At the time of writing (July 2005), Guy Sebastian is about to start creating his third solo PopUrban album. It’s been only 2 years since he was launched into our living rooms and is now firmly embedded in the hearts and minds of so many Australians. He crosses effortlessly back and forth between Christian and PopUrban performances and we love it all. Non-religious people regularly (and respectfully) attend his Christian shows – he is such a stunning performer! He will also soon record his first solo Gospel album.
He has won numerous Aria Awards, Nickelodeon and MTV Award for Best video and the Channel V Award for favourite artist, and is currently an Ambassador for World Vision.
Guy Sebastian was born in Malaysia in 1981 and lived for some time in Klang, moving with his family to Melbourne, Australia at the age of 6. Guy comes from a cultural background of a Portugese/English mother brought up in India, and a Sri Lankan father from Malaysia. At the age of 10 his family moved to Adelaide, Australia. Guy has always been interested in music, taping his favourite songs from the age of 4 and singing along to them.
Guy plays piano, guitar and drums and would swap vocals for drums occasionally during his formative band years. He studied medical radiation at university but dropped out after a few years, determined to follow his heart and make a career in music and singing. Amongst other jobs, he worked at a retirement village and on a forklift, so he could set up a home studio, and finally began working as a vocal coach at a local high school. He also returned to university to study music technology, having already had a good grounding in sound engineering through performing arts ministries at Paradise Church in Adelaide.
In 2003 he submitted his song “No More” for the PilotPen competition, which he wrote and produced in his studio. He won that competition, and the song has been a favourite request to be re-recorded and released commercially since his fans found it. Several US fans have insisted that it IS a release and demanded to know where to get the single. Unfortunately, the audio is no longer available on the PilotPen site.
Guy entered the inaugural show called “Australian Idol” not knowing anything about it but being pushed into it by friends. He auditioned with Stevie Wonder’s classic “Ribbon In The Sky”. Guy exceeded the judges expectations, receiving the comment, “Head and shoulders, best voice we’ve heard all day”, by judge Ian Dickson, who added after Guy had left the area, “That’s it. That’s the standard!” On November 22, 2003 Guy won the competition, after continually astounding the audience and getting standing ovations week after week with his own song arrangements. Guy doesn’t “karaoke” songs. He does his own thing and likes to use his voice as a musical instrument. He would work on his own interpretations, then take them to John Foreman, Idol’s musical director.
His pre-selected and already recorded Idol single, “Angels Brought Me Here”, was released the Monday following his win and sold out in 2 days. The record company pressed only enough extra copies to cover sales until the end of that week, wanting to redirect customers to the album which was then due for release.
Guy’s debut album, “Just As I Am”, over which he’d had long discussions with the producers as he fought for the songs he wanted included (there were 3 of his own), had to be recorded in 6 days immediately following his win, and was released on 8 December 2003. The album “Just As I Am” is a compilation of funk, pop and urban. Despite the woeful cover pic which hardly looks like Guy, and the rather odd video-clip with the young woman he describes as “The girl in the chicken suit”, the album went multi-platinum immediately. It contains Guy’s edgy version of Prince’s “When Doves Cry” and a re-make of Louis Armstrong’s classic, “What A Wonderful World”, which many will remember Guy singing on World Idol. This album sold like the proverbial “hotcakes” and is now 7 platinum.
The week following the release of the album (December 15, 2003) he flew to UK for the World Idol competition, which unfortunately turned into something of a farce, appearing to the viewing public to be more about the judges and less about the winners and their countries. He flew back just in time to appear at the hugely popular and nationally televised Melbourne Christmas Carols at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, creating one of the largest crowds to have taken part, and in 2004 he performed at the Sydney version, for which people camped out for over 24 hours in order to gain the best positions. He also fitted in two other Christmas gigs! These events are far from staid and at the 2003 Carols he sang carols RnB style, really showing off his incredible voice, control and rhythm. The following year, he brought an old-style Gospel flavour to them and rocked the place.
In 2004 there followed the Idol Group tour, his numerous visits to Asia, (Kuala Lumpur, Phillipines and Indonesia) where “Angels Brought Me Here” rose to No. 1 in several countries and “All I Need Is You”, his own composition from his debut album, reached at least the top 3 , while his album went an early double platinum. Guy is a workaholic, which the record company should fully appreciate and, whilst still officially in Asia performing PopUrban, he returned to Australia for a Gospel festival performance, spending just 12 hours on Australian soil before flying back to Asia and PopUrban again, (at least 6 hours either way).
He visited New Zealand to publicise his PopUrban album, do a stint as a judge and talk to their own Idol contestants, then sang with his church in Adelaide – courtesy of his contract conditions – to take part in the Paradise Live Adore album which is still selling strongly. Guy has lead vocals on 3 songs, with his own “Adore” also appearing in the song list.
In October 2004 Guy Sebastian released the first album he could truly call his own, “Beautiful Life”, which contains his own PopUrban songs and collaborations with other highly respected writers (see list below). That album has become a Collector’s Classic. He also appeared on a popular annual charity compilation CD, did three Christmas and numerous other major gigs, and toured the “Beautiful Life” show in 3 major legs almost continuously, until finally taking his first holiday break at Easter 2005. The impressive total for his first 12 months as a signed artist was 2 albums of his own, appearing as a major artist on another album, a solo on a charity Christmas album and a guest on a single by Human Nature, to which may also be added his own 5 singles.
Guy Sebastian is a warm, eloquent, smart but funny guest, and he has been invited onto many TV and radio shows. A compere of one such radio show refers to him as one of the greatest male performers in Australia … ever. He appears on the Pop and/or Top30 radio programs even when he doesn’t have a single in the charts – because his presence is known to massively increase listeners.
His ability to take any song and work it until it’s his own is his hallmark. Another reviewer has stated that “If you haven’t yet fallen under the spell of Guy Sebastian, you haven’t seen him perform live.” He has also been called musically brilliant. A well-publicised comment from a respected muso was that he was a “freak” in that he seemed to be capable of anything musically, with an innate sense of timing and rhythm.
Each concert feels new, even when the songs are the same and he has a unique ability to apparently “look” at each person in the audience while performing. In other words, YOU have the concert. As one fan put it, seeing Guy Sebastian performing live is pure magic, and sometimes … more than that.
Guy Theodore Sebastian – just look at his names. Guy, as in man; Theodore - gift of god; Sebastian – revered one. The names suit this cool, calm and talented man perfectly.
Note: - As Guy Sebastian had been taking part in numerous recorded events for several years prior to the competition, fans have some 60-odd songs available to them, though not all as solos, and there are several written and sung by him some years before.
His 2nd album, “Beautiful Life” was written in collaboration with Robin Thicke, Brian McKnight, Jarrad Rogers, Rahsaan Patterson, Beau Dozier, Bloodshy and Avant, Fredro Odesjo, Mats Berntoft, Christian Karlsson, Pontus Winnberg, Henrik Jonbeck, Julian Bunetta, Storm, James Gass.
As at July 2005 - singles released include “Angels Brought Me Here” and “All I Need Is You” (which includes his version of “Climb Every Mountain”) from his debut Album, “Just As I Am”, and “Out With My Baby”, “Kryptonite” and “Oh Oh” from his 2nd album, the latter including 2 live performance tracks, in which he has been very favourably compared with D’Angelo at his best. "Oh Oh" was grabbed by radio weeks earlier than the official release date, which unfortunately then had to be brought forward, and has been acknowledged as a No. 1 hit that only didn't happen on the Aria charts.
For details regarding all other songs and music available – please check with his Official Forum available through his Official Site.