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Garrett Kato is one of those rare people who sees the success they achieve as almost entirely serendipitous; a series of ‘right place, right time’ situations that in Kato’s case, lead to millions of Spotify streams, a slot on UK’s Bestival, a sync on US blockbuster film Bad Moms, and just this month, a record deal with Canada’s Nettwerk Music Group – home to Neil Finn and Sinead O’Connor.

Kato has a voice that feels lived in. Like a cabin in the forest that’s withstood a hurricane, the smooth vigour of his delivery tells you he’s not going anywhere.

In 2018, when the charts are dominated by electro R&B and pop, a busker from Canada who set up shop on the streets of Byron Bay isn’t exactly your first stop when curating the lineup for UK festival juggernaut Bestival. But when one of the festival’s organisers saw him performing in Mokha cafe, she didn’t doubt he could command a stadium of people and offered him a slot on the award-winning festival.

garrett kato at mokha cafe
Garrett Kato at Mokha Cafe in Byron. Source: Facebook

It’s the final day of BIGSOUND in Brisbane, volunteers are packing up the showcase and conference branding around us and Garrett Kato is talking about how he left Kate’s business card in his pocket for a month before he reached out to her.