Jay Hoad does fit the bill of a troubadouring roots musician: long dreads, a goatee, tanned skin, usually a bandanna around his head.
But there’s a lot more to Hoad than just a few stereotypes. Born in Fiji, Hoad has maintained a country-hopping, island-based lifestyle that has not only shaped his music and personality, but the unique tack of his music.
“I never want to limit myself,” Hoad began.
“That’s kinda why I’m travelling around so much, and why I really change it up with every tour. There’s so much to learn out there, so much opportunity. I don’t want to come into any one place and say, ‘this is how I do it’. I want to live the experience of the place I’m in.”
In that vein, Hoad’s shows regularly take an impromptu shape. Known specifically for his virtuosity with the didgeridoo and guitars of all shapes and sizes, Jay Hoad shows can take shape anywhere from the man by himself, seated on a milk crate and surrounded by instruments, one-man-band style, down to a full band. Hoad’s songs have the ability to hit you in the heart or blow you away, depending on their volume.
Having just made his way across the Nullarbor, Hoad is now gradually making his way up the west coast, with stops in pretty much every surfing town he can get to.
“I also played the Margaret River Pro, which was really an awesome experience. Just a whole lot of people coming together, having a good time.
“I did manage to get some surf in as well, but Margs… the locals were all like, ‘yeah, there’s some small swell’. I don’t know where they’re from, but it was pretty bloody big.”
Another shade of personality which seperates him from any overtodden “hippy” stereotype: Hoad speaks quickly and deliberately, clearly outlining his passion, and the work that goes into it.
From his DIY guitars, to the live set structure, to the usually heavily danceable beat to a particular song: Jay Hoad lives and breathes what his music represents.
This carries into two new facets of this tour: his online tour diary, and the yoga and sound healing workshops he’s running around the country.
The workshops, which seem to be becoming wildly popular with Hoad’s fans, are the culmination of Hoad’s philosophy.
“I think one of the most important things I’ve learnt travelling is just how powerful music can be, to anyone,” he said.
“I studied music science, and I’ve talked to experts about how sound can be this really powerful experience. There’s a lot of ideas on how it works, and we’re exploring those. It’s exciting for me, because it’s a different way of looking at what I love doing, and a different way of connecting with people.”