Jason Kerrison is the proverbial boy next door, a typical Kiwi bloke - who just happens to be a multi-platinum award winning artist.

Kerrison's music has gone platinum nine times, he's won nine New Zealand Music Awards, an APRA Silver Scroll Award for Song of the Year and he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for Services to Music in 2011.

Chatting to the "One Day" hit-maker, it wasn't hard to see why he had so many fans from across the world.

Speaking to me from his "bunker" in Kaitaia, aptly named The Great Northern Retreat, he talked about travelling New Zealand.


"I'm just continuing to develop that and work out how to get from somewhere that doesn't have an airport anymore to the rest of New Zealand every weekend, so it is a bit of a challenge but it is good."

His five-year hiatus from his band Opshop has reignited his love - so much so that he became a self confessed "fan boy".

"It is quite weird because I am finding myself being a bit of a fan boy about my own band and I was never really that guy when we were playing together."

They were set to perform together for the first time since 2013 at this year's Jim Beam Homegrown.

"At the time I just didn't really ... I'm not sure I believed in the hype or something like that. I was just a reluctant believer. As much as I enjoyed it from internally, I never got why people liked it so much but having some time to spend with it recently is really good."

He said their first jam session was "a bit ropey for a few minutes as we all tried to remember how to play our various bits and not stuff up in front of each other but then the crass typical band jokes came out and it was all on".

When asked what the band dynamic is, he joked, "I'm the boss and they will do what I tell them to do" before bursting out in laughter.

"But if you ask anyone else they will probably say the same thing that they're the boss and they tell us what to do."

He was set to headline a free concert at the Soundshell on March 17, while Shane Cortese and The 8-Track Band and local artists Mixtape step up in support.

Napier Rocks is an attempt to plug the gap left by the Mission Concert cancellation and it is something Kerrison hopes to do, along with some of his own songs.

"We decided we're going to do quite a few Neil Diamond songs because we think a lot of people would have been there to see him obviously.

"I can see there will be some kind of collaboration towards the end where everyone will just jump up and have a whole bunch of fun."

His one and only memory of Neil Diamond is when he was in Hollywood, opposite the studio where Jimmy Kimmel did his show.

"We were just there hanging out, getting photos with Batman and Spiderman and what not and then Neil Diamond walks out on top of the roof."

At first, he thought it was somebody dressed like Diamond.

"I couldn't actually believe it was him and then we watched Jimmy Kimmel a couple of nights later and it turned out it was him so I got to see Neil Diamond in Hollywood on top of the roof for free - crazy."

It is not the first time Kerrison has been to the region, both professionally and personally, and he is looking forward to it.

"I've got some good memories but I won't go into those."

During his hiatus, he released two EPs - his first creation was #JKEP1, released in March 2015, a five-song EP exploring soft synth and producing a very pop music sound.

The second, #JKEP2, was written using sacred geometry.

Although he had plans to release his album during the middle of the year, he hopes it won't be too long before people can hear his new material.

"I didn't realise how long it was going to take for me to adapt to the Far North and also not having a lot of my studio gear kind of put that back a bit."

However, he's always writing and collecting bite size chunks of inspiration.

"There is always stuff boiling away. I'm always taking time to record melodies or something that might pop up just quite randomly in my head and into my phone so always collecting stuff."

As far as Opshop is concerned, even before they started playing the songs they knew, a new song appeared.

"We were just jamming in the room, trying to get the sounds right, trying to get our levels right and before we knew it we had written a new song, new idea, so I think it's just going to be an organic process.

"I get a sense that everyone is really enjoying it and so something will happen. I think everyone is reluctant to put times on it, we will just see what happens and just kind of enjoy the process."

When asked who he would love to do a duet with, he instantly said Sia.

"I've been listening to her music heaps lately and she's so good, I think she's the best singer at the moment in the pop world."