It has always been about music for Marc Collis.
From age five, the Elmore-born musician learned piano before getting into guitar and writing his own songs at 11 years old.
"I started getting piano lessons from a lady named Chris Bryant who lived on a farm in Elmore," he said.
"From (those piano lessons) I just went full into music."
"We moved away from Elmore when I was about 10 but I have always kept in contact with my friends."
At the same time, Collis was living with a disease called Osteo Genisis Imperfecta.
The disease means his bones break easily. He has used a wheelchair since he was 12.
"When I was younger in Elmore, I would break bones three or four times a year," he said.
"Depending on what (the break was) I would be out of action one or two months. I was (often) in and out of hospitals and with specialists.
"At about 12, I had a double fracture in my femur, tibia and fibula and was in hospital for two months.
"I made the decision that it wasn't worth walking around and (potentially) falling down or putting my foot down too hard, so I decided a wheelchair was easier.
"There were still times I did break something but it curbed the amount of time I was in hospital and became a part of me."
The formation of a band called Plunger (later re-named White Rim) with his sister and family friends led Collis and his bandmates to being signed with a record label when Collis was 18.
"My sister was 14 and we were touring pretty constantly around Australia for 10 years," he said.
"We played with Nickleback on their tour, supported national bands like Powderfinger, Silverchair and Killing Heidi in the early 2000s
"After the band stopped, I pursued a solo career and signed with Empire. I had an acoustic pop sort of vibe and toured with John Farnham and played with Whitney Houston at the Victorian Arts Centre before she passed."
Despite his health difficulties, Collis was determined to keep following his passion.
"When I played in heavier bands, I broke things a couple times," he said. "I was collected by my guitarist once but accidents happen.
"(Some felt) the wheelchair was a bit of a prop to make a (point of) difference. I remember coming out to play at Rod Laver Arena and the audience thought it was fake because I use my legs a bit.
"I heard some people laughing because they thought it was part of the show until they realised that's not the case."
For a few years, Collis went away from music but quickly realised life in an office wasn't for him
"The corporate business world wasn't for me," he said. "I went back to music about two years ago and was signed through Empire 12 moths ago.
"While I was away from music I got into sound engineering and producing.
"For the style of music I'm doing, which is more electronic focused, I can do without a band most of the time. I have a home studio and can go into (Empire's) big studio if I need it."
Now more than ever, the platform of everything being online and going in and out (of fashion) is quicker than ever... The premise of my want to start over from scratch again isn't about fame. It's more that (music) is my soul food. It makes me, me.Marc Collis
The focus on his own music without external influences has meant a lot for Collis.
"When a young band gets signed, there is an idea that everyone else makes it happen," he said.
"You leave a lot of aspects to the record label because you believe they know what's best.
"But as you get older only you know what's best for you."
This time around, Collis' solo career - under the stage name Arc M - has taken off quicker.
While his songs haven't made a huge impact on Australian radio, American radio networks, led by Montana and Miami, have had his single Change on regular rotation.
"We have been trying to rationalise the audiences between Australia and the US," he said.
"There is a big disparity in music taste, but that being said, there is a massive difference in the amount of people that can hear a song.
"There are radio stations for colleges you could make a living from.
Collis said starting his music career over wasn't about making it big.
"The industry changes regardless of its era," he said.
"Now more than ever, the platform of everything being online and going in and out (of fashion) is quicker than ever.
"Everything is turned around so quickly and forgotten in less than a year.
"So, the premise of my wanting to start over from scratch again isn't about fame. It's more that (music) is my soul food. It makes me, me."
The US interest in Collis music means he will return to the studio earlier than he planned.
"It has taken off faster than I expected so I need to really head back in to create more content," he said.
"I was expecting to work more and get stuff out more slowly. We hoped to (only) release a few songs over the next six to eight months so we could hit next year hard.
"But instead I need to be back in the studio as soon as possible.
"I didn't expect it would happen as quick as it has."
With new music expected local music fans and old friends from the Bendigo region can only hope there is an Arc M show in the area soon.
"My father lives in Inglewood and my auntie is out near Kangaroo Flat, so I have plenty of family up there," Collis said.
"Last time I played in Bendigo was in the mid-2000s with a heavier band. Not only am I not in the loop with the Bendigo music scene, I'm still coming to terms with the actual (Australian) music scene in general.
"I should but up with (Bendigo's music scene) but I'm not and that's to my detriment.
"A lot of music comes out of rural areas in Australia. Even when musicians come to cities to follow contracts, there is plenty of talent (from the regions)."
To hear Arc M's (Marc Collis) music visit www.arcmusic.com or find Arc M on Facebook.
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