From 4-6 February 2022, the Redcliffe Entertainment Centre transformed into Rydell High School for Redcliffe Musical Theatre’s ROAR Academy production of ‘Grease’. Reprising the role of Danny Zuko for his third time was up-and-coming singer/songwriter Jarrad Wrigley, who has some advice for those eager to enter the music industry.
Having loved music all his life, Wrigley started making up songs as a child and grew to write more meaningful songs as he got older. He participated in musical theatre in high school and found that ROAR Academy enabled him to continue that passion.
“Being part of ROAR over the past two or so years has been a fun experience. I loved performing in musical theatre whilst I was at school, so being able to play a character a few more times has been great.”
Performing an iconic and well-loved role provides its challenges and opportunities.
“It’s tricky to blend in your own personality with Danny. Everyone knows the way John Travolta played the character and people love what he did, so trying to recreate his character whilst still keeping my own style has been a very creative challenge for me.”
One character quirk that Wrigley has embraced, and one of his favourite parts about playing Zuko is the iconic laugh. “‘Ha, aha aha’ …That laugh. It makes me laugh… Ha, aha aha.”
Performing the lead in any musical can be daunting, but Wrigley finds a way to settle his nerves before the show.
“I usually take a few seconds to be quiet and put myself in the moment so that when I hit the stage, I can absorb the energy radiating from the audience. I know the kids at ROAR like to do a little thing called ‘chookas’ to give each other good luck. They do this thing with their hands, the best way I can describe it is that it looks like little chickens pecking some grain out of a cupped hand.”
Outside of rocking out as the leader of the T-Birds, Wrigley has forged a name for himself as a singer/songwriter. His single ‘Rain On The Roof’ is scheduled to be released later in February 2022. He has also been lucky enough to perform many live gigs, including on ABC Radio. Wrigley’s advice for anyone thinking about starting in the music industry is to enjoy the ride.
“Everyone has their own journey, whether it’s with writing songs, playing instruments or being the people that help the artists get to where they want to be. Some of the greatest points in my career have come out of the blue, so no matter how small you think an opportunity may be… just take it, you never know where it may lead.”
Sometimes those opportunities lead to mishaps. What would live entertainment be without the occasional embarrassing moment?
“Ha… don’t I have some stories… I’d say my most recent hiccup on stage is one of the greatest to date. I’m a huge Wrangler jeans fan and wear them almost every day, no matter the weather. I wanted to create a pair of red Wranglers, which led me to bleach a pair white which I thought looked cool. I ended up wearing them for a gig and within the first twenty seconds that I was on stage…they ripped right down the seam. The audience loved it… and I had air-conditioned jeans all night.”
Wrigley is following his passion in the music industry, but he hasn’t forgotten his country roots.
“Even though I decided music was my path at a very young age… Most of my family come from farms and I’ve always wanted to go back to my roots. I’d like to work as a farmhand at some point in my life and eventually, I’ll have my own property where I can raise my own livestock.”
It doesn’t seem that Wrigley will be heading to the farm anytime soon, as 2022 promises to be an exciting year for the young musician.
“This year is going to be big for me. I have my debut single ‘Rain On The Roof’ being released on 11 February, which I cannot even begin to express how overwhelmingly excited I am about it. I have been trying to find my sound for a couple of years now, and I am now starting to find it. ‘Rain On The Roof’ won’t be the only song I put out this year either, I have some other songs ready to enter the world, and I have plans to record my first EP in the near future. There are so many emotions for me right now, my whole life has led me to this point, and I am so proud of how far I have come.”
We are all excited to see what the future holds for Wrigley and follow him on his journey, both on stage and as a singer/songwriter.
You can keep up to date with Jarrad Wrigley’s music on Instagram @itsmejarradwrigley, Facebook Jarrad Wrigley, and very soon Spotify and Apple music. You can listen to Jarrad Wrigley’s debut single ‘Rain On The Roof’ coming to all platforms on 11 February 2022.