The music, the talent and the personality of Carl Wockner radiates from the multi-talented entertainer like a kaleidoscope of watercolors found on the most beautiful of life’s palettes.
In other words, this Australian is as cool as sh**.
“I get bored easily,” remarks Wockner, who has dipped his creative brush into everything from pop music to country music to R&B on his current EP Yellowly Live Once. “I mean, we live in a mix. We want a mix of everything, and that’s what I love giving the world.”
The oldest of four kids, Wockner grew up in a hardworking household where his father worked as a builder and his mom worked to keep the craziness to a minimum. To do this, Wockner’s mom could often be found singing and playing the piano, soothing sounds that would often find themselves battling the progressive music her husband liked to turn up loud.
“He was big on instrumentals and left field, funny, quirky melodies,” Wockner remembers of his tough as nails dad. “He’d just play these records with random noises, like the sound of windshield wipers going back and forth over some obscure track.”
These eclectic sounds would often join the family on road trips and vacations, along with Wockner’s very own evolving musical tastes. At seven years old, he learned how to play the violin. At 10 years old, Wockner learned to play the piano. And at the rambunctious age of 15 years old, Wockner began rocking out in his own high school band.
“We played ‘Wonderwall’ like every day,” Wockner says of the Oasis classic. “We’d never play the full song all the way through. We would play the first chorus and then we would get bored and play another song.”
Wockner’s musical tastes have always had a way of weaving back and forth also, from the soul of George Benson and Aretha Franklin to the twang of Brad Paisley and Chris Stapleton to the coolness of Amy Winehouse and Lauren Hill.
It’s these musical inspirations that would ultimately direct his music career. But first, he would work as a builder and a bartender, a salesperson and a teacher, all while paying off his college loans and wondering what lied next for the creative guy that refused to be put in anything resembling a box.
“My style didn’t really fit ‘in a lane’ and nobody would take ownership of my music,” remembers Wockner, who was named “Musician of the Year” at the Livewire Prestige Awards back in 2021. “I didn’t really have anywhere to go.”
So, he started coming over to the States to write and record in 2011, resulting in the release of his debut album Crayon Days in 2013. Two years later, Wockner scored a global win at the International Acoustic Music Awards (IAMA,) becoming the first and only Australian to ever win top honors.
The following year, Wockner purchased a one-way ticket to Nashville for himself, his wife, their two young children and a total of 10 suitcases.
“I was able to exhale a little more over here,” says Wockner, who shortly after snagged a spot performing on CNN. “I could find my people.”
Find his people he did. Wockner soon found himself displaying his live looping skills to a whole new audience craving something different from the status quo and finding it within Wockner’s off the cuff performances, many of which have been featured on his ever-popular YouTube channel.
“Looping gives me the ability to lean into the act of stumbling, music wise,” explains Wockner, whose biggest dreams take him to the day he will finally play Madison Square Garden. “It’s like a fork in the road. The listener never knows which direction I’m going to go, and sometimes – neither do I!”
The creative chameleon who recently signed deals with both Dream Big Dreams Management and Universal Attractions Agency (UAA) draws in a deep breath.
“When you go to a music festival or a big show these days, everything is choreographed to an inch of its life. Bands play to tracks and there’s months and months of rehearsals and it’s the same guitar solo every time. (Pauses.) I will never sound as ‘polished’ as that, but I don’t think I want to. People want to hear what life is like, and life is sometimes a challenge.”
And while Wockner loves himself a good challenge, he also has come to love the pristineness of the game of golf, a sport he learned to play under the watchful eye of his grandmother and a sport that he could easily have made his career.
“I love shutting my brain off from everything else but what I’m doing in that moment,” explains Wockner, who happened to headline the Opening Ceremony of PGA Honda Classic earlier this year. “Anybody who legit meditates will roll their eyes at this, but for me, it’s a form of meditation. All I think is that I’m going to take this seven iron and draw this ball over the edge of that trap.
And crazy enough, it usually does.
Because he is Carl fri**in Wockner.
“I want to send a message to people that you can follow through with your ambitions, even if you’re over 30 with a wife and kids. I want to give people strength for their aspirations so that it flows back to me when I need a little strength myself.”