Becoming a father was a life-changing moment for singer-songwriter Benny Walker.
“There’s nothing in this world that compares to being able to be a dad,” he said.
The Yorta Yorta musician from Echuca was speaking to the Bega District News on Tuesday, in between running errands around his home. Tuesday was also notable as the day his son Archie got his first haircut.
“He’s two years old, so he had pretty long hair,” Walker laughed.
It took him two years to write a song for his son, as he set himself a pretty high standard.
The result is about the feeling of being a parent, with Walker saying writing it gave him a different perspective on himself and he aimed to release it on his next album.
But aside from influencing his music, fatherhood was a “gamer-changer” for his life.
“When you have kids you have to become more time efficient,” he said.
“So it’s helped me focus. I realised how much spare time I had when I didn’t have a child.
“It helps you set up your day. At the same time, you can have all these plans and have to be ready to change them at the drop of a hat.”
Walker comes from a family with a strong passion for music; his father and grandfathers were both musicians and he used to jam with his brother and sister when they were growing up.
His sound has changed over the years, starting from blues, rock and country before dipping into soul while the next album “will be different again”.
“I just want it to be interesting for me and be interesting for other people into it,” he said.
When asked what it was like working as a Yorta Yorta musician, he said it was a positive time for Indigenous Australians with many performers in the industry.
“It’s just amazing to look around and see people you know popping up,” he said.
“It’s super exciting to be part of.
“Definitely being an Aboriginal artist has opened up opportunities, such as being able to go to a world music festival due to my heritage.”
Walker said it was hard to say how his heritage had influenced his music.
“I don’t know myself any other way, it’s just a part of who I am,” he said.
“I guess I feel like I have a clearer connection to the environment, the land, and looking after that for future generations.
“At times it’s made its way into my writing. But it informs me who I am, as much as anything.”
Benny Walker will perform at the Giiyong Festival, a celebration of Indigenous Australian culture.
It is from 10am-10.30pm on Saturday, September 22, located between Pambula and Eden at Jigamy, 4381 Princes Hwy. Entry is free.