Aussie tenor Mark Vincent has long shown a level of maturity and sensitivity beyond his years.
He was 15-year-old when he blew the audience away with a staggering rendition of Puccini's Nessun dorma on Australia's Got Talent that belied his age and experience.
A year later, while releasing his second album, he would tell AAP: "Older people, once they're a fan, they'll support you all the way along if you give them what they want".
That shrewd understanding of the industry would prove prophetic.
Vincent - now 28 and with half a million record sales under his belt - on Friday released his latest album, In The Eyes of a Child.
If it reaches No.1 on the ARIA classical charts, it will be his 10th consecutive album to do so.
"It's been a phenomenal journey," Vincent tells AAP.
"I've had very loyal fans over the years and great support around me.
"And I've got a beard now," he says with a laugh.
Two years ago, in the depth of COVID lockdowns, Vincent - along with an entire global community of performers - was feeling like the curtain may have fallen on his career.
"I thought everything was coming to an end in my life - I'll never forget it," he says.
"Then my son Matteo came into the world and I held him for the first time, I looked into his little eyes and it changed me.
"I had this burst of determination."
The experience of becoming a husband and father - his second is due next month - changed Vincent irrevocably and has had a profound impact on his performance.
He was recording the title track to this album shortly after Matteo's birth, when catching sight of his son in the studio first brought a palpable extra layer of emotion to his storytelling.
"When I started singing it, all this emotion - not on purpose, it just happened naturally - poured out of me," Vincent says.
"If I wasn't a father, if I didn't have a son and I had sung that song, I don't think it would work.
"It would probably sound good, but it wouldn't have the heartfelt feeling that it had."
Matteo is not that fussed about his dad's singing prowess.
"He's more into The Wiggles at the moment," Vincent says with a shrug.
Vincent says his devoted audience can expect to hear big changes in this latest release, adding he has grown as an artist.
With an unusual collection of covers, from Queen's Love of My Life, to Celine Dion's Power of Love and Nat King Cole's Smile, Vincent has stepped out of his classical comfort zone.
He has transformed his singing style to incorporate the new styles, but "it must still sound like Mark Vincent singing it".
"I call it the 'in between'," he says.
His ability to tell a story in his performance, adapt his style to titillate his audience and grow as an artist means Vincent may well be up to album 20 once another decade has passed.
"My beard will be grey then," he laughs.
Australian Associated Press
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