Nick Saxon encapsulates, yet defies, the Australian contemporary musical tradition.
The 30 year old musician, performer, surfer, television presenter and brand ambassador has all the classic calling cards: the wholesome, surfer looks, a job with National Geographic as an adventure series presenter, the matinee idol-style guitar strumming at sunset out takes… Yet, despite an assumed cliché Saxon undeniably offers far more than you expect.
There is a precedent to his heartfelt surf/folk style but few artists have emerged with such an essential Australian character, and with such potential to reach far further. His relaxed style belies a deeper intent, an intrinsic searching that his audience, and importantly, his demographic,
Dextrous songs and an adventurer’s spirit have led this multi talented artist to crafting his voice and guitar narrative around the world. From Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, through to South America and Canada – every international and domestic gig for his NatGeo World Traveller show has been a gift to the songwriter. Saxon is clear about his drivers.
“There’s two things I really love in life,” he says. “Travelling and music. NatGeo is amazing. It gives me the opportunity to experience and document cultures, environments and people from around the globe. It’s what fuels my inspiration – the places, the people.”
Exuberant, and with an odd combination of surfer, hipster and old soul, the Newcastle born Saxon has an unprepossessing charm. He has the peaceful demeanour of an elderly wise man with the twinkling, sky blue, curious eyes of a child. He is approachable, engaged and warm. It’s hard not to believe him.
In 2004-2006 Nick Saxon toured Europe, performing and busked his way across Spain, Greece, Germany, Prague, Bulgaria, France and the UK. In a crowded market of the soulful surf folk/blues/pop market inhabited by the Ben Harpers and Jack Johnsons of the world, it isn’t the easiest sector to have a point of difference and avoid being swamped by ordinary facsimiles. However Saxon has this other thing.
He writes, sings, has opened for canon stalwarts such as Midnight Oil, the Violent Femmes, Katchafire, Custom Kings, Ash Grunwald, Tijuana Cartel, Dragon, Gangajang and Ian Moss right through to contemporary runaway hitsters, Potbelleez. He is the only artist chosen to have toured Australia with the Australian Surf Move Festival (ASMF), playing 30 shows to capacity crowds and is performing shows with the Banff International Film Festival around Australia.