WITH his debut album set to hit the shelves this week, The Voice winner Judah Kelly is preparing to work hard and play live as much as he can over the coming months.
Judah's debut album, Count on Me, is released today, July 28, and he's about to head off to the Gympie Muster - one of the biggest music events on the Queensland music calendar - before doing four dates in his first solo tour.
"The tour hits Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth which is really exciting," Judah said.
"I can't wait to get out there in September.
"In my mind, there was nothing else I was ever going to do.
"It was always going to be music for me, and I've always wanted to perform.
"I remember when I was three or four, I was in New Zealand, and my grandmother wanted to show me off, so I sang in front of the whole church and that was the earliest performance I remember."
Judah took out The Voice this year and his debut single Count On Me went straight to No.1 on the charts.
Over 10 weeks, the 20-year-old from Laidley spent most of his time waiting to be sent home, but when he made the top four, his mentality changed.
"I was approached to audition for The Voice last year through a friend, and the day before the auditions I pulled out," he said.
"I read the email and thought I couldn't be bothered, and even though I felt like a *ick doing it, I was asked again this year and this time I wanted to put the effort in.
"It wasn't until I made the top four that I thought I could win it.
"I thought I'd get on then get cut.
"I kept thinking I'll be cut next, and it didn't happen.
"Then I thought, 'Next week I'll go for sure'.
"I just kept thinking it was my time to go, but then when I got top four I really started to think that maybe I could have a crack at it.
"My mentality changed.
"It went from top eight to top four quickly, and people said to me they could see a change in my approach from that point.
"I took that 'take no prisoners' approach.
"When I won, there was a few seconds of realisation.
"In that situation I didn't want to mishear what was said.
"I heard my name and I thought ... really? You sure?
"It was genuine shock, and I think the look on my face showed how I was feeling."
The next week was a whirlwind for Judah, who was raced around between promotion and recording, while battling sickness and lack of sleep.
"We did the Count On Me album in 10 days, so it was literally a week after I'd won we started," he said.
"Normally it takes three to six months to do an album and we did it in 10 days.
"Unfortunately, I had laryngitis for a few days, so I went from The Voice to no voice, and that was a stress that we didn't need."
The self-confessed fan of Motown and country music is happy with the album he's about to release, and hopes that people pick up his influences in the music, and on the cover.
"The album cover is a reference to Johnny Cash," Judah said. "It's the kind of vibe we were going for, and I've played lots of his music over the years."
Count on Me is out today, July 28, and Judah is appearing at the Gympie Muster in August, then his solo tour in September.
Tickets and info at www.judahkellymusic.com