A violent past, drug problems, the loss of a child - this sort of turbulent history is something a fresh talent on the music scene would usually prefer to keep hidden. Not Stan Walker.
With the blessing of his parents - his mother, April, 44, and father Ross, 42 - the straight-talking Kiwi singer and Australian Idol winner shocked fans as he released intimate details of his life. The aim, he says, was to help others in similar desperate situations.
'Mum and Dad totally supported me,' says the Australian-based star, speaking candidly to New Idea from his Auckland hotel. Stan, home to promote his debut album Introducing Stan Walker, has never hidden the fact Ross used to beat his wife and children while April struggled to keep the family together. 'They're not issues people want to bring up. The truth. The real stuff that happens. I want to bring down these ugly generational curses. It doesn't have to be like that. But that's what we went through to get to where we are now,' he says. 'I don't know if I did good [revealing my past]. I just did what was necessary.'
Today, devout Christians April and Ross - who are helping to educate young Australian NRL players about domestic violence - have turned their lives around, and they're ecstatic at how their son has transformed his. Only a year ago the 19-year-old soul singer was on the dole, killing time with friends at the beach in Coolangatta, Queensland. Today he's an international star who's mobbed by fans whereever he goes. And forever keeping a watchful eye over her boy is April.
'Mum loves it! She's just had her hair done,' laughs Stan, whose face lights up at the happiness his success has brought his mother. 'She really looks after me, my mum.'
Overwhelmed with the amount of support Stan's received at home and in Australia, April always believed her son would be a star.
'Stan had God's favour on him. I used to cry when he sang in our church,' April recalls. 'I'm so rapt for him. It's a dream he's had for a while but didn't do anything about it. He didn't feel it was right for him until he really found himself and knew who he was.'
April's been a tower of strength in Stan's life, who undoubtedly supported him when his ex-girlfriend miscarried their daughter this year. The little one's name, Ataahua - meaning 'beautiful' in Maori - is tattooed along the side of his neck.
'I almost quit Idol,' reveals Stan, who lost Ataahua just as he made Idol's top 24. 'But people need to know there's someone else out there going through this.'
Although he's incredibly career focused, Stan hasn't given up on finding love again, and the 'rugged romantic' wants his next partner to be his wife.
'I want someone who can sing, is funny, can eat and someone who loves life, family, God and me,' he says
But - watch out, girls - Stan wants someone who shares his dreams of a big brood.
'I want seven children!' Stan reveals. 'I don't want to start having kids when I'm 35. I want to start young so I can have heaps!'
Family is hugely important to the pop star, whose jam-packed schedule means he'll have only a few days back in Coolangatta to enjoy the festive season. The New Year will also be manic as Stan aims to release a second album.
'The world needs something real, rather than something glossed up and fake,' explains Stan, who's already began writing track lyrics. 'People's stories want to be heard. Hopefully I'm one of those stories for a lot of them.'