Cavan was born in Sydney, Australia to Milton Te Ratana, and Carmel Ryan. From an early age it was evident that Cavan had a talent for singing. At age 5 he was heard singing to passengers on the train when his mother and grandmother would take him on holidays. As an unsettled youth Cavan attended most of the high schools in his area, It wasn’t until his music teacher Anne Wisdom at Malvina High School realised his talent, that positive nurturing would eventually lead Cavan to pursuing music as a career path.
Cavan began his singing career in the later stages of his teens and age 17 was Cavan’s first year of public singing. His standout performance that year was the 1990 Sydney Schools Spectacular where he performed in front of 20,000 people at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Cavan went on singing for his school in 1991, but left before completion of the year propelling Cavan into the live music scene. Two years of performing in the Sydney pub & club circuit, Cavan aged 20, received an offer to sing with Adelaide based band ‘Innuendo’ on their debut CD ‘State Of Reality’. Upon completion of the recording Cavan relocated to Adelaide in Australia’s South with the band, unfortunately personalities clashed between management and artists, and the band split soon after.
Having pencilled original songs since 1990, Cavan entered the 1995 South Australian Festival Of Original Music with his composition ‘Streetlights’. Totally unknown to the Adelaide music scene, Cavan won the competition that year and gained instant popularity with both local artists and industry professionals. Cavan went on to win most outstanding male vocalist at the South Australian Music Awards in 1997 and again in 1998, and released his debut CD ‘Blue Butterfly’ containing 15 of Cavan’s original compositions that same year. Cavan’s song ‘Streetlights’ earn’t him a Triple J radio spot as an un-eathered finalist in 1999.
Returning back to Sydney on the eve of the 2000 Olympics, Cavan immersed himself in the local covers scene. He performed backing vocals for Jon Stevens and Jimmy Barnes and supported numerous Australian recording artist. He was a member of a band ‘Chill’ and it featured Mahalia Barnes (Jimmy Barnes’ daughter) and Amber Heyward (Jon Stevens’ niece). The band performed locally and wrote numerous songs but split up in 2002. Between Early 2003 and late 2004 Cavan moved again, this time to New Zealand to experience his fathers homeland. After performing Karaoke at the local bar where Cavan was employed, he was offered to sing backing vocals on a radio advertisement from the bar’s owner. The producer on that studio session employed Cavan to sing on New Zealand’s Friday evening television show ‘The Big Night In’. Cavan performed two songs on the show, the first a duet with Jackie Clarke written by Stevie Wonder named ‘AS’ and the second a song written by Mark Holden for the Temptations, ‘Lady Soul’.
Returning to Australia, Cavan entered channel 10′s ‘X-Factor’ and progressed to the top 5 of the over 25′s group but was cut from the show in the next round. In 2006 after a chance meeting with Jamie Rigg at the ‘Rockstar Supernova’ Auditions, Cavan sealed a resident singing spot on Foxtel’s ‘Studio A with Simon Burke’. For 6 weeks Cavan performed favourite songs for special guests of the show. He performed Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ for Tamsyn Carroll, Michael McDonald’s ‘What A Fool Believes’ for Noni Hazelhurst, The Platters’ ‘Smoke Get’s In Your Eyes’ for Stuart Wagstaff, Sweet’s ‘Ballroom Blitz’ for Kate Ceberano, Alan Jones and Deborah Byrne, Stevie Wonder’s ‘Living For The City’ for Peter Garrett and Elvis’s ‘Suspicious Minds’ for Nick Geanopoulos.