Mark Wilkinson
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Mark Wilkinson

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | SELF

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | SELF
Established on Jan, 2006
Solo Folk Singer/Songwriter

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Aug
06
Mark Wilkinson @ The MegaCentre Rayleigh

Rayleigh, England, United Kingdom

Rayleigh, England, United Kingdom

Aug
05
Mark Wilkinson @ St Pancras Old Church

London, England, United Kingdom

London, England, United Kingdom

Aug
04
Mark Wilkinson @ Privatclub

Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Music

Press


Grounding, desperate and undoubtedly familiar, the video for Mark Wilkinson's "Another Necklace" tells a story of disillusion and dampened dreams.

The track itself— lifted from the Sydney-based singer-songwriter's self-produced EP Come With Me Tonight — enjoys a sparse and simple arrangement with delicate piano phrases, languid double bass notes and shimmery bells that replace a heftier, full band set-up. The song spars reflective disheartenment against hopeful flickers, the latter piercing through the overarching, shroud of despair, with Wilkinson lamenting that "it all feels so good when you hold her like you should" as slow-burning, melodic string movements render the song almost uplifting. But it's Wilkinson's soulful voice which bellies the track, imbuing it with a rich resonance that accompanies the stinging reality of the video's somewhat parodical narrative — a down-on-his-luck car salesman in the 1970s, struggling to provide for the woman he loves. - Rolling Stone


Tour Diary: Mark Wilkinson hits the road in the US – from New York for CMJ to recording in Los Angeles

DECEMBER 2, 2015 / LARRY HEATH

Mark Wilkinson made his U.S. debut in 2013 on the heels of his second studio album, Let The River Run, hitting #1 on iTunes singer-songwriter charts in Australia. Wilkinson returned to the U.S. this year for CMJ in New York and additional tour dates in Portland, San Francisco, Boston, Nashville, Atlanta, and studio recording in Los Angeles. Wilkinson shared with the AU this special tour diary looking back on his journey from coast to coast (and then some) of the Continental USA over the last couple of months…

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I started my second U.S. tour in Portland, Oregon this year – a new market for me, and a great way to start the tour. Portland is a really quirky, cool and laid back city. The first day I was there a local shouted out to me to “smoke on man!” and it was only later that I figured out he was probably celebrating that marijuana had been legalised a day before my arrival. I had a great gig down at the Portland Saturday Markets and it was really awesome to see a bunch of my fans at the show…thanks guys!

My second stop was San Francisco – A really cool vibrant city and always somewhere I’ve wanted to check out! I did a bunch of busking around the city and played a really cool little venue called Doc’s lab, which is a great place to catch an intimate show.

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I was excited to get back to Boston and Aussie-owned KO Pies at the Shipyard, where I played during my debut U.S. tour in 2013. The owner Sam has done a great job expanding the space to include outdoor seating and space for lawn games like cornhole. I didn’t know what cornhole was but it turned out to be a darn good way to warm up for a show! It was great to see a bunch of fans I’d met back in 2013, which made it a really special show for me. I had a few extra days in Boston, which gave me time to get some great busking in on Newbury Street and Copley Square and play tourist for a while. Some of my favorite spots to check out are Franklin Café in the South End (get the turkey meatloaf!), Committee in the Seaport for a boozy night out and Newbury Comics for records.

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What a great night back at Rockwood Music Hall! I made my New York debut in 2013 for CMJ on stage 1, and this year I returned to play stage 3, which was a blast. It’s a great room and the energy from the crowd was electric. Really looking forward to getting back there! There’s always so much going in NYC and it was great to have a few days to absorb the place and check out some of the great music at CMJ. A shout out to the Sounds Australia crew at the Aussie BBQ – they do such a great job of supporting Australian artists at international festivals, check them out at soundsaustralia.com.au. Oh and grab a street vendor hotdog while you’re in town…it’s your duty!

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It was great to return to SiriusXM studios, where I made my North American radio debut back in 2013. I was honored to hold the title of “Discovery of the Year” after just a few weeks of airplay, and this year I went back into their midtown studios to record a four-song set, including some new tracks from my upcoming releases. Stay tuned to Facebook.com/MarkWilkinsonMusic for air dates, and check out my favorite stations, Coffee House and Alt Nation, at siriusxm.com.

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It wasn’t all smooth sailing getting out of NYC – it took a couple of hours to get through check-in and security, and then I got stuck at the airport in Chicago overnight because of delays and a missed connection. Not ideal but at least I got to see a bit of Chicago…even if it was just the hotel airport! Luckily I made it to Music City in time to hit the stage the next afternoon at Musician’s Corner Nashville, which was a great intro to a really fun town. Musician’s corner is an awesome day of music in a beautiful park setting. I played on the Lightning100 stage, sponsored by a great local station. Check out MusiciansCornerNashville.com and Lightning100.com for more info.

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Nashville oozes music from every crack and corner and it was awesome to have a few days to put a face to the city I’d heard so much about. It’s quite strange but cool to be in a city where music is a ‘normal’ way of life. I don’t think I’ve felt that kind of atmosphere anywhere else. The food and social scene are great too and I found some local favorites like Husk, and Pinewood Social for some killer dinner, drinks and post-show bowling! Before taking off I had the pleasure of playing at the Basement East, a very cool venue and newer and larger version of the Basement, a venerated Nashville venue.

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The second to last stop on the 2015 tour was Atlanta, where I opened for singer-songwriter Noah Guthrie at Eddie’s Attic, in Duluth. I only had the one night in Atlanta unfortunately but it was worth the trip. It was a fantastic room with a great crowd. Noah and his band were awesome, I hope we get them over to OZ for a tour soon, check out his material at only1noah.com and make sure to check out Eddie’s Attic if you’re in Atlanta…really great place to catch some live music!

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Finally, I spent a few days in the studio with Tek Zen Music in Los Angeles working on a few tracks from my forthcoming 2016 release. I had a blast recording with Tek who has worked with some of the best in the world. We managed to record and co-write a bunch of new material and I’m really excited for it’s release next year. In the meantime, I’ll be releasing a special acoustic album Hand Picked Vol. 2 in December this year. I do a lot of solo acoustic gigs and this album is a great way to represent that live experience and provides a nice counter point to my albums with more embellished production.

If you’re an Aussie reading this you can catch the launch shows in Sydney from December 18 – 21. Find out more at MarkWilkinsonMusic.com and make sure to come say hi if you make it to a show!

So long, U.S.A., I’ll see you in the New Year! - AU Review


Captivating artist: Mark Wilkinson is on a national tour.

ONE of the most captivating acoustic artists to emerge from Australia in recent times, Mark Wilkinson is about to embark on his biggest national tour yet in 2014.

Tonight the tour makes a stop at No.5 Church St in Bellingen.

Freshly named the Singer-Songwriter Discovery of the Year in North America by SiriusXM Radio, Wilkinson has just capped off an impressive year.

With the release of his sophomore album Let the River Run, Wilkinson sold out shows in the US, UK, New Zealand and Australia.

He climbed to No. 1 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart and spent over a month in the ARIA Australian Singles chart.

Wilkinson has sold about 50,000 physical records to date, a feat for an unsigned artist. And while his career is quickly on the rise, he has barely scratched the surface.

Often drawing comparisons to Tracy Chapman and Ed Sheeran, his lyrical depth, gift for melody, and impassioned delivery are arresting on first listen and linger long after the final note.

Having just sold out six consecutive nights over Christmas in Sydney, Wilkinson is excited to announce his most extensive national tour to date.

Where The Rivers Run will see him perform more than 30 shows through to May, from Tasmania to far north Queensland and Perth. - Coffs Coast Advocate


Jul 19th 2014 | Hazel Buckley

It’s been good times for Australian independent artist Mark Wilkinson with the release of his new album, Let The River Run, in August last year shooting to #2 on the Australian iTunes singer-songwriter charts within 24 hours, as well as recently being named the Discovery of the Year in North America and of course now returning to Perth to play the Fly by Night in the middle of his Australian tour.

There was an easy atmosphere to the evening, and Wilkinson opened with Baptism By Fire, followed by a playlist of old favourites and plenty of new. He truly has a gift for poetic lyrics, describing emotional places you have once been or seen. There’s a glow of warmth around him and richness to his supreme voice, sending shivers down spines as he pulls you into the soul of him. Wilkinson was easy with the crowd, chatting now and again about how he came about his lyrics, and by Hey Baby he hoped the audience was “lubricated enough” to join in for a singalong… at least that’s what we hoped he was referring to. Most joined in with the sound of palms coming together.

Setting off in the wrong key for Let The River Run was ironic having just talked to the crowd about how the song is representative of “letting go” of his “control freak ways”, Wilkinson finished the set with All I Ever Wanted and a big thank you to Perth before returning to encore with Middle Ground. Then after relaying and joking to the crowd about how he is often referred to as sounding more like Tracy Chapman than she does, he went on to sing an outstanding version of Fast Car as a one-man band, with the spotlight sat on him and his acoustic guitar alone, piano and cello returning for the final song of the night, Should’ve Been.

Let The River Run is a touching and soulful album and tracks from it were delivered with love and tender care. Mark Wilkinson is a charismatic and deeply talented acoustic artist. - The Music (Australia)


Close on the heels of the release of his acclaimed second studio album, Australian singer/songwriter Mark Wilkinson started his first U.S. tour earlier this month and has his New York City debut tomorrow night, Thursday October 17th, as part of the annual CMJ Music Marathon. Wilkinson has a 6pm showcase at Rockwood Music Hall in lower Manhattan which is open to the public and will likely be jam-packed if the recent press on him is any indication.

Let The River Run was released by MGM Distribution on August 9 and promptly rose to #2 on the Australian iTunes singer-songwriter charts, racing past Grammy-nominated artists Ed Sheeran and The Lumineers. In addition the album debuted at #2 on the Australian Independent Record charts. Wilkinson's single "Middle Ground" reached #12 on the ARIA singles charts, and was also previewed in a popular Nescafe ad campaign in June.

I spoke with Wilkinson last night about the new album, his American tour dates and a very special show that he's doing in Nashville next week. Let The River Run was produced by Ollie McGill of The Cat Empire and mastered at the world famous Abbey Road Studios in London. Was this the first time he had worked with McGill? "Yes it is. I'm a big fan of Ollie's band The Cat Empire and then I heard some of his production work, which sounded fantastic," Mark said. "We come from quite different backgrounds musically and stylistically, so I thought working together could test some boundaries and yield some unexpected results."

Mark's U.S. shows have been funded by a grant from the Australian Government through the Australian Council for the Arts. I posited that it must be a very interesting time to be playing the States especially with the government shutdown currently in place, not to mention the fact that support for the arts in this country is a bit sparse to say the least, especially at the moment.

"It was a little touch and go there with the U.S. Government shut down as our visas were still being processed at the time," Mark agreed. "I was pretty relieved when it was all confirmed. As far as the grant goes, it's awesome to have that kind of support from the Government. I think a lot of artists feel crippled by a lack of funding and a lack of opportunity to get their stuff heard and for Australians this is a great program to help combat that. The grant is open to any artist looking to promote their music to an overseas market. It's very competitive so I feel privileged to have been selected and to have the opportunity to play over here!"

Wilkinson counts among his influences singers David Gray, Jeff Buckley, and Tracy Chapman and more recently Passenger and Ray LaMontagne. "You can really hear the emotion in everything they sing. I love lots of different styles of music but this is the stuff that really hits me the hardest and the kind of music I strive to write myself."

The buzz around Wilkinson's live performances has been growing (he continues to sell out shows across Australia and throughout Europe, all without formal marketing support or promotional campaigns). He has sold over 40,000 records overseas through direct-to-fan interaction at live performances alone.

On October 27 Wilkinson has the honor of performing at Nashville's storied Grand Ole Opry House as part of the National Association of Music Educators conference with an audience of over 2,000 music educators and industry executives.

There has been much major label interest even prior to the U.S. shows starting earlier this month, and the show tomorrow at Rockwood Music Hall is likely to be crowded. Mark is due onstage at 6pm so the word on the street is to get there early. Additional tour dates will be announced to support the new album, including dates in Europe early next year.

More information on Mark Wilkinson can be found on his Facebook page and his website. - Huffington Post


He's been compared to Tracy Chapman and David Gray, but singer-songwriter Mark Wilkinson tells Tony McMahon that his new single, Benny's On The Rooftop, is something of a departure.

"I think it is representative of what will be on the rest of the album," says Wilkinson of the new track. "With the new album we really wanted to explore some fresh sounds and I think this will be reflected in the choice of instrumentation and style of production. My producer, Ollie McGill, is brilliant at thinking outside the box. As a singer-songwriter who still performs a lot of solo gigs, I'm wary of straying too far from the song's acoustic roots, but there's certainly a level of experimentation with this album that I'm very excited about and I hope people will enjoy."

Not surprisingly, perhaps, Wilkinson has been looking at playing live as an opportunity to road test songs he'll put on the album, and apparently it's been working a treat.

"It's a fantastic way to get a feel for which songs people warm to most. Obviously, I have my own opinions on what songs will work best in the studio, but at the end of the day the goal is to create something that people will enjoy listening to."

What's the difference between seeing Wilkinson live and hearing his records? According to the man himself it's all about the bare bones of the songs.

"Depending on the gig, the live performance is usually more stripped-back and acoustic. Certainly for the upcoming gig at Black Bear Lodge this will be the case. Aside from that, I think the main difference is just the atmosphere and vibe you get when being at a live show. There can often be a really powerful connection between the audience and performer and this is something that's really difficult to capture or recreate in the recording." - Time Off


Other debuts in the singles/EP chart came from singer-songwriter...Mark Wilkinson [who] got a hold of second position with his debut entry Let The River Run (Independent/MGM). - The Music (.com-au)


Mark Wilkinson is an Australian singer-songwriter who has developed his craft from his initial love of songwriting. Not intending to be a performer, Mark soon established that the only way to get his music heard was to get out there and perform it himself.

Mark recently released his sophomore album “Let The River Run’, on 9 August 2013, and it debuted on the Australian iTunes singer-songwriter charts at No.2. He recorded the album at London’s Abbey Lane Studios. He is presently in the middle of an Australian tour, and hopes to visit the USA this Fall and UK sometime next year.

He has been described as having a ‘lyrical depth, gift for melody, and impassioned delivery’ and is becoming one of his native countries highly regarded singer-songwriters.

Read the interview below to find out more.

SP: Hi Mark, I believe you were born in the UK but your family emigrated to Singapore then Australia. Do you still have family in the UK? Do you visit often?

MW: Yes I do still have family in the UK from both my mother and father’s side. I try to see them whenever I come back to the UK. I’ve been back 3 times over the last 10 years and am hoping to get back at least once every two years to tour..

SP: Do you wonder how your life may have turned out if you had stayed in the UK?

MW: Not really to be honest. My family moved from there when I was only about 6 months old so I don’t really have any memories of being there at that age. I really love the UK though and wouldn’t be opposed to spending some time living there in the future.

SP: Do you think there is a difference between Australian and British music? If so, what do you think the main factors are?

MW: That’s a tough one. To be honest I’m not sure if there is. I don’t know if I could pin down what is a British sound as opposed to an Australian sound. I think musicians everywhere have such varied influences and personal styles that it doesn’t really matter where you’re producing your music. I think sometimes certain production and certain sounds become popular for a period of time and perhaps that’s more likely to be consistent in one country but on the whole I think there’s a lot of variety in both markets.

SP: Congratulations on reaching No.2 on the Australian singer-songwriter iTunes charts with your new album, ‘Let The River Run’. How, does it compare to your previous CD’s? What were your main influences/objectives for the songs?

MW: Thanks, I think the treatment and production of the songs is a little different from previous releases. We definitely tried to incorporate sounds and instrumentation that might be a little unexpected whilst still feeling cohesive. Ollie McGill was fantastic to work with and I think we found a nice balance between creative experimentation and also being mindful of not straying too far from the songs acoustic origins. I really wanted to create an album with some light and shade and I hope we’ve achieved this.

SP: You’re in your eighth year of being in the music profession. How has your career progressed? What have been your highlights and low points?

MW: It’s been a pretty organic progression I guess. I never planned to make music my career. I just loved writing songs and the more I wrote the more I was encouraged to get out there and sing them. There’s been so many highlights, but I think the very first proper gig I played has to be one of them. In the beginning I was very nervous about singing in front of an audience and it took me a long time and a fair few Vodkas to muster up the courage. It went really well though and I think it gave me the confidence to keep at it. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to support some seriously amazing artists and my own audiences have been growing each year. It’s certainly not been without its low points though. I think it’s really hard to keep the faith sometimes when you aren’t making a lot of money and you’re struggling to finance your music and the rest of your life. I think it’s unavoidable in this profession though and the battle certainly makes the sweet moments even sweeter.

SP: Tell us how you begin a song? For example, “Man in the Window”. It has such soulful lyrics with a flamenco-esque sound. Why did you decide to write it in this way?

MW: For me it usually starts with a progression of chords that catches my ear. Once I have that in my head I work on the rhythm of the track. With those two elements I start to experiment with the melody and see what feels right together. The lyrics often come last as I like to try to match the mood of the track with the lyrics. Occasionally I’ll have a lyrical idea that just keeps jumping out and I’ll let that dictate the direction of the song.

SP: You undertook a campaign called ‘A Year of YouTube” back in 2009. Where did the inspiration come from for this?

MW: I guess it was a challenge in some ways and also a way of getting some more of my original material out there. At gigs you get a pretty limited time to - Soft Concrete Magazine


With a fantastic new album, Let The River Run, under his belt and a national tour underway Mark Wilkinson is not a man who’s easy to pin down. We managed to nab the singer-songwriter for five minutes to chat about the tour, the album and his very very loyal fans.

Gareth Hugh Evans: I’m really loving the new album – the songs are great and the production is nice and clean. How are you feeling about it now that it’s out in the world?

Mark Wilkinson: It feels really great to get it out there. The recording process was a lot of fun and it’s a real buzz to reach the point where we can share the songs with everyone. I’m very proud of what we’ve done with this album and really hope that people will enjoy listening to it!

GHE: Let The River Run was produced by Ollie McGill of The Cat Empire. How was he to work with? What did he bring to the table production wise?

MW: Ollie was fantastic to work with. He’s an amazingly talented and creative producer. He’s extremely adept at playing a whole bunch of different instruments which is so handy when experimenting with different sounds and ideas in the studio. I think we worked really well together creatively and were able to bring something a little different to the songs while remaining true to their acoustic origins.

GHE: You have such a loyal fan base – how important are they to keeping you going creatively?

MW: They are the most important thing to be honest. I think I will always have a hunger for writing and creating new music, but having such a great support base really drives you to try and write and produce the best music you can. I guess you never want feel that people might be disappointed or let down by something you put out there. So many people go out of their way to get behind the music and I’ll always strive to make a connection with those people.

GHE: You’re one of the hardest touring Australian artists out there and you’ve just kicked off a national tour for Timber and Steel. How important is touring for you? Do you prefer playing live or tinkering in the studio?

MW: I have a lot of fun doing both. I think touring is really the foundation for making a career in music. I think with live shows, you have a chance to make a really powerful connection with your audience. It’s sort of like a special moment in time that can never be repeated that you share with whoever else is there. I really love the recording process as well though. When a track is really taking shape and coming to life in the studio it’s a fantastic feeling.

GHE: After the Australian tour you’re heading overseas – how’re you feeling about bringing this new music to international ears?

MW: I’m really excited about it. I did about 4 weeks of touring in Europe earlier this year which went really well and I’m looking forward to heading back OS with the new album in tow to share it with my audience over there.

Let The River Run is available now. The full dates for Mark Wilkinson’s Timber and Steel presented national tour are below:

Thursday 15th August – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC
Friday 16th August – The Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 22nd August – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 23rd August – The Abbey, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 24th August – Mars Hill Cafe, Parramatta, NSW – SOLD OUT
Friday 30th August – The Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Saturday 31st August – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Friday 6th September – The Promethean, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 7th September – The Ellington, Perth, WA – SOLD OUT
Sunday 8th September – The Ellington (Matinee), Perth, WA
Sunday 8th September – The Ellington, Perth, WA – SOLD OUT
Wednesday 11th September – The Rails, Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 12th September – Cafe Le Monde, Noosa, QLD
Friday 13th September – Mandala Organic Arts Cafe, Gold Coast, QLD – SOLD OUT
Saturday 14th September – Bon Amici Cafe, Toowoomba, QLD
Sunday 15th September – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 19th September – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 20th September – Lizotte’s, Central Coast, NSW – SOLD OUT
Saturday 21st September – The Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW - Timber & Steele


Mark Wilkinson released his awesome new album Let The River Run last Friday and if you haven’t picked it up yet we highly recommend you do – it’s something pretty special. - Timber & Steele


Other debuts in the singles/EP chart came from singer-songwriter...Mark Wilkinson [who] got a hold of second position with his debut entry Let The River Run (Independent/MGM). - The Music (.com-au)


This home cinema room (see right) featured in our pages back in November 2010, as a dedicated home cinema named ‘The Statement’ by its designers Wavetrain Cinemas. Wavetrain created the space in the company’s own headquarters as a demonstration of its command of room acoustics and its dedication to the art of audio and video reproduction.

But now Wavetrain has turned the room’s purpose entirely on its head by recording music in there, transforming the adjacent ‘PRO cinema’ into a recording space and the ‘Statement Cinema’ into a control room. The first results from this new ‘Wavetrain Studios’ have just been released on CD by Australian singer-songwriter-guitarist Mark Wilkinson. The album is called ‘Let the River Run’.

One of the elements that made the ‘PRO Cinema’ an interesting candidate for conversion to recording rather than replay is the room’s adaptable acoustics. This space was designed by Wavetrain Cinemas to teach acoustic design and demonstrate the differences that can be achieved by removing or adding acoustic treatments as required. In cinema mode this teaches custom installers how to best optimise a room for the clearest sound across a range of seating positions. But at the other end of the recording chain it allows an artist or producer to consult with Wavetrain’s Director and acoustic guru David Moseley on the type of sound required, and the room can then adjusted accordingly to deliver the desired recording environment.

“The opportunity to apply my knowledge of small room acoustics to a new field was an exciting proposition and one I couldn’t pass up,” says Moseley, Director of Wavetrain Cinemas & Wavetrain Distribution. “So depending on the requirements we can lay the timber floor or lift it back up, plus change all the acoustics in about 20 minutes. As we are an appointment-only company and not a retailer, we usually know in advance what the room is to be used for. It worked well through the recording process.”

This level of acoustic flexibility is not unknown in major studios overseas “but not here in Australia,” according to John Mulligan from Studiotech, who services many of Sydney’s top studios in Sydney and who assisted Wavetrain in the change from replay to recording venue. “Most studios get selected for a specific album based on the sound signature of each recording space. To be able to adapt acoustics to the recording is invaluable.”

"It was a fantastic experience recording this album at Wavetrain,” says Mark Wilkinson. “The state of the art facilities really allowed us to bring the best out of the songs."

Mark’s first release was the ‘Cellophane Life’ EP, followed by his debut album, ‘Truth Came Running’ in 2011. As an independent artist Mark has carved out a career the old- fashioned way - touring, busking, entertaining deployed troops in the Solomon Islands, and opening arena and theatre tours nationally for names including Brian Wilson, Chicago, Peter Frampton, and America. He is touring Australia for the next few months.

Wavetrain’s David Moseley has admired Wilkinson’s work for a while, and this new album was the catalyst for the studio transformation.
“Mark is a true artist, just waiting to be discovered,” says Moseley. “It’s just a matter of time before the rest of the world catches on.” Moseley himself is credited with backing vocals on the album, as part of the “Army Choir” on a song called ‘When The Armies Arrive’. Were these his first recorded vocals?

“First and last”, laughs David. “My wife couldn’t believe they let me sing.”

After recording at Wavetrain, producer Ollie McGill mixed the Mark Wilkinson album at Ivory Lane before handing the final result off to Geoff Pesche at Abbey Road Studios in London.

"The engineer, Geoff Pesche, mastered the latest record for my band The Cat Empire,” says McGill, “and I was really impressed with the results."

Mark Wilkinson adds, "Geoff had also worked on some significant records from the likes of Coldplay, Adele, and Ed Sheeran, that sound fantastic and I thought were fair reference points for what we were trying to achieve. The fact that it was mastered at perhaps the most famous studio in the world was just a bonus." - AV Hub


Songsmith Mark Wilkinson explains to Tony McMahon that he never really wanted to be a singer ahead of the local launch of his new EP, Sweet White Lies.

"Initially I just really enjoyed the creative process and the kick I got from writing a new song, but the idea of actually performing the songs scared the hell out of me! At this stage I was really hoping to just focus on composition. The further into it I got though, the more I realised that performing the songs myself was probably the best and most realistic way to get them out there."

On the new EP, Wilkinson explains that one of the songs is, ironically, a cover.

The new EP has five tracks. One track is taken from my new album Truth Came Running and the rest are new recordings. One of the tracks is a cover of a song called Secrets by Ryan Tedder that I think is brilliant both melodically and lyrically. For me, it speaks to finding a sincerety in songwriting, which I think is really important."

Wilkinson has shared the stage with some big musical names recently and even claims credit for getting a famous 60s icon back on the booze...

"I was told that a certain frontman of Van Halen required that all road and stage crew be smiling at all times or at least appear to be constantly having a good time. Apparently it ruined his good vibes if he felt someone wasn't enjoying themself! I may have also been involved in the downfall of a particular Beach Boy's sobriety, which could have proved controversial."

In closing, Wilkinson says that he's truly stoked to be returning to Queensland.

"I'm just really looking forward to getting back up north. A lot of my early touring was focussed on the Sydney to Melbourne run, but I've been lucky enough to play some big shows in Queensland that have allowed me to add it to my regular circuit. There's a great live music culture and the audiences are awesome." - Time Off


While touring to promote his latest EP, Counting Down the Hours, MARK WILKINSON talks with ANDREW CHESHAM about the album, why Ireland is a great place to play and what makes for a great cover song.

In terms of flow, this wasn’t the smoothest of interviews. Two mobile phones died during the process, due to dead batteries. Finally he had to find a pay phone. Thankfully, Mark Wilkinson was persistent. Each time one died he would call me back. As Wilkinson noted, after calling me for the fourth time, “it’s been a comedy of errors.” Still, we got through it and I learned more about him and his new EP.

Wilkinson, originally trained in piano and cello, didn’t learn guitar until his final year at university. His room-mate taught him a few chords, and things grew from there. “When I started to play guitar,” Wilkinson explained, “I was always more interested in playing my own songs than other versions of songs.”

Wilkinson took his compositions public through live performance and the release of his first EP, Cellophane Life —the title track was a finalist in the Australian-based New Artists 2 Radio (NA2R) competition.

Wilkinson has just released his second EP, Counting Down The Hours, produced by Ant Winehouse. Two tracks from this album, ‘Keep Fighting’ and the title track ‘Counting Down The Hours,’ were also finalists in the NA2R competition. Comparing the process of creating the two EPs, Wilkinson said this time “I felt like I knew what I was doing, not to say that I’m an expert, but, I knew myself better. And, working with Ant, we had a better idea of how we wanted the songs to end up, and were closer with how the songs ended up sounding. We had a bit more direction.”

Wilkinson collaborated with notable producer Iestyn Polson on the track ‘His Song’. “It was an interesting experience,” Mark explained. “He liked the song and he had an idea of taking it in a different direction. I was keen to work with him and keen to see how he would have produced the song.”

In terms of the sound of Counting Down The Hours, Wilkinson was pleased with one track in particular. “I’m happy with the whole thing. But track one, ‘Keep Fighting’, pretty much sounds as I would like it to sound. I’m never one hundred per cent happy. But I think that track got the closest to what I wanted.”

The final track ended up being a happy surprise. “We recorded ‘Five Years’ as the last track and it wasn’t necessarily gonna be on the EP… it was a last minute decision to have a crack at it. We were happy with the way it sounded so that was a happy surprise.”

Last year, Wilkinson avoided the Australian winter by crossing the ocean for a tour of Europe. “I toured around in July and August of last year. We covered the big cities like London, Paris and Berlin, where I played at Popkomm. It was different. I got to learn how the industry is over there. I played some big shows and some pretty random gigs as well. It was a good experience.”

Time away helped to mature the Sydneybased singer/songwriter. “It helps when you’re in a foreign environment. Coming back you have a little bit more confidence and a little bit more experience.”

Of all the places he played, Wilkinson was quite impressed with Ireland. “I played the most shows there and they have a vibrant scene with a lot of music going on all over the place. So being a musician it was a pretty cool place to be.”

Despite wanting to learn his own songs when he started playing guitar, Wilkinson still likes to pay homage to his musical influences. If you search YouTube for some of Wilkinson’s live performances, you’ll find his cover of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’. Wilkinson plays a pulled back, pensive version of this poppy track. “I always liked that song growing up. It was a catchy pop song and I liked the melody and drive of the song. And then when I started writing music, I revisited it and listened to the lyrics. The sentiment of the song feels quite different from the way it is produced lyrically. I wanted my interpretation of it to reflect what I thought the song was trying to say lyrically.”

When asked what he felt to be important of a good cover, Wilkinson replied “I think it helps to put your own spin on it. At least approach the song with a different perspective and paint it in a different light so you’re not just doing the song the way it’s been done before.” - Reverb


Mark Wilkinson was on his way to being an office worker and doing the nine-to-five grind when he picked up the guitar.

He was a 22-year old student studying commerce/arts at the time and one of his mates brought over a guitar on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

From there Wilkinson didn't put the guitar down, locking himself away for days at a time, crafting original songs.

"It just took over my life. It was such a dramatic change," the singer/songwriter said.

Wilkinson managed to finish his degree, but before long it was apparent he was going to make a career out of his music rather than commerce.

"It's amazing to do something you're passionate about every day. It's an absolute privilege," he said.

The acoustic muso has shared stages with the likes of Damien Leith, Diesel, Sarah McLeod and Mark Seymour.

This weekend he will support James Reyne at Lizotte's Newcastle on Saturday and Sunday night.

Wilkinson admits it's a "spin out" to now be playing with the likes of Reyne and Mark "Diesel" Lizotte, who he would watch on television as a youngster.

"I did seven or eight shows with Mark Lizotte earlies this year and he's one of the best performers and technical players I've shared the stage with," Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson has impressed the Lizotte family so much that he is now performing at Lizotte's Newcastle, which is owned by Brian Lizotte (Diesel's brother).

With two albums under his belt, Wilkinson is now working on a third, which is due out mid-year. - Newcastle Herald


Mark Wilkinson was a late bloomer in the musical world.

The first time he picked up a guitar was at 22.

"One of my friends was around on lone, lazy Sunday and he taught me a couple of chorse, I pretty much fell in love with it," Wilkinson said.

"As soon as I had a few skills and could play some chords, I started writing pretty soon after that and melodies just came into my head. It was a great relief,

"I got swept up in it and it's been my life for five years."

The Sydney-based act and Melbourne's Bridget a'Beckett are currently on their Acoustic Sunsets Tour, which has been making its way around Australia's east coast.

It followes Wilkinson's mational tour with Australian Idol winner Damien Leith.

Wilkinson is also halfway through recording an album, the follow-up to EP Cellophane Life. - mX


Mark Wilkinson has a very impressive CV under his belt.

The Glebe singer-songwriter has shared the stage with Eric Clapton, Brian Wilson and Peter Frampton - no mean feat for an independent act.

Wilkinson is back once again with his fittingly named A Friend On The Road tour.

Strangely, the musician never had any intentions to be a star, hoping to remain behind the scenes. “When I first started, I really didn’t see myself as a performer,” he said.

“I thought I would be a composer, but it’s a little bit unreal- istic unless you are well known.”

To get his music out to the public, Wilkinson learnt to quell his nerves and has become one of Australia’s most loved performers.

He is defined by his stripped back acoustic sound, and places a heavy emphasis on songwriting.

“It’s something I really love to do - “I find the creative process of melody and lyrics therapeutic.” he said.

“It’s great for venting emotions and for reflecting upon yourself and others.” - Inner West Courier


Dave Jory believes that as a comedian it is important to tick a few things off your list every now and then.

"There's always something you want to do such as performing in a prison, a strip club or on a cruise ship. At least you can always say you did it," Jory said.

Stretching his wings is another item on his list.

Although Glebe is his favourite stomping ground he is currently in the Solomon Islands performing for the Australian troops stationed there. Jory believes that his invitation from the armed forces was a sign he was gaining a following.

"You must be getting somewhere in comedy if you are asked to go and entertain the troops," he said.

"Jory's skits focus on the everyday things, such as going to the supermarket, which should bring some sense of normalcy to the troops.

"The whole point of sending someone there is to provide a bit of a distraction," he said.

Mark Wilkinson, a Petersham singer-songwriter who regularly performs at the Vanguard and the Basement, is honoured to have been asked to perform his acoustic folk rock for the troops.

Though Wilkinson has toured extensively in Europe and Australia, this is the first time he has performed in the Solomons and in front of Australian troops.

"I am not sure of the environments we will be playing in," he said before he left. "It will be a challenge, but a good challenge. I hope the troops enjoy the show."

The artists have been performing two shows each night and have had the chance to visit landmarks and meet with local people.

Performers and personalities who have previously performed on tours through Forces Entertainment include Kylie Minogue, Hamish and Andy, John Farnham and Russell Crowe. - Glebe News


There had never been any plan to become a singer/songwriter, but Mark Wilkinson is just about to head off to Europe to be just that. Michael Smith investigates.

"A flatmate taught me a few chords on the guitar and I just got swept up in it," the English-born Sydneysider Wilkinson explains. Already in his twenties, he only picked up the guitar five years ago. "It took a while to pluck up teh courage to perform live but friends took me along to an open mic night and things went from there."

The songwriting came pretty soon after Wilkinson knew enough chords to match the tunes that were coming into his head and on the evidence of his debut EP, Cellophane Life, the songwriting shows an already high level of sophistication, with a fine sense of craft and arranging. The usually solo artist also opted to call in a band for the recording, "I don't want to be limited by the fact that I play solo live, because even I get a little bored listening to singer/songwriter albums that are just guitar and vocal. And when I write songs, I can always hear the instruments filling out the sound, so I really enjoyed doing that with the EP."

As for songwriting itself... "Nothing in particular was prompting the writing, aparty from just wanting to do it. The lyrical content is stuff that was going on in my life or just things I'd think about, but I usually write the melody first so I'd try and match the lyrics to how I think the melody feels. I'm always writing and that for me is the good stuff.

"You get more of a feel live of what works as a song and what doesn't. I'm sure a lot of people find some songs are really good live but don't translate in the studio, where other songs work better in the studio. So the gigs have given me a better idea of how that works for me. When I first started writing, a lot of my songs were six or seven minutes long and I didn't realise so I've obviously refined that."

Soon after recording the EP, Wilkinson scored a worldwide publishing deal with Peer Music after attending a "death by demo" session organised by the Music Managers' Forum, plus met the local Peer rep who then checked him out at one of his gigs. Knowing he's potentially got the support courtesy of an international publisher, Wilkinson decided it was time to check out the possibilities overseas. "There are gigs already locked down at The Perseverance, The Green Dragon and The Regal Room in London, Thomas Reed's in Dublin, Interoup, Oxidant and Zimmer in Berlin and a gig or two in Paris and I'm also about halfway through recording a debut album and I'll finish that when I get back for a release early next year." - Drum Media


Mark Wilkinson wasn’t always going to be a performer.

Wilkinson was studying commerce at university when a flatmate taught him how to play the guitar.

‘‘He taught me the basics and I worked really hard at improving,’’ Wilkinson said. ‘‘It’s something I still work at improving.’’

Wilkinson can still remember his first performance. ‘‘My first gig was an open mic show in Sydney, maybe six or seven years ago,’’ he said. ‘‘I had to knock back a few beers to get up there.’’

Wilkinson’s hard work has seen him tour nationally with the likes of Brian Wilson and Michael Bolton, as well as share the stage with performers including Diesel and Ian Moss.

With regular comparisons to Tracy Chapman and David Gray, Wilkinson’s record sales now exceed 20,000 – a remarkable feat for an unsigned artist with two EPs and a new album out.

Wilkinson said his album Truth Came Running, released in March this year, was a good reflection of him and his songwriting. ‘‘I like songs that come from the heart and have a powerful emotional connection.’’ Wilkinson said he hopes to have a second album out next year. - Central Coast Express Advocate


HOW BEST TO GAUGE WHICH SONGS TO PUT ON YOUR DEBUT ALBUM? YOUTUBING A SONG A WEEK FOR A YEAR WAS HOW SYDNEY SINGER/SONGWRITER MARK WILKINSON DID IT. MICHAEL SMITH INVESTIGATES.

“It wasn’t a plan,” Wilkinson admits with a chuckle, “but it ended up helping out in the end. It sounds a bit more impressive than it was; I did have quite a few tracks already written. It was a way of getting a bit more stuff out there and I did write quite a lot of songs in the process but there was a backlog of songs I hadn’t had the chance to record and don’t often play at live shows as well, so it was good way to get a few more of those songs out there as well.

“I just did it having no expectations and it was nice to see that some people were tuning in and listening to them each week. There were even some people from Europe, the UK and the States tuning in and that’s always pretty exciting.”

The album’s opening track and fi rst single, All I Ever Wanted, was chosen by a non-profi t organisation called The 21 Icons Global Project as the theme song for their global launch, which saw Wilkinson fi lming the clip for it in Cape Town, South Africa. “The head photographer behind the project, Adrian Stern, is a good friend of mine for a long time and had been living in Cape Town for a few years. We caught up and mentioned he was looking for some music for it so I gave him some of my stuff and the sentiment behind All I Ever Wanted really fi ts the project and he really liked it.”

The bulk of the album was produced by former Thirsty Merc guitarist Sean Carey, apart from one track recorded with keyboards player James Englund, who has accompanied Wilkinson on the launch tour. Among the dozen tracks that make up Wilkinson’s debut album, Truth Came Running, are a song each from his two EPs, 2006’s Cellophane Life and 2008’s Counting Down The Hours. “I had quite a few people mention that they [Keep Fighting and Baptism By Fire respectively] were their favourite songs from the EPs and I quite wanted to revisit them as well and see what we could do with them.” - Drum Media


Discography

ALBUMS
2011 - Truth Came Running (Independent/MGM, MW005)
2012 - Live at The Basement (Independent, MW007)
2012 - Hand Picked (Independent, MW008)
2013 - Let The River Run (Independent, MW009)
2015 - Hand Picked Vol. 2 (independent, MW010)

EXTENDED PLAYS
2006 - Cellophane life (Independent, MW001)
2008 - Counting Down the Hours (Independent, MW002)
2011 - Sweet White Lies (Independent, MW006) 
2016 - Come With Me Tonight (Independent, MW011)


Photos

Bio

"He truly has a gift for poetic lyrics...There's a glow of warm around him and richness to his supreme voice, sending shivers down spines as he pulls you into the soul of him."
-Hazel Buckley, TheMusic.com.au

HIGHLIGHTS

- Wilkinson's May 2017 EP, Lost in a Dream, debuted at #1 on iTunes singer-songwriter charts in Australia; his 2015 acoustic release, Hand Picked Vol.2, debuted at #2 on iTunes singer-songwriter charts and is still in rotation at SiriusXM radio across North America.

- Wilkinson regularly tours across Europe, the UK, the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

- Wilkinson was named "Discovery of the Year" by SiriusXM radio during his 2013 U.S. debut alongside other "Best of" winners like Chvrches and Bastille.

- Wilkinson's 2013 single "Middle Ground" was his first to hit #1 on iTunes singer-songwriter charts (AUS) after it was featured in a national Nescafé ad campaign.

ABOUT MARK WILKINSON

“His voice was supreme and crisp, sending shivers down hundreds of spines…his (now infamous) tune Middle Ground washing over the crowd like some kind of enchantment, before copping a raucous and well deserved applause...Perfect. Beautiful. Gentle.” 
- Natasha Lee, TheMusic.com.au

Mark Wilkinson's lyrical depth and gift for melody have established him as one of Australia's most highly-regarded singer-songwriters, with his 2017 EP, Lost in a Dream, debuting at #1 on iTunes singer-songwriter charts upon release. Wilkinson will wrap up a his 2017 world tour in Australia with annual year-end shows in Australia. A testament to the staying power of his timeless music, Wilkinson's 2015 acoustic release, Hand Picked Vol. 2, is still in rotation at SiriusXM radio across North America along with his exclusive in-studio acoustic SiriusXM Coffee House sets.

A celebrated independent artist, Wilkinson is known for busking in between tour dates to rally crowds of new fans across Europe, the UK, the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and his home country of Australia. His first Top 5 iTunes debut came in 2013 when single 'Middle Ground' from his second studio album, Let the River Run, was featured in a Nescafé ad campaign. The album hit #1 on the Australian iTunes singer-songwriter charts and #12 on the ARIA singles charts. Let the River Run also debuted at #2 on the AIR Charts and at #61 on the ARIA charts.

In October 2013, Wilkinson made his U.S. debut with tour dates in Los Angeles, Boston, and New York, where he played to a sold-out crowd for CMJ. Days later, he made his North American radio debuted on SiriusXM radio, where he was named SiriusXM singer-songwriter "Discovery of the Year" alongside other "Best of 2013" breakout artists like Chvrches and Bastille.
 Wilkinson added the U.S. to his world tour cycles since, returning annually and performing at venerated venues like the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Eddie's Attic in Georgia, and Rockwood Music Hall in New York.

A testament to his captivating live performance, Wilkinson was discovered in the Netherlands by TV personality Humberto Tan while busking to a large crowd that had assembled in Dam Square during his 2013 world tour. Tan invited him to be a guest on his talk show that evening, RTL Late Night, where Wilkinson performed a set. After the episode aired, Mark's name began trending on social media and his music starting charting in the Netherlands.


With buzz continuing to grow, Mark regularly sells out shows across the globe. He has opened arena and major theatre tours nationally for some of the world’s biggest names, including Brian Wilson, Chicago, America, and Seal, among others. Wilkinson has also performed for VIPs at Kings of Leon and Santana concerts, represented Australia at the World Expo in China, and entertained deployed troops in the Solomon Islands.
 

Visit MarkWilkinsonMusic.com for more information. 

Band Members