Austen is bound for Nashville

LOCAL country music star Luke Austen may now have many fans, but there is one he has never had to work for – his mum, Deb Austen.

Deb could not be prouder of her son, who this year won the Toyota Star Maker competition at the Tamworth Country Music Festival and is a member of country superstar Troy Cassar-Daley’s band.

“Luke is heading over to Nashville next week as a part of his prize for Star Maker and he will be singing at the American Country Music Awards while he is in the States,” she said.

“He leaves on June 4 and gets back on the 12th, so it’s not really a long visit because Luke had commitments to Troy Cassar-Daley’s band.”

While this trip could mean big things for Luke’s career, it will mean he reluctantly has to miss his daughter’s first birthday.

“I will be over there for 10 days which is really great, except I will miss Xanthe’s first birthday,” Luke said. “It got me down for a while and I considered not going but I have to keep telling myself anything that benefits my career benefits her future.

“The juggling act between my career as a musician and my duties as a parent is becoming increasingly difficult, but well worth it.”

While he is in the US, Luke will have the opportunity to work with some of country music’s biggest names.

“There is a whole heap of Australian talent over there, which is really exciting. I am looking forward to collaborating with Keith Urban and some other amazing artists based in the US,” he said.

When it comes to cracking the American market, Luke is happy to just sit back for a while and take it as it comes.

“I would rather break into the US with my song writing, but I am not about to pack up my family and move half way around the world to try and break into the very competitive American market,” he said. “I don’t want to be the next anybody; I am my own entity and I just want to be me.”

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