Musician Matt Price has played 200 gigs in two years. And he's only 19 and juggling schoolwork, home chores, playing sport and hanging out with friends.
Price, of West Pymble, is on the cusp of a promising career as a musician. He has set up a recording studio at the family home.
"The best thing is that it's fully soundproofed, but now I don't know if I'll ever move out," Price said. About to finish the second year of a Popular Music and Performance degree at JMC Academy, Price is hoping the scholarship he won will extend into a third and final year.
After graduating from St Joseph's College at Hunters Hill in 2008 he was intent on making music his career. "I was always singing, even before I started school," he said.
"When I was three I can remember playing my parents' Stevie Wonder records: it started there. I had the courage to join the choir with a couple of mates. It was kind of looked down upon but I ended up gaining respect - being the singer at a rugby school was daunting at first."
And Price is prepared for a tough road ahead.
Inspired by Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and Santana, Price began singing lessons when he was in high school, with Patricia Thompson, better known as Little Pattie. "All of my mentors have never sugar coated the industry to me," he said. "They tell me it's dog eat dog, and that you can't just go out and record a CD."
His music has a bluesy/pop feel to it and although he mostly plays cover songs at his gigs, his fan base is starting to grow and requests his songs. With electric drums, guitars and a keyboard in his studio, he enjoys chilling out there, writing and recording songs, as he overlooks the pool.
"It's quicker to record songs yourself than pay someone else to do it," he said. "But I'm paying my dues, doing the midnight to 3am gigs because I want to be a musicians' muso. I've done all of the rough gigs, we call them the graveyard shifts, and dad used to drive me until I turned 18. I want to learn the ins-and-outs of the music industry so I can set up my own entertainment business."
In the meantime, Price performs across Sydney, including Killara's Greengate Hotel and the Crows Nest Hotel. He is hoping to launch his first EP next year but is mindful of keeping a work/life balance.
"I love the water because it's the inspiration for a lot of my songs, and I also do a lot of fishing and snorkelling," Price said. "But it's hammer time now for my music, game on."
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