Australian Musician’s Greg Phillips chats with Nathan Cavaleri, who is back with his first solo album, Demons (out August 6) since being signed to Michael Jackson’s label at age twelve.
Picking up a guitar and learning enough basic skills from his Dad to play along with his favourite blues albums at just three years old, Nathan was playing electric guitar by five and had played his first gig by six – a 90 minute busking set in front of his Mother’s coffee shop that saw him take home $270. Soon after, Nathan was diagnosed and treated for leukaemia, and the Starlight Foundation set up a meeting with his hero Mark Knopfler, attracting the attention of the media and soon after, a host of Aussie music icons. By age ten, Nathan was making regular appearances on Hey Hey It’s Saturday and had toured the country extensively playing sold out arenas with Jimmy Barnes and Diesel, by twelve he’d toured the world and played with BB King, Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, and had made guest appearances on all the big American TV talk shows, he even performed for the Clintons during their time in office. He was pursued by Prince and Madonna, and a bidding war ensued, with Nathan eventually signing to Michael Jackson’s MJJ Records. Soon after, seven years after his diagnosis, Nathan was given a clean bill of health at age thirteen. He recorded a bunch of records, starred in Camp Nowhere – a Disney film alongside Jessica Alba – and even starred in an episode of Baywatch alongside The Hoff, and after one final tour with BB King, Nathan decided to take a break. He came back to Australia and started a blues rock band with Col Hatcham from The Screaming Jets, dropping releases and touring extensively before suffering adrenal fatigue and severe anxiety which spiraled into depression and saw Nathan step away from the stage. He’s since taken a number of years to work on his health, has dealt with and learned to manage his personal demons and has a newfound appreciation for his unique story. And now Nathan is back and ready to unleash his unique and commanding new music on the world.