Guy Sebastian

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Guy Sebastian

Since entering our TV screens as the first Australia Idol winner back in 2003, Guy Sebastian, has forged a career on honesty, passion and success, where others may have otherwise fallen by the wayside.
He captured our hearts from the moment he sung Stevie Wonder’s ‘Ribbon in the Sky’ in the idol audition, and still has it in firm grip all these years later, as he’s the only Australian male artist to have ever achieved six number one singles and two number one albums in chart history.
Over the 12 or so years Guy has been in the spotlight, he’s honed his craft and that’s been reflected in his 22 ARIA awards nominations as well as the accolades mentioned above. Taking things back to the start, Guy’s passion for music first came as a 14-year-old when he began singing for the first time. Before that, he always had a strong interest in music and would often tape his favourite songs from a young age.
In a pleasant twist, Guy has easily become that singer for many young music-lovers, and no doubt his moments in the industry (while they wouldn’t have been taped) have been watched over and over on YouTube. In fact, his Eurovision Song Contest for Australia ‘Tonight Again’ has been viewed over six million times and he does it all for his fans and love of music.
“I wouldn’t be able to communicate through music if it wasn’t supported by my fans,” Guy says.
“They are so loyal and so encouraging and it makes my love for music so much more knowing that what I compose can have a positive impact on my fans.”
These days Guy splits his time between creating new music, being a judge on Channel 7’s hit show the X Factor and spending his time with wife and kids. While X Factor may take up a bit of his time, Guy wouldn’t have it any way and loves the chance to nurture new talent.
“It’s so much fun. I love music and I love creating moments that move people. I got my start on something like this so it’s nice being able to mentor others and provide the same opportunity. It keeps me at home too which means I get so much quality fun family time. They pay me too so there is that,” Guy adds with a laugh.
Beyond having a love and value for his family, Guy is also the official ambassador for The Red Cross and World Vision, is a supporter of the Royal Children’s Hospital and in 2013 he and his wife established The Sebastian Foundation that looks to change the lives of those less fortunate on a global scale.
The foundation works with like-minded charities and organisations on making change, and already since forming only a few years ago, it has donated $30,000 to Muscular Dystrophy New South Wales, provided a $10,000 grant to the Ronald McDonald House in Randwick and alongside Freedom Kitchens helped to fix a dilapidated kitchen at the Gunnedah branch of the Country Women’s Association, which helps to cater for the Red Cross and Meals and Wheels. With Guy and his wife Jules at the helm, this is sure to be the beginning of many prosperous and heart felt projects that see change for those who really need it.
In fact, Guy’s last visit to the Surf Coast turned out to be a positive one for his foundation. “I love surfing myself and while the water is a bit colder down there it’s worth it. Last time I was in Geelong I took a panoramic shot of the jetty down there and it sold for $10,000 for my charity. There is so much beauty driving along that coast not to mention the warmth of the people,” he says.
Musically, Guy Sebastian’s most recent release is Madness [2014] which takes a look at a different side of the musician. It’s still got the soul and the passion from before, but with a few twists, most notably his work with rapper Sage the Gemini on ‘Light and Shade’.
“The minute he started to rap, and you’ll hear it on the track, he’s got this round deep, rich, creamy voice which is just so beautiful for telling stories and he says, ‘We are the newest trends most wanted, but I am my kids most wanted’ which I think is a beautiful line in there,” Guy tells fans through a clip on Facebook.
Guy will be taking his newer tracks on the road in a special regional tour hitting up over 25 towns that normally miss bigger acts. Coming from Adelaide originally, and while it mightn’t be regional as such, he realises the importance in visiting these areas.
“I grew up in Adelaide and, while that’s a city, we were often skipped with the big acts,” he says.
“I love music and I love touring and it’s important to me to get out to my fans who can’t sometimes easily access a major city. Not to mention it’s so much fun touring throughout country Oz!”
Looking forward to the upcming show, Guy urges those to get off the fence – so to speak – and come along. In classic Oprah style, there may even be something extra in it for you…
“I am giving away a car to every person who comes to my show. (I can’t guarantee whether it will be a matchbox car or a real car),” he jokes.
Guy’s Australian Idol Audition: Stevie Wonder ‘Ribbon in the Sky’
Back in the early noughties and rocking his iconic fro, Guy first won our hearts with his Australian Idol audition cover of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Ribbon in the Sky’. It’s stripped back, no band behind him and just Guy’s vocals. He won the judges over instantly with Dicko exclaiming him as, “Head and shoulders the best voice we’ve heard today”. And nothing has changed.
‘Angels Brought Me Here’ from Just As I Am [2003]
It’s the song that catapulted Guy into the world, and while it gives major noughties flashbacks, complete with sparkle sound effects, vocally and lyrically it’s a real sweet number that highlights how much Guy has developed as a musician.
Eurovision Song ‘Tonight Again’
We should have won, seriously, Australia were robbed! But in terms of the actual song this is perhaps Guy’s catchiest number yet and was a great way to represent Australia for our first time into the Eurovision song contest this year. Props to you Guy for putting together one catchy as number.
‘Battle Scars’ from Armageddon [2012]
‘Battle Scars’ is simply one of those tracks that gets stuck in your head. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t had a day where they’ve been caught humming this tune at work.
‘Light and Shade’ from Madness [2014]
Guy won us over way back in 2003 with his incredible vocals and somehow over his career his voice has gotten even better. This track showcases his voice, particularly in the opening line, and has a catchy line: “Light and shade when did I get so afraid” which features throughout.
Written by Amanda Sherring
When & Where: Eastbank Centre, Shepparton – February 20, Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo – February 21, Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool – February 25 & 26, GPAC, Geelong – February 27 & Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts, Wendouree – February 28