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striplin2 with lagDakota Striplin is a young Queensland-based singer/songwriter whose passionate, heart-felt vocal delivery defies his age. He’s also a talented guitar picker and songwriter, writing his first song at 12. Dakota has played weddings, parties, cafes and graduated to theatre shows around Brisbane including a lead role in Hairspray. He is currently on a LDS mission on the island of Palau, where he entertains the locals with his soulful pop and country flavoured tunes.

What was your first guitar?  
It was a small blue and white electric guitar that came with an amp.  It was a starter pack my parents bought me for Christmas when I was 10.  I believe it was a Squier

What’s your main guitar now?  
My newest guitar and the one I use more now is my Taylor Sunburst.

Through what amp and why? 
I use a Cube for my acoustic outdoor and I have Marshall and Roland speakers and amps.  I use a mixer and I have a few different mics and stands.  I change my set up depending on where my gig is. I add or take away speakers etc.

Do you have other guitars?
I have my very loyal Maton which I have used for most of my gigs.  It has served me well and I often go back to it.  I wrote mostly all of my songs with my Maton and it has travelled far.
I also have a LAG which is a pretty nice looking and sounding guitar, but I haven’t quite bonded with it. I have a red Fender Esquire and a brown Ibanez I have my very old Livingstone which was my first acoustic – it has a big hole in it.

If use effects, which pedals are your standards? 
I don’t generally use effects as I mainly do acoustic sets, but I do have a Boss ME70 loop pedal which is fun.

If you could have any other artist’s guitar in the world, whose would you want? 
Paul McCartney’s Zenith Model 17 acoustic guitar – his first guitar.  Even though he played mostly Bass, George Harrison taking the lead in most songs, he used his guitars to write songs and to own any of his guitars would be amazing.

What’s your latest recording? 
My latest recording is an EP called ‘Your Heart.’

When will you be back in the studio? 
I am currently on the Island of Palau serving a mission so I won’t be back in the studio for some time.

What gigs have you been playing lately? 
Before I came to Palau I played in a Cabaret show at the powerhouse and I played in restaurants and markets around Southbank Parklands in Brisbane.  I also did a few weddings.  Of late, I have been playing my ukulele and some guitar to the people of Palau.

Most memorable gig?  
Probably the most ‘memorable’ was this ‘Teen Hoot’ concert I did in Nashville.  I wasn’t quite prepared for the 3000+ screaming girls.  It was pretty funny.  It was a great experience and most memorable because I wasn’t expecting it. Also I played Link Larkin in the stage show Hairspray and when I won Brisbane Christmas Star and played my own song at Riverstage, that was special too.

Worst stage nightmare?
Losing my trousers would be pretty bad, but probably if all my strings broke and/or my guitar got damaged.  If I went to sing and no sound came out, that would be pretty bad too.

Album that changed your life? 
The Beatles! I love everything about them.  The love that they brought to the world, the way they dominated the charts worldwide, all the amazing songs they put together, the lyrics, the unforgettable melodies and the way they revolutionised the science of recording and all that they accomplished in such a short time.  They inspire me to celebrate music.

What album are you listening to at the moment?
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and hymns.  Even though this is generally not my style of music, it is very inspiring and lifting.

What gigs are coming up in the next few months? 
I will be on my mission for another 18 months and will continue to perform for the people of Palau.

A guitar tip for the kids?  
Never give up.  Your fingers WILL blister, but Practice practice practice EVERY day and EVERY chance you get.  Look after your guitar.  Always keep it in its case or on a stand when you’re not using it and learn how to restring and tune it as soon as you can, because it will definitely come in handy

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