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Sydney Opera House brings Colwell home

AAP logoAAP 11/10/2016 Danielle McGrane

Singer-songwriter Jack Colwell can boast something not many other musicians can. He has, in a lot of ways, grown up in the Sydney Opera House.

It started with Colwell singing in primary school choral concerts, continued when he played double bass in the SBS Youth Orchestra, then got a bit edgy when he landed a spot in the chorus for Karen O's psycho opera, played double bass for a tribute to The Avalanches and sang backing vocals for Architecture in Helsinki.

In a way, Colwell's upcoming show in the iconic building is a homecoming of sorts. However, this is actually Colwell's first headline show there.

"If there is anywhere in Sydney that still has a sense of magic realism about it, it's the Opera House... if the walls could talk," Colwell told AAP.

The musician knows there is an expectation to this show, taking to the stage in this spot. But he remains fearless in his music and his outlook.

Just recently, he handed over his EP Only When Flooded Could I Let Go to musicians from various genres allowing them to re-work it to create a whole new entity entitled When The World Explodes.

Colwell hopes that his music will connect to people in a helpful way. He's often labelled "openly gay" or as a "queer artist" and he hopes that ultimately he can help others from this platform.

"It's really tricky because to be honest a lot of the words I'm writing towards my first album that will be released next year are for marginalised voices and some of that is specific to my story and to queer voices," he said.

One song in particular, No Messing, is Colwell's battle cry for a young gay person.

"People want to put me on a pedestal and say 'Jack Colwell is an openly gay artist', or 'he's a queer artist', and on one hand I think that that's really powerful because I'm more than happy to have a voice where I can fight for people who aren't in a position where they can fight for those things themselves, or where they're in a position where they may need a bit of support to get through a situation," he said.

"And maybe I'm reaching a time in my life where I can actually offer that to people for the first time instead of needing that myself."

*Jack Colwell will perform at the Sydney Opera House Studio, on Friday and in Smith's Alternative, Canberra on Saturday

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