dewayne Everettsmith
Aside from the popular "It's Like Love", the other available song is significant. One of them, ‘Make it feel so right’, Dewayne wrote for the official Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal. This amazing marsupial is heading towards extinction because of a very rare infectious facial cancer, with around 80% of the population already lost. Dewayne has been appointed one of the two national ambassadors for the Appeal. Proceeds from this song go directly to funding efforts to save the Tasmanian Devil.