Jon Delinger

Delinger’s interest in music was sparked when, as a child, he started singing in his church choir. Later, he borrowed his brother’s guitar and taught himself the chords he had memorised from watching his brother play. Music from the all-time greats, from Led Zeppelin to the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Metallica and even Chris de Burgh – the records enjoyed by his family – helped to shape his eclectic tastes at this young age.

Today, Delinger’s music is extremely reflective of these early diverse influences. Although he is a self-confessed rock ‘n roll man at heart, he has a passion for distilling the sound of the classics and adding to them the melodies of his own African upbringing, to create a singular musical signature.

“My sound is very much about blending and collaboration,” Delinger explains. This refers not only to his willingness to learn from the contemporary bands he admires, such as Daughtry, AC/DC and even punk rock outfit Good Charlotte, but specifically to his belief that artists can, and should, develop strength from each other – hence the name of his album, Never Walk Alone.

Although Never Walk Alone is a stunning showcase of the talents of this gifted singer, songwriter and musician, he is quick to give credit to the other artists whom, he maintains, have enhanced it through their contributions. These include Michael Naranjo – who also produced the album – on bass, Ryan Schnettler on guitar and Chromium’s Gerard on drums. Delinger, meanwhile, wrote each of the songs, provides vocals and also plays guitar.

Delinger has penned many of these songs over several years, but he believes that their rebirth through the interpretation of the musicians – coming, as they do, from various musical backgrounds – has emphasised their appeal. “I write about aspects of the human experience that we can all relate to: anxiety, confusion, the inevitability of love,” he says.

It’s not surprising, then, that the songs will find resonance with a wide audience, particularly as Delinger says he has taken the essence of classic rock, repackaging it to find popularity amongst younger listeners. The result is an album that has something for everyone, and will be a special treat for fans of soft rock with a hint of blues and strong guitar melodies.

Delinger is particularly excited, as the release of Never Walk Alone coincides with his selection as the singer of the Australian national anthem during the Tri-Nations tournament, on 28 August.

This is not the first time he will be delighting a multitude of fans: his distinctive voice first caught the public’s attention when, in 2002, he participated in the Ethno Music Festival in Sweden. He has since performed at a number of leading South African cultural festivals and theatre productions.

“What thrills me most about this industry is that people often find my brand of music unexpected,” Delinger muses – and that’s precisely what keeps them listening.

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