Jackson Owens may be living the high life, but there is still nothing he loves more than coming home to Turangi and enjoying New Zealand kai.
The 16-year-old moved to the United States to join a boy band over a month ago under the guidance of two-time grammy nominee music producer, Tim Coons.
Jackson said being back in New Zealand had been great, even though he was still enjoying the rollercoaster he was on.
"It's pretty unreal really, I am really loving it at the moment, all the people around me are really nice down to Earth people and treat me like their family and it's been awesome."
However, he said when he first arrived in America he had some problems communicating with his two other band members.
"They couldn't understand my accent and stuff, it was pretty funny but now everyone can understand me."
Jackson said his band members had been understanding of his accent and Maori culture, which was something he wanted to incorp-orate into their shows.
"Each gig we say something in Maori and we get the crowd to say it back, which is pretty cool - they love it to."
His dad Bobby Owens was in the States with him, and Jackson said it had been great to have him there.
"He does so much for me when it comes to singing because he has a talent in that as well, just helps me with my harmonies and stuff."
The band named themselves Far Young and Jackson said it had been a name they came up with together.
"We sort of had a day to really come up with the name because we had a show the next day so we had to come up with something, but it was a team effort."
Having previously only done solo work he said he had been enjoying the team environment.
"It boosts my confidence up and stuff, like if I make a mistake the other boys are there to pick me up and pick the slack up, we have each other's back really."
Looking towards the future, Jackson said within the next month they would be releasing original songs.
"It's going to get bigger as we release our new songs coming out, we have two ready to go singles."
Jackson headed back to America last week and said when he got back they would be "straight into another original".
Having enjoyed his time at home he said he was looking forward to getting back into work.
- Taranaki Daily News