Jacqui James

JUST LAST NIGHT Troy Cassar-Daley performed in Wagga Wagga to support his mate Dale Allison from Allison’s Music and Joe Williams to help raise awareness and education about Depression. On his Facebook he wrote “Can I just say you folks were as much a part of the show as the band and I! I think something very special happened there, pinch me and wake me up please!!”

It’s these acts of engaging and mateship traits that make Troy a great role-model, yet alone a true-blue, fair-dinkim bloke! He writes great country songs that are true reflections of most Aussie (including Indigenous) culture and households, topics highlighting the daily battles some face.

Troy has released his latest album “Freedom Ride” which takes listeners on a journey. Experiencing his Indigenous heritage through his songs, Troy expresses his love of the simple beauty of flora and nature and says, “I’m a hunter-gatherer, mate. I’m hunting and gathering songs”.

On “Freedom Ride” Troy invited two mates to join him on the duets “Tennessee Rain” (Paul Kelly) and the blue-collar anthem “Two Weeks Off, Two Weeks On” (Jimmy Barnes). It sounded like friends getting together and laying down meaningful songs.

I was fortunate to chat to Troy about “Freedom Ride” and his life in general. So thankyou Troy for your time!

Howdy Troy! It’s a real pleasure to chat to you! You’re a true, fair-dinkum Aussie songwriter, so it’s an honour!

Nice to chat with you Jacqui.

I love your quote, “I’m a hunter-gatherer, mate. I’m hunting and gathering songs”. How do you explain your writing process? Does it only take only one thing or do you write constantly on your travels to produce a song?

Well once I get inspired I try to write stuff down straight away, or record the riff in case I forget it! I always try to keep up with the writing.

Listening to snippets to your latest album “Freedom Ride” on iTunes, I got the feeling you’re pretty happy with your own life (“This Day”), but you see how other people are struggling not just here in Australia but in other countries (“Tennessee Rain”). As a singer/songwriter, do you believe it’s important to raise awareness about peoples’ struggles?

It sure is important to me to tell people’s stories the right way, this album is really a breakdown of twelve Australian stories I wanted to tell and I’ve tried to keep the stories as close to the way I heard them or experienced them.

“Freedom Rider” has some really gorgeous imagery throughout it, including some indigenous terms. Do you go on long walks, absorbing our beautiful flora?

Yes I always breathe in this Country when I get the opportunity,” Freedom Ride” is a special song to me because it’s a part of Australia’s history.

Speaking of indigenous subjects, does it sadden you to see some groups divided by race in this country?

Yes I get saddened with anything to do with race, I’m a product of multiculturalism and I love this country so much, all I want is for people to get on and look forward, I won’t give up hope of that ever!!

You invited the king of songwriters in Australia Paul Kelly to write and sing on the track “Freedom Ride” which importantly tackles the fight for justice in racism and acceptance. How paramount was having Paul on this track?

It was a great experience with Paul once again, and this song would not have been the same without him. He brought some magic that’s for sure.

“Two Weeks On, Two Weeks Off” is a great track. Can you tell us what inspired you to write that track?”

After meeting a young Fi Fo worker last year I realised these young people have a real battle with depression being away from family and loved ones. Jimmy Barnes was the perfect fit for this duet and I hope it shows a real side to the lives of these folks.

Outside music, what are you passionate about? What do you enjoy doing the most?

I love fishing heaps and I would fish in a puddle; I’m that keen! And I love running with our Jack Russell dog Tilly!!

Thanks very much Troy for chatting with me. Congratulations on “Freedom Ride”, I know your fans will love it!

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