Ry Cuming may be the next big thing in music, and ET's got the backstory on this rising musical talent!
The Australian native grew up on the beach and began surfing at age 3. It wasn't until age 5 that he picked up his first guitar. "We grew up on the beach and literally spent six hours in the water every day, almost like fish," Cuming says.
And before he even released his self-titled debut album, he won two Australian Dolphin awards and has his music on "MTV's Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County." He also earned a musical appearance alongside Maroon 5 and Jimmy Buffett in the movie 'Hoot.'
As a child, Cuming listened to his father's musical collection, which included Marvin Gaye, Frank Zappa and The Beatles, among others. He later fell in love with Michael Jackson's music and discovered bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine.
"And then," Cuming adds, "I found Jeff Buckley. Bob Dylan had Woody Guthrie: He emulated him, dressed like him, sung like him, played his songs. I did that for a long time with Jeff Buckley. As soon as I heard 'Grace,' that was it -- that was my decision made. He's inspired me and been more of an influence than any other musician, or even in surfing, anything."
Buckley's inspiration can be heard in Cuming's intimate, acoustic-guitar sound in "Always Remember Me" (featuring Sara Bareilles) and his anthemic "City of Lights."
And it was all possible because Cuming turned down a communications degree at age 18 and embarked on an impromptu trip to Costa Rica, where he was discovered. He later inked a deal with Jive Records.
The sky's the limit for Cuming, who's currently touring with Maroon 5. You can find his self-titled album in stores now. Stay tuned for what's next!