Six years ago, Straalen McCallum, raised on Australia's Gold Coast, was discovered singing the national anthem in front of 53,000 fans at a Queensland State of Origin rugby league game in Brisbane. This led to him becoming the youngest ever signing to Sony Music Australia. An album of contemporary covers - A Little Faith - followed in November 2010.

The singer/songwriter with the surfer good looks -- now known as "Straalen" -- embarked on his first nationwide tour in 2011, opening forIrish musician Mary Duff. After that, he stepped away from the limelight in order to concentrate on developing his talent that had been evident ever since he first started singing at the tender age of three.

"Be Mine Tonight"

"'Be Mine Tonight' is a song about a girl who is beautiful inside and out, but doesn't really know it or believe it herself," explains the former child prodigy. "She is typically the girl who sells herself short and I think we all know a girl like that. It has been very well-received so far and I think a lot of girls identify with it."

"I was lucky enough to be asked to sing the national anthem at the Suncorp Stadium in 2010," recalls Straalen, looking back, "and Denis Handlin -- the head of Sony Music -- was in the audience. I was then asked to sing a showcase for him and his executives in Sydney and they signed me on the spot. I've learnt a lot about music and myself since then."

Taking inspiration from the beach

The assured sounding single -- written by Straalen and his producer Lindsay Jackson -- is to be included on an upcoming, as yet untitled EP and the busy Queenslander, who started writing songs "seriously" three years ago, is also hard at work on a new album.

What kind of themes does he like to address in his music?

"I live on the beach on the Gold Coast, so I often just go down there and write songs," comes the reply. "I get inspiration when I'm on the beach with the waves rolling in and the sun coming up or going down. I like to write about life, people, feelings...things that take you on a little introspection."

Don't miss our page on Facebook!