Shocking injury changed talent show winner’s life forever
He just won Australia’s hottest new music talent show – but just a few years ago, Taigh Wade was pursuing a very different career.
Perth singer-songwriter Taigh Wade was announced as the winner of the new TikTok-based music competition UNDSCVRD on Sunday.
The talent contest ran for several weeks on TikTok, with Aussie pop icons The Veronicas on hand as mentors. Wade was picked as the winner after the five contestants performed a final showcase to The Veronicas and an industry judging panel (including this writer).
But there were no losers in UNDSCVRD, created by Samsung – each of the five contestants will maintain full ownership of their music masters and content produced, including music videos and artwork for their individual singles.
But Taigh had a winning song on his hands with the infectious Lost & Found – not bad for a self-taught singer-songwriter who only embraced music a couple of years ago after an injury put a stop to his burgeoning rugby career.
News.com.au caught up with Taigh after his win – which will include a trip to LA to make a five-track EP – to find out what’s next for him after UNDSCVRD.
Taigh, tell me about how this transition from athlete to musician came about.
Only about three years ago, rugby and athletics were my only goals. To become a pro rugby player was in every prayer I made. Unfortunately, life had a different plan and an unfortunate turn of events at a party caused me to shatter my ankle into a 20-piece jigsaw puzzle. The surgeon who fixed me up is the reason I can walk today, and I’m eternally grateful.
The recovery was painful physically, being bed bound for a month, but also mentally seeing my body waste away and seeing my dreams run away without me. It was soul destroying.
Though, this is where it all begins for me. I picked up a guitar, had nothing but time on my hands and opened up the first YouTube tutorial for Fast Car I could find.
I started to improve really fast and then started singing along and the rest is history. Writing songs came a bit later when I could walk again and sat down at the piano and wrote my first single, Heads and Hearts.
What’s the most important thing the show’s mentors The Veronicas taught you?
One piece of advice they gave me was to stay present, and I guess with all the production going on in the background, cameras, make-up, wardrobe changes, it was tough for me at some times to bring myself back to the ground and really take it all in. It’s easy to lose focus with so much stimulating you on set, but reminding myself to stay present gave me the ability to centre myself and take it all in my stride.
Your single Lost and Found feels like a hit – what are your hopes for it?
I really love the song, and I’m so happy with how it turned out! I really want the song to connect with people in a happy way, since most of my songs have been sad and focused on a heartbreak, this one is about getting over that hill and finding someone else that makes you as happy as you were before. And I just want everyone to sing and dance to a song about love, and about how finding it again is something special.
What would you class as ‘success’ after winning UNDSCVRD?
Honestly, the friends I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learnt have been the biggest success. This experience is one I’ll never forget and I’ll always remember the people that got me to where I am today. Some day I’d love to hear my song come on the radio and have the opportunity to have my own show, but that all comes with time and comes down to the effort you put in, so success is up to me. But it’s not often you get to experience something like this and come out of it with amazing friendships and extraordinary life lessons.
My life has done a 180-degree turn and I can’t wait to see where this road is gonna take me.
Originally published as How a brutal injury changed UNDSCVRD winner Taigh Wade’s life
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