CLASSIC MEDIA CLIPS
- VJ King Jr -
Hills Shire Times - p. 43 - 'good Times' - by Meldi Arkinstall
VJ's star song has a familiar riff
Passion for guitar . . . 12-year old prodigy VJ King
At just 12, VJ King is making a habit of hobnobbing with the stars.
A student at Samuel Gilbert Public School, VJ appeared on Channel Nine's Mornings With Kerri-Anne with guitarist Tommy Emmanuel recently.
The famous guitarist has taken a personal interest in the Glenhaven boy and his career, spending some time with the youngster back stage before his recent concert at City Recital Hall in Angel Place.
"He's awesome," VJ said of Emmanuel. "I want to be just like him one day."
VJ has also performed recently with Emmanuel's brother, Phil, also a guitarist.
VJ's passion for guitar - "you have to surgically remove it from me" - was forged by an earlier meeting with Tommy Emmanuel four and a half years ago.
While giving the young musician his autograph, Emmanuel wrote the words "Don't give up".
The words had a deep effect on the young musician, inspiring him to make his debut CD, Shadow Of A Dream, which was released in October, 2001.
The protégé of guitar teacher Peter Andrews responded to Emmanuel's advice by saying, "I haven't given up and I'm going to keep at it, because one day I'm going to bump into one of these guys, and I need to be in good shape to jam with them," he said.
VJ King Jr first came to notice as a Finalist in the Castle Hill Show's Talent Quest in 1999. In the same year he was runner-up to his sister, Chantelle Marie [King], a singer, in the Hills Talent Search.
He returned the following year to claim the winner's title in the same event.
Music is a way of life in the King household.
A spokesman for the budding young musician said, "Before VJ learned to walk he and his sister would sit at their dad's feet singing kids' tunes, home-spun melodies and Sunday School hymns played out on the old family guitar."
He gave his first professional performance at the Dural Country Club in 1999 as a special guest of Pat Twohill's Elvis & Friends concert.
One of the highlights of his career was performing at the Narooma Blues Festival in October 2002.
VJ's father VJ Hocking is himself a musician.
"I was one of the founders of a group called The Ramrods in the 1960s. I love music but with the prospect of a family I went into business management." he said.
These management skills have been a great asset.
Mr Hocking now manages his son.
"I restrict him to six performances a year because I want him to have time to learn the instrument properly.
"I also want to be sure he has a balanced life - he does a lot of sport and played baseball on the Hills State Cup representative team for the 2002-2003 season."
"Music is a miracle, and I told VJ 'Don't let any of it pass'. " his dad said. ▲