AS any musician knows, getting Novocastrians off the lounge and away from Netflix to pay for a concert can be difficult. Evidently not for Ziggy Alberts.
The Byron Bay surf-folk artist has already sold out his summer Cambridge Hotel show two months in advance. And Newcastle isn’t alone. Alberts’ upcoming 34-date Australia and New Zealand tour has sold 22,500 tickets since going on sale a month ago.
All before the 24-year-old’s album Laps Around The Sun is released on Friday.
“It has been insane,” Alberts said. “I remember flying to Newcastle, staying with friends, Jacob and Remi, and playing my first show there in 2012.”
Alberts started performing music in 2011 shortly after receiving a guitar from his parents as a graduation present. His love of music continued to grow as he juggled working in a cafe and interning as a journalist at a surf magazine, while gigging at night.
Two years later Alberts released his album Made Of Water (2013) then Land & Sea (2014), which have drawn comparisons to Jack Johnson and Xavier Rudd due to the breezy acoustic sound, chilled vocals and environmental messages.
But it was Alberts’ 2016 EP Four Feet In The Forest that truly announced the troubadour to the world through the breakthrough single Runaway.
“Runaway has great structure - but as the songwriter, it’s really hard to pick which song you think will resonate most with people,” he said. “I didn't even think Runaway was my best song at that time.
“What I learnt from that song is to never worry about perfect clean production - just make sure it feels right.”
Alberts’ new singles Love Me Now and Stronger have continued to build anticipation for Laps Around The Sun.
“It touches on protecting our reefs, on our relationship with social media, on what fracking does to our drinking water and our plastic consumption,” he said of the album. “These are all themes that tie in subliminally with the love songs.”
Alberts, who releases music through his own Commonfolk Records label, is gearing up for more than 100 shows over the next year as he tours Laps Around The Sun. The passionate environmentalist said maintaining his health will be key.
“I stopped drinking three years ago, I do regular meditation on tour, and try to be as active as possible,” he said. “Recently I went through five time zones in five weeks and that is super challenging on your mind and body.
“I'm feeling really confident about this world tour and the team who's joining me. I just want to give the people I'm playing to the best energy I can, so it’s really important to me to be healthy as possible.”
Ziggy Alberts plays Newcastle’s Cambridge Hotel on January 5.