Most people know Damien Leith as a singer, having shot to fame in 2006 after winning Australian Idol, but with the release of his debut novel “One more time” and his hosting of Channels Ten’s “Saving Kids”, he’s showed that he is one busy guy not to mention talented! In his own words, Damien explains his life and the various career paths that have led him to where he is today.
Music wasn’t originally my first love, in fact during the earlier years of my life my main passion was acting and writing. I was a very hyper kid and I suppose it was writing that helped me to calm down and focus the energy in other ways.
When I was 16 music came into my life. I hadn’t sung a note but when the opportunity came to act in a school musical, I decided to brave my first song – there was no looking back. At first I tried to find my style and spent a number of years playing in various bands from heavy metal to Indie and then in a family band called LEAF, consisting of my siblings; my two brothers and my sister.
I first started writing songs with LEAF for my sister Aine, who was the lead singer at the time. Most of my early songs were designed to suit her voice and style. We recorded three demos, gigged like crazy and pestered A&R reps all around the world. Success came in different sizes and after a stint with an American label turned sour, we all decided to call it a day and concentrate on our studies. I studied chemistry as a fall back and worked as a chemist in the pharmaceutical industry, formulating tablets and injections for a huge range of serious illnesses while still doing solo gigs in the evenings and weekends.
However, it was mid 2006 when my musical career took a huge turn. While spending the afternoon with two close friends, they convinced me to audition for Australian Idol and much to my own surprise; I was voted the winner. Within hours of the grand final, my debut single was released and I was officially signed to Sony BMG.
Since winning Australian Idol 2006, my single, 'Night Of My Life' album 'The Winners Journey' and latest album ‘Where we Land’ have all reached the number one spot with multi-platinum sales.
In July 2007, Channel Ten approached me about using one of my songs as the theme tune for the television show “Saving Kids”. The song, “Not just for the weekend” I actually wrote for my son Jagger after he was born and came home from hospital, it was an overwhelming emotional time and the song just came to me. I am thrilled to be the narrator and host of the TV show as it follows the stories of children attending Sydney Children’s Hospital; it’s uplifting and at times heart wrenching but it’s great to be part of something so beautiful.