LAKYN Heperi believes he was destined to be a singer and songwriter.
The 20-year-old picked up a guitar and started penning his beliefs, feelings and emotions into beautiful folk-inspired songs after dislocating his ankle in a skateboarding accident.
“I’d been skateboarding since I was eight years old,” Heperi said.
“I was really good at it and I wanted to be a professional skateboarder.’’
That dream ended abruptly after he dislocated his ankle, ripped and tore ligaments during a skateboarding mishap.
“I was out of skateboarding for eight months after the accident and so I picked up a guitar and started playing,’’ he said.
Heperi shot to fame on the first series of The Voice.
He won national praise after his audition version of MGMT’s Kids became a hit single.
While on the show, he received guidance and support from pop-punker, Joel Madden.
“Joel helped me to stay true to myself,” Heperi said.
Heperi has always felt a strong connection with music.
His taste in music came early and spans right across the board with his guitarist dad introducing him to many different genres and styles of music.
“They [Heperi’s family] appreciate every style of music,’’ Heperi said.
“At home I would listen to music from classical artists like Beethoven through to rap, pop, folk and rock.
“My dad would play everything and that’s how I learnt to appreciate all sorts of music.”
Before he rose to fame as a TV star, Heperi already had a strong internet fan base.
He was uploading originals and covers of popular songs like Babe I’m Gonna Leave You by Led Zepplin and Kings of Leon Taper Jean Girl and Day Old Blues to YouTube.
‘‘Social media has been very important for sharing my music with others,’’ Heperi said.
‘‘Before the show [The Voice] I posted a video and it already had 500,000 views and now, since the show, it’s something like four million total views.
‘‘I was really found on YouTube and then I was contacted to go on the show.
‘‘I was told The Voice was a different type of show and so I decided to try it out.’’
Since The Voice, Heperi has released a debut EP titled Better Than That which includes five brand new songs.
He enlisted Evermore’s Dann Hume on production, and in July the pair headed to Hume’s studio, The Stables, in Gisborne, in Victoria.
Heperi said his music was based on real life experiences and the emotions he felt during these experiences.
‘‘My music is a strong collection of my beliefs and my feelings,’’ he said.
‘‘I write every note to have a meaning in my song and I don’t write for myself either.
‘‘I write my music to let people into my life.’’