Mark Wilkinson (singer)

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Mark Wilkinson
Markwilkinsontp.jpg
Mark Wilkinson recording a music video in south Sydney, Australia, 2013.
Background information
Birth name Mark Edward Wilkinson
Born Buckinghamshire, England
Origin Sydney, Australia
Genres Acoustic, folk, alternative rock, pop
Occupations Singer–songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 2005–present
Website Official website

Mark Wilkinson (singer) (born Buckinghamshire, England) is an Australian singer–songwriter whose lyrical depth, gift for melody, and impassioned delivery are quickly establishing him as one of Australia’s most highly regarded musicians.

Wilkinson released his second studio album, "Let The River Run," on August 9, 2013, and within 24 hours the album hit #2 on the Australian iTunes singer-songwriter charts, surpassing artists like Grammy nominee Ed Sheeran, The Lumineers, and Jake Bugg. As of November 2013, the album had reached #1 on iTunes singer-songwriter charts. The album also debuted at #2 on the AIR Charts and at #61 on the ARIA charts, while the single 'Middle Ground' which was featured in a Nescafé ad campaign in June 2013 went on to reach #2 on the Aussie iTunes singer-songwriter charts and #12 on the ARIA charts (singles). 'Middle Ground' was also featured on Wilkinson's 2012 acoustic album "Hand Picked" which is still holding in the iTunes charts Top 10. The album was added to Sirius XM Radio and college radio across the US in October 2013, including live in-studio performances airing on WERS FM and Sirius XM's Coffeehouse station.

Often asked to write with and for major label artists, three of Mark’s singles have also been featured in Australia’s coveted “Next Artist to Radio” competition and his debut album, Truth Came Running, has been a constant fixture on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts since its release in 2011. An accomplished independent artist, Mark has sold over 45,000 albums direct-to-fan at live shows alone, without any marketing or promotional support.

With buzz around his live performances continuing to grow, Mark regularly sells out shows across Australia and has opened arena and major theatre tours nationally for some of the world’s biggest names, including Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Brian Wilson, Chicago (band), America (band), and Seal (musician), among others. He has 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. Mark has also headlined European tours, performing to capacity crowds in London, Paris, and Berlin. It was on one such trip that brought Mark to the attention of David Gray (musician)’s producer, Iestyn Polson, and he was invited to record in David’s famous Church Studio with his band backing Mark up.

In a review of Mark's set during his 2013 world tour, The Music wrote, "His voice is supreme and crisp...Wilkinson is one of the rare artists whose vocals embody a kind of charisma that pulls you in and forces you to do the rarest thing in the world...feel." The connection Mark creates with his fans is undeniable and genuine - he has been described by Australian music blog Timber and Steel as “a man who has avoided the limelight but still manages to sell out venues all over the country” thanks to his loyal following.

For his 2013 release, and second studio album, Mark teamed up with producer Ollie McGill from celebrated Aussie band, The Cat Empire. The result, Let The River Run, was mastered at world-famous Abby Lane Studios in London and distributed by MGM in Australia and New Zealand, with worldwide digital distribution. Wilkinson previewed the album material in April 2013 at five sold-out shows in Sydney, two sold-out shows in London, and to packed houses in Berlin and Dublin. He kicked off a world tour in August 2013 to support the release, with sold-out shows across Australia. In support of the new release, music blog Timber and Steel wrote, "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."

Wilkinson made his North American debut in October 2013 with tour dates in Los Angeles, New York (CMJ), Boston, Atlanta, and a special performance in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry for the National Association of Music Educators conference and Give A Note Foundation Awards where he'll perform alongside Casey James and others. Debut New Zealand dates are being announced for November 2013 with UK tour dates to be announced for early 2014. His debut performance at CMJ Music Marathon in New York packed Rockwood Music Hall to rave reviews, as previewed in a Huffington Post article. He kicks off his debut tour in New Zealand in November 2013 and added end-of-year shows in Sydney which sold out in record time. Additional tour dates to be announced for 2014 including Europe and North America.

Early life[edit]

Wilkinson was born in England, but his family soon emigrated to Singapore and then Australia when he was 4 years old. Wilkinson was educated at Sydney Grammar School and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts/Commerce at the University of Sydney. It was during his time at university that Wilkinson learnt to play the acoustic guitar.[1]

Career[edit]

Wilkinson busking at The Rocks, Sydney, Australia, 2012.

In 2006 Wilkinson independently released his debut EP, Cellophane Life. This unpolished 6 track collection provided an introduction to Wilkinson’s lyrical hand and emotive sound. The title track along with Baptism By Fire elevated Mark as a finalist in Commercial Radio Australia’s coveted New Artist To Radio competition.[2]

Following on in 2007, Wilkinson hit the road with then current Australian Idol winner Damien Leith, performing to thousands across the country. Shortly after, he came to the attention of Peer Music, the world’s largest independent music publisher, and subsequently signed a global deal.[3]

Kicking off 2008, Wilkinson set out on the road again, headlining shows along the east coast of Australia. He then set off to Europe for 2 months, performing across Ireland, England, France, and Germany; teaming up with acclaimed songwriter Adam Argyle (Mel C, Newton Faulkner, Wes Carr); and working with David Gray’s team in his London studio. The success of the European tour saw Wilkinson invited to return as part of the Popkomm conference in Berlin, where he showcased to industry members from around the globe.[3]

Wilkinson returned to Australia to finish his follow-up EP, Counting Down The Hours, which delivered a more polished, fully produced side to his music. The title track along with Keep Fighting once again placed him as a finalist in the New Artist To Radio competition,[4] with Wilkinson going on to receive airplay on various commercial and community stations across the country.[3]

In early 2009 Wilkinson was invited to perform for deployed Australian troops in the Solomon Islands.[5] In an effort to make more of his music publicly available Wilkinson launched a campaign called A Year of YouTube beginning in April.[6][7] The premise of the campaign being to release an original song each week over the course of a year. With Wilkinson's live reputation continuing to grow he signed on with the Harbour Agency, Australia’s largest booking agency, joining the ranks of many of the nation’s finest performers. This relationship was solidified with Sydney residencies, where Wilkinson performed week after week, and followed on with a national tour supporting multi-ARIA award winner Diesel.[3]

The following year, 2010, launched in similar fashion with Wilkinson touring Australia supporting multi-Grammy winner Michael Bolton.[8] This quickly followed up with more tours alongside Australian stalwarts Ian Moss (Cold Chisel), Jon Stevens (Noiseworks), and Shannon Noll, before heading to China to represent Australia and perform to tens of thousands each day at World Expo.[9] Wilkinson then finished the year performing at arenas around the country alongside musical royalty Brian Wilson, Chicago, America, and Peter Frampton.[10]

Meanwhile with sales of his EPs, available only at shows, exceeding 20,000 copies, Wilkinson returned to the studio to record his debut album Truth Came Running with producer Sean Carey, acclaimed guitarist for multi-platinum band Thirsty Merc. With its release in March 2011, Wilkinson returned to the road, while lead single All I Ever Wanted has been receiving radio and television play on stations across the country.[3] The film clip for All I Ever Wanted was shot on the streets of Cape Town, South Africa by award winning photographer Adrian Steirn and his 21 Icons Global Project team.[6]

October 2011 marked the release of Wilkinson's third EP, 'Sweet White Lies'. Lead single 'My Friend' received radio play across the nation, and he hit the road again for his 'A Friend On The Road' tour. During 2011, Wilkinson also supported Boyce Avenue on their Australian tour, and performed for VIPs at Kings Of Leon's show at Allphones Arena, Sydney.

In early 2012, Wilkinson released "Live At The Basement", a live album recorded at The Basement (Sydney) during the 'A Friend On The Road' Tour. He returned to the road in March 2012 for his 'Caught In A Moment' national tour, which saw him sell out venues across Australia. Shortly after this tour, Wilkinson released a solo acoustic album named Hand Picked and performed a handful of sold out shows in churches in Sydney and Melbourne.

Coinciding with the release of his single, Benny's On The Rooftop from his then-forthcoming album Let The River Run, in October 2012, Wilkinson set off on his 'Benny's On The Rooftop' Tour, hitting up venues across the country. Wilkinson began pre-production for his second studio album in November 2012, working with producer Ollie McGill (The Cat Empire).[11] The album, entitled Let The River Run was released in August 2013, and shot to #2 on the Australian iTunes singer-songwriter album chart and #20 overall on the Australian iTunes album chart. The album hit #1 on iTunes charts in November 2013. Wilkinson kicked off a world tour in support of the album in July 2013 with dates across Australia, a debut US tour in October 2013, debut New Zealand tour in November 2013, end-of-year holiday shows in Sydney which sold out in record time, and additional tour dates to be announced for Europe and North America for early 2014.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Title Released Label Format
2006 Cellophane Life 2006 Independent (MW001) EP
2008 Counting Down The Hours 2008 Independent (MW002) EP
2011 Truth Came Running 4 March 2011 Independent/MGM Distribution (MW005) CD
2011 Sweet White Lies October 2011 Independent (MW006) EP
2012 Live at The Basement March 2012 Independent (MW007) CD
2012 Hand Picked July 2012 Independent (MW008) CD
2013 Let The River Run August 2013 Independent (MW009) CD

Singles[edit]

Year Song Album
2011 "All I Ever Wanted" Truth Came Running
2011 "My Friend" Sweet White Lies
2012 "Benny's On The Rooftop" Let The River Run

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dunger, Karina (15 February 2008). "MX". MX. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Busby, Cec (3 October 2006). "NA2R finalists announced". FasterLouder. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Biography". Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "Nine finalists in radio’s premier music competition". Commercial Radio Australia. 4 September 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Solomon Islands Forces Entertainment Tour Draws To A Close". Department of Defence. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Smith, Michael (12 April 2011). "Internet Savvy". Drum Media. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "A Year of YouTube". Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Michael Bolton". Andrew McManus Presents. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Shanghai World Expo 2010". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "Chicago, America, Peter Frampton. Also joining Brian Wilson on selected shows". Andrew McManus Presents. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  11. ^ McMahon, Tony. "Mark Wilkinson". Time Off. Street Press Australia. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 

External links[edit]