Kiwi-born Caleb Jago-Ward became a household name across Australasia when he appeared on The Voice Australia. Delta Goodrem was quick to sing his praises, and he finished in the top eight. Caleb flew back to NZ for the weekend to perform at this year’s Coca Cola Christmas in the Park in Auckland.

You’re one of the headlining acts at Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park this year – what has that been like?

It’s been fun, it’s been good. I’m actually friends with quite a few people involved with the show, like Lavina Williams, so I don’t feel like a headliner as I know people – just a singer that people know because of the TV.


Speaking of Christmas, what have you got planned for the summer holidays?

I’m going to be at home in Melbourne, Australia. Going to be an orphan’s Christmas with friends and I’ll Skype the family back home. I’ve been in Melbourne two and a half years now, so I feel like I should spend Christmas there.


Ultimate gift you have ever received or given?

I got my family personalised Nutella jars, but customs wouldn’t let me bring them through! It’s really nice these days to have one present that’s wrapped – to open something at Christmas.


You’re Kiwi-born but have had success on The Voice Australia – tell us about that experience?

It’s good, it’s fun – I didn’t expect to get as far as I did. I just thought I’d do the audition and see where it goes. You always know how the reality TV works but it’s weird being in that capsule. It’s a completely different thing – you’re always being watched, you’re on tight schedules and things are being asked of you that sometimes aren’t the most reasonable things. I think being on the TV show and it being competitive… it could be difficult. It made it so tiring. I was glad when it was over. It was fun, I loved it, but I don’t want to be in a competition every day.


What was your favourite song that you performed on the show?

I Believe In A Thing Called Love. Delta believed that it would be good for me. Delta actually wanted to sing it with me at some point. Everything else had been rocky so it was cool to show a different side.


How did you discover your passion for music?

It’s something that develops – everyone listens to music when they’re young and I think I like to spend time by myself so I always listened to music. I love old music too – The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones – old rock, ‘60s, ‘70s. I picked up the guitar when I was 12 and didn’t know I could sing. I thought ‘I will start training that.’ It wasn’t until my last year of high school when I was 18 that I decided I wanted to do this one way or another as a career. I don’t want to go to university, I want to be hand- on and I want to learn that way.


Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?

Would love to write with Delta. I haven’t asked her. I’m sure she would consider it – we got along so well. We talked about writing together. Lavina, my friends – I want it to be people that understand me and that I can mesh with. There are some crazy good writers that are working on this show. Would love to work with Sia as well.


What’s a song you wish you’d written?

Martha My Dear by The Beatles. I think that song is amazing because it was written in the ‘60s and I can hear contemporary music in that song, they wrote this music that shaped the rest of pop/alternative/rock. I wish I could go back in time. Maybe the song I really want to write, I haven’t written yet. Just something that inspires me, as I’m inspired by what other people are doing.


What’s coming up next for you?

Tours and more auditioning for stage shows back home in Australia. Releasing a new single and a cover in the next six months is the goal. I don’t have enough material right now for a full album.

Check out Caleb’s performances from The Voice on Spotify and follow him on Instagram.