This year all that could change for the Melbourne-born 26 year old as he releases his debut album and pulls in favours from famous friends. We caught up with him
Q: When did you first start making music?
A: I was four years old when I started playing the violin. I played that until I was 14 but started singing and writing songs around the age of 14.
Q: What was the first music you got into?
A: I was obsessed with RnB when Boyz 2 Men were out in the 90s and then when I was about 15 I got into Stevie Wonder and then Radiohead and DAngelo.
Q: What have you listened to recently?
A: For the last four years Ive just been listening to the classics like Otis Redding, Stevie, Thom Yorke, The Band, Traffic and Jeff Buckley. I gravitate toward emotional singers.
Q: You were on our Spanking New list for 2008- what has taken you so long?
A: I got my first record deal when I was 19. I toured with Mark a lot and I was involved heavily with his (Versions) project so I was putting my solo stuff together in between tours.
The first song I wrote for the album was probably 18 months ago but the last three months its really all got tied up.
Q: Is the album all done now?
A: Its 100% finished- its good to finally have it done! Its called Love And War. The last song called I recorded with Adele. I wrote it a while ago but I bumped into her and asked her if she wanted to sing on it.
Q: How did you meet Mark Ronson?
A: He heard my music about six years ago through some record company person. He got my number and gave me a call. He flew me to New York and we instantly hit it off and got along.
Mark then started his label and thats when we started working on my stuff. We are really good friends and he fills in the gap in my music knowledge. Its always good to have a DJ mate to turn you on to new stuff.
He has ended up producing the whole album- he made time for me which was really cool.
Q: Does it bother that you're known for featuring on other peoples records?
A: I don't really think about that too much I just work with people that I like. Money In My Pocket came about because I got along really well with Wiley when we were on tour with Jay-Z. I heard the beat that Mark did and I wrote the chorus from there.
I think that when my album comes out I wont be the singer for hire any more.
Q: Who else is on your record?
A: Adele and the rapper Wale- who is gonna be big. He's bringing something new to hip hop. The Dap Kings play on every song- they are like a featured artists as well. Sean Lennon plays guitar on a couple of songs too.
Q: Whats the next single?
A: The next one is called Impossible which is my favourite song off the album.
Q: What are your hopes for the year?
A: I just want to get out there and start playing shows. Ive been itching to do it for so long. Ive been rehearsing loads.
Watch MTV News on the hour every hour on MTV - Sky Channel 126 and Virgin Channel 134