From Tauranga, the Gold Coast, Sydney, and Rarotonga, Stan Walker now calls Whanganui home.
The musician, who shot to fame as a 19-year-old when he won Australian Idol is adjusting back to life in provincial New Zealand after a whirlwind decade where his life was "tipped on its head".
Walker was talking and performing at the Whanganui War Memorial Centre this week
as part of his book tour for his new title Impossible: My Story.
Surrounded by friends and family at the venue, Walker sat down with the Chronicle before his sound check, where he was as relaxed and as frank as ever.
"The past 11 years have been the hardest season of my life. I've been through some of the most difficult things in my life and some of the best," Walker says.
"To talk about my journey this far, I think it's a coming of age thing. Who I am, where I'm at and what I've become. I think it's a story worth telling that I think will help people."
Now aged 30, Walker was dealt almost every bad card in life you could imagine.
He grew up in a household where his father beat him, his mother and his siblings, and where alcoholism was rife. Walker turned to marijuana and theft.
He moved to Australia to work shortly before his Australian Idol audition.
In 2017, Walker battled for his life, eventually having his stomach removed after inheriting the cancer-causing gene mutation called CDH1 that had been responsible for the deaths of other family members.
But the one thing Walker has never had to battle with is his culture.
"I've always been Māori, and there's been ways of how people want me to be a less-Māori version of myself," he says. "But the thing is, I've always been Māori since the moment I was born. It's my superpower.
"When I first started intentionally making a stand, I think it was to fight against the system. I remember when I started X-Factor, just speaking Māori on there I would get shut down by some in the public. I am Māori, I am tāngata whenua, and I'll speak it because I can."
Walker's culture is evident in every aspect of his life. He's recorded multiple songs in te reo, some of which subsequently shot to the top of the charts. His social media is covered in nods and references to his culture, and even what he wears is "unapologetically Māori".
"I carry my taonga. I wear my taonga instead of wearing diamonds. It just looks better."
Walker has been based in Whanganui for the past few months, living with his partner who secured a job with Ngā Tāngata Tiaki.
"I enjoy the change of pace, and my partner's whānau is here and I've got some whānau out at Rātana Pā, so I'm really enjoying it."
Walker says he is doing his best to live a normal life, after a decade of fame and endless coverage. He still gets noticed, but it's bearable in a small city.
"I've actually started playing indoor netball, so it's a great way to meet people," he says.
"Sometimes I just sit in the corner, I'm there to play and there to win. It's a crack up here because it's such a small town. When I hear people say 'oh I'm gonna go to Palmy to go to K-Mart' I'm like 'oh true'. It's very different."
As for the book, Walker says it's the story of a life he is proud of.
"I've changed so many times. I've grown a lot through trial and error, challenges, circumstances, and just had so many different seasons in my life. I've had so much loss, in every way and everything. Sickness, financial, friendships, relationships and even career wise.
"I hope the book goes to show that there is hope and that you can achieve what you want to achieve."
- Impossible: My Story is out now.