Meet The Judges

Interview with Stan Walker

Stan Walker

What are you looking for in X Factor NZ?
I’m looking for undiscovered talent and for the gems yet to be seen, the diamonds in the rough.

What does the X Factor mean?
X Factor means the whole package; it’s about being a star - not just a "great singer" but an artist.

What is your judging style?
Honest but loving, not to bring people down but give good constructive criticism.

What do you bring to the judging panel?
My fun personality, being real and my experience - I have been in the contestants shoes.

What do you think you can offer as a mentor in X Factor NZ?
My honest opinion, insight into the music industry and creativity. Especially for our generation, I know what’s "hot right now".

Which X Factor category do you most want to mentor?
The Under 25 males – I think I relate to them well, as we are similar and have the same experiences. I won’t give them something out of their depth but something that will challenge them to be better.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to X Factor contestants?
The X Factor is just the beginning. There’s a lot of hard work after that. Talent will take you so far but character will take you all the way.

You've said you can be quite a shy person. How do you deal with this when you are on stage and in the public eye?
I’m shy at the start but in the public eye you’ve got to separate the normal you and the performer. For example, Beyonce has Sasha Fierce. I have to remember the responsibility and what I’ve been called to do and what I’m here to do. When I'm on stage I become "Stan the performer".

Do you get nervous before you perform?
Only if I don’t know a song or if I’ve got no voice.

How has your life changed since winning Australian idol?
My life has changed a lot. I’ve become an artist, I’ve established myself in my career and field and I’m living my dream traveling the world. It’s a huge blessing.

What kinds of pressure do you face being in the public eye?
Scrutiny, people’s opinions, good and bad feedback. However, you have to remain the same and take constructive criticism. Don’t let others opinions shape you, but be yourself. As long as you know who are and what you’re supposed to do and you LOVE it, then that’s all that matters.

Do you get recognised everywhere you go?
Yes, everywhere I go.

Which artists most inspire you?Beyonce, because she one of the most amazing talents in the world. She's not only an artist, but an actress, model, designer and entrepreneur. I’d love to have the same kind of position as her one day.

Mt Zion was your first feature appearance. What was it like on set? What drew you to the script/ project?
It was fun. It was just like being with your whanau (heaps of Maori) and learning more about Aotearoa in the 70’s through reggae music. It’s a story a lot of New Zealanders and Maori can relate to. It reminded me of my upbringing. It was an awesome experience and I won’t forget that.

You've been quoted as saying your childhood somewhat paralleled Once Were Warriors. What was it like filming Mt Zion with 'Jake the Muss' himself?
It was mean. I never saw him as "Jake the Muss". He’s really funny and just like an uncle and friend - he’s the man. He’s one of my idols as he’s not only a successful actor, but a Maori doing something positive. He would always say some lines from Once Were Warriors jokingly. It was good fun working with him.

If you weren't singing, what career path would be most interesting to you?
Working with young people. Especially troubled youth and helping them get back on track.

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Stan Walker

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