Reinventing himself


To say it’s been a rollercoaster few years for Stan Walker would be an understatement.

The Kiwi chart-topper’s served as a judge on The X Factor NZ, during which two of his fellow judges were fired over offensive comments to a contestant, starred in modern-day NZ classic Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and had his stomach removed after learning he’d inherited a rare cancer-causing gene mutation.

The latter was the subject of a documentary, titled Stan. It received widespread acclaim for its raw portrayal of the singer’s health battles.

Now Walker’s hoping to put the tumultuous period of his life to rest and return to what he does best – making music.

He’s performing at Queenstown’s City Impact Church tonight as part of his New Takeover Tour, his first tour in five years.

“I can’t bloody wait,” he laughs down the phone as he talks to Mountain Scene from a studio in “grey Auckland”, where he’s working on new music.

But, like he sings in one of his biggest hits, he’s going to be taking it easy when he arrives in the resort this time.

“Last time I played in Queenstown I went out riding a bike, and I went past a bike park where they were doing jumps.”

After deciding to give it a go, he got his toe caught in the spokes and ended up performing the rest of his tour with an injured foot and on “a lot of painkillers”.

“I ain’t riding any more bikes,” is the lesson he learnt from that experience.

He’s just as easy-going on the phone as he appears on the telly, but Walker gets serious when he talks about his health.

“I always want everything I do to be good and to mean something and to have an impact,” he says of reaction to his documentary.

“But I didn’t realise it was going to do what it did.

“I wanted to put it out there to help people.”

A record audience tuned in to watch the doco, which followed Walker through his journey with the same cancer that killed 25 members of his family.

He says his health has influenced his new music at times – depends on what’s in my heart and my mind”.

“It really reignited my fire for my music, and for my acting.”

He’s looking forward to putting on a “different” show from what he’s done before.

“I’m really, really excited.”

To catch Stan Walker, head to City Impact Church, tonight, 7pm, $45