THE 2014 Toyota Star Maker winner Jared Porter had humble beginnings playing with friends from the Orange Christian School but it was through patience and discipline he was able to make it in the music industry.
The 25-year-old was announced the 2014 Toyota Star Maker winner on Friday night at the Toyota Concert for Rural Australia during the Toyota Country Music Festival in Tamworth.
Mr Porter said he owed his success to his friends from school and his parents who without them he never would have recovered from a severe case of stage fright.
“Well I started [at Orange Christian School] at 15 and my friends thought oh well you’re American so you must be able to sing,” he said.
“But there was no way - I was so scared.”
At 15, Mr Porter broke his tailbone in a rock climbing incident and had to give up all contact sports, that was when he discovered the guitar.
He travelled back to America to visit his dad, Tony Porter, who taught him to play and bought him his first guitar, because there was not a lot else to do for a boy with a broken coccyx.
“I’m very honoured and pleased, especially because a lot of the people I was up against had been touring and had albums out already"
By the time he had come back to Orange Christian School he was almost ready to face an audience.
That’s when his friends stepped in and hassled him relentlessly until he swallowed his fear and performed his heart out.
“I really owe them a lot,” he said.
He plans to release an album in 2014 and when he looks back on his time playing at Turbulence, an Orange youth group, and various backyard bands he can not believe how far he has come.
When he was announced the winner of the star maker prize which included a prize pack of a full recorded album, a Toyota RAV4 vehicle with an unlimited fuel card for 12 months, and mentoring from Lee Kernaghan, Mr Porter nearly fell over from shock.
“It was incredible ... my wife recorded it and when I watched the video I could not believe the huge look of shock on my face,” he said.
“I’m very honoured and pleased, especially because a lot of the people I was up against had been touring and had albums out already, I’ve only got one single.”
His single Under the Sun can be found on YouTube and iTunes.