Jason Owen has had to cancel his wedding, multiple rural gigs

Photo: Fernando Barraza Creative
Photo: Fernando Barraza Creative

Former X Factor finalist and Albert resident Jason Owen has like all of us been hit hard by COVID-19.

The musician not only had to cancel more than 30 gigs in rural areas this year due to COVID restrictions, but was forced to postpone his own wedding due to take place in November, and has also taken up a part-time job.

But Mr Owen is continuing to do what he loves and will soon release a new song later this month.

He's also just finished shooting the latest series of his online show 'How Ya Goin With Jason Owen' which this season features chats with farmers and rural community workers.

Mr Owen said it was devastating to have to cancel the upcoming rural gigs, as it was shaping up to be the biggest year for his solo career

"Unfortunately COVID struck and a lot of my fellow artists as well felt the same, as it was shaping up to be a big year and live music was really starting to make a comeback," he explained.

"Touring is where our money comes from in the music scene, we pretty much lost all of our musical income."

The singer from Albert said everyone has been impacted by the global health pandemic, not just himself or his fellow musos.

"I'm very lucky, I've still got new music coming out and keeping current and doing things in the entertainment scene," Mr Owen said.

Photo: Fernando Barraza Creative

Photo: Fernando Barraza Creative

To help keep him busy and connected with others during the first initial stages of lock-down, the singer took on a part-time job as a food delivery driver and started the online show.

"This year I had everything put into place, I had the new album recorded, tours booked.. ready for a big year and all of a sudden we lost that in March to COVID. I was sitting around thinking 'what am I going to do with myself, I'm going to go mad', so I started the online talk show..

"When lockdown lifted and I came back to the Central Coast.. I wanted to do something where I enjoy it and get out and say g'day to people... so I joined Menulog."

As the new song is soon coming out the singer hasn't needed to do a shift in a while, but said it was a great way to not only fill in time, but help with his mental health as he wasn't sitting at home alone while his partner worked.

Mr Owen and his partner Beccy became engaged earlier last year and were planning to hold their wedding in his hometown of Albert in November 2020.

The union was planned to go ahead at the local church, which his great-grandmother helped establish, on the date of his grandfather's 92nd birthday as a special nod, but after much deliberation decided to postpone until mid next year.

"That was very, very hard. It was the hardest decision because time is time and no-one knows what's around the corner for anybody and it was going to be a special day, but I didn't want to put it off for a whole year," Mr Owen explained.

"It's just another hurdle we've had to put behind us and look forward to the future."

In the meantime, Mr Owen is looking forward to launch the second series of his talk show, which will share the stories of farmers around Australia who have been impacted by drought, bushfires and COVID-19.

"While the drought specifically in places may be a lot better or over to an extent, the effects are still ongoing. People sold all their livestock, equipment or machinery just to keep their family alive," he explained.

"People don't consider that..."

This story Central west musician details how COVID has impacted him these past few months first appeared on Daily Liberal.