iOTA (born 7 May 1968 as Sean Hape in Pinjarra) is a New Zealand-Australian singer-songwriter and actor. As a musician he has issued six studio albums and was nominated for Best Independent Release for The Hip Bone Connection (1999) at the ARIA Music Awards of 2000. He has won four Helpmann Awards: Best Male Actor in a Musical in 2007 for Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2006 Australian cast) and Best Cabaret Performer, Best New Australian Work and Best Original Score for his work in Smoke and Mirrors in 2010.
iOTA has stated that his parents met in New Zealand; his father is Māori and his mother English. He grew up in Pinjarra, Western Australia, where his father worked at an alumina refinery.
iOTA moved out of home at age 17, into a caravan and lived for several years on the dole, while playing with a hard rock band called Loose Goose. He worked as a mechanic's apprentice before his career as an entertainer took off.
iOTA changed his name by deed poll when he was 26. iOTA has cited three reasons for this: wanting to begin a new identity as an entertainer, being openly gay, and being a recovering alcoholic.
iOTA's first album The Hip Bone Connection was released in 1999 and earned an ARIA nomination for Best Independent Release in 2000. Following the release of the album, iOTA was labelled as an acoustic/blues/roots musician, a label he does not like. His second, Big Grandfather, was considered less accessible, more atmospheric and was not as successful as his first. His third, La Caravana, "is about the nomadic life of a musician". His fourth and most recent is Beauty Queen of the Sea and uses a full electric band, moving towards rock and away from his previous roots label.
In November 2019 it was announced that iOTA would be a participant in Eurovision - Australia Decides; in an attempt to represent Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. He competed with the song, "Life" and finished 9th.
As an actor, iOTA has performed on stage in Australia as an angel in Sydney Dance Company's Berlin, as Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show, as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and in the original productions Smoke & Mirrors and B-Girl.
His acting has won him Helpmann Awards for Best Male Actor in a Musical (for Hedwig and the Angry Inch) in 2007, and Best Cabaret Performer (for Smoke & Mirrors) in 2011. He also received Helpmann Awards for Best New Australian Work and Best Original Score for Smoke & Mirrors.
He appeared in George Miller's 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road (the fourth in the Mad Max series) as the Doof Warrior, a guitarist whose guitar is also a flamethrower. He has said he learned to act by necessity: "In the country, poofters are there to be bashed, or ridiculed. So I put on a mask, and became tough and rowdy: the long hair, the slouching, the spitting, lots of drinking piss." iOTA can be seen in Baz Luhrmann's 2013 film The Great Gatsby as Trimalcio the orchestra leader.
|The Hip Bone Connection||
|Beauty Queen of the Sea||
|Wolf Number Nine||
|One of Life's Simple Pleasures||
|"Struttin' Rock Rooster"||2001||Big Grandfather|
|"I Want It Again"||2004||non-album single|
|"Handle on It"||2006||Beauty Queen of the Sea|
|"Come Back for Me"|
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch - original Australian cast
- Smoke & Mirrors - original cast
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- "Voice of Walter". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved 18 September 2018.