GUY SE­BAS­TIAN

CHISHOLM ANNA

The Weekend Post - Cairns Eye - - Gigs -

HAS THE MOST NO. 1 HITS FOR AN AUSSIE MALE ARTIST. HE RE­CENTLY HAS KICKED OFF HIS GET ALONG TOUR, PLAY­ING MORE THAN 40 SHOWS AROUND THE COUN­TRY.

TALKS TO GUY ABOUT CRACK­ING THE UNITED STATES AND REACH­ING NO. 1 ON THE BILL­BOARD R& B/ HIP- HOP DIG­I­TAL SONG CHART WITH BAT­TLE SCARS, FEA­TUR­ING US RAP­PER LUPE FI­ASCO.

I HEAR YOU WENT WITH LUPE TO THE GRAM­MYS. HOW WAS THAT?

Aus­tralia did so well. Go­tye was so hum­ble. It was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. I did the red car­pet with him and saw a lot of fa­mil­iar faces. I just had a ball. You go through a real range of emo­tions. You go through that whole self- es­teem thing. You’re kind of a lit­tle bit ner­vous. In Aus­tralia, I know all the me­dia and when I’m in­ter­viewed and when I’m walk­ing the red car­pet here there are fa­mil­iar faces. I didn’t have that. It’s about em­brac­ing a world that isn’t yours. You watch the show and the per­for­mance and then the in­spi­ra­tion takes over and you get re­ally in­spired. You’re des­per­ate to get in the stu­dio and write mu­sic.

WHERE ARE YOU AT THE MO­MENT?

I’m at Para­mount stu­dios in Los An­ge­les. I record here a fair bit. I’m in the work­ing room. Los An­ge­les is very diff er­ent to Aus­tralia. You can hus­tle and talk all the crap you want, it’s so preva­lent here. But tal­ent and a good song will al­ways pre­vail and speak louder than any­thing else, that’s for sure. That’s the power of a song, all it takes is one song to get your name out there, for peo­ple to dis­cover you.

YOU HAVE A HUGE YEAR OF TOUR­ING. WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT DO­ING A RE­GIONAL TOUR?

It’s defi nitely im­por­tant. I’m do­ing 48 shows or some­thing. It was an­nounced that most of the city tours had sold out and I was kind of bummed so I said: “Let’s get in there and do a re­gional run.” It’s the last step with the record. You write the mu­sic and feel pas­sion­ately about it. You re­lease it, you tell the sto­ries and play it live.

HAS IT BEEN TOUGH GET­TING NO­TICED IN THE US?

Bat­tle Scars is do­ing re­ally well over here and we’re stoked about how it’s go­ing. It would be nice to stay over here and get to start gig­ging but it’s so im­por­tant for me to go back and play my mu­sic in my home coun­try.

DID TEAM­ING UP WITH LUPE HELP?

Absolutely. It helps you when you team up with some­one who has a profi le and who has a fan base and you al­ways need the right ve­hi­cle. He’s been able to help me over here, my profi le my and my ca­reer in Aus­tralia. I wrote the song and left the verses and stuff there for him to see if he wanted to do any­thing with it. I did a demo and sent it across to his camp and there was a lot of re­sis­tance with the song and him do­ing it. Stuff went down with his label. They ba­si­cally said it was go­ing to ruin his ca­reer in Aus­tralia if he did the song. They said I was too pop. So we had to fi ght for it. I ended up li­cens­ing it to Lupe him­self and he re­leased it by his own do­ing, with­out them. Then the song was the sec­ond high­est sell­ing sin­gle be­hind Go­tye and went eight or nine times plat­inum. I don’t think I had ever re­ally been told that be­fore. It was a bit of a slap in the face. Like any­thing else, if a song is meant to come out and speak to peo­ple, it will. I be­lieve that nowa­days more than ever

DO YOU GET FLUS­TERED MEET­ING THE BIG NAMES?

In my life I’ve sat next to Bey­once, while fi lm­ing The X- Fac­tor, Ali­cia Keys, Snoop and Robin Thicke and Brian McKnight. Oprah asked me to do two gigs for her and out of that she asked me to do a pri­vate gig. She gave me a big spiel and danced on stage with us for like an hour. It’s crazy to mix and to party with them and play shows with them, to see hu­man side to them. I was told Prince was go­ing around say­ing he loved one of my songs. That was pretty cool.

HOW OF­TEN ARE YOU IN THE US?

Jules and I have a place in the US at the mo­ment. I’m defi nitely stay­ing in Aus­tralia. We live in Syd­ney. We feel re­ally pas­sion­ate about not bas­ing our­selves in L. A. Not that we don’t like the States, we’re not re­ally mas­sive L. A. peo­ple. To live in L. A. you need a cer­tain strength. You need a cer­tain per­son­al­ity, and we’re re­ally happy be­ing in Syd­ney. The lit­tle one, Hud­son, just turned one. He’s just so cute. He’ll be vis­it­ing the stu­dio soon. I can’t get through the day with­out see­ing him.

YOUR SIN­GLE SEEMS TO HAVE A FAIRLY STRONG MES­SAGE. WHAT’S IT BASED ON?

It kind of high­lights a few events. It says stuff like “some­one wants some shel­ter”. You walk the streets and see so many more home­less peo­ple. They’re every­where, even in Hol­ly­wood you see them lit­er­ally want­ing shel­ter. You see peo­ple who have been like that for decades, then there are those go­ing on about their Hol­ly­wood Hills man­sion and how it isn’t big enough. There are a lot of strong im­ages, and of amaz­ing peo­ple like Rosa Parks.

HOW IS PRE­VI­OUS AL­BUMS?

DIF­FER­ENT FROM

I guess I took a lot of time with it. It’s quite or­ganic and there is a bit of dark­ness there. I’ve been a bit hap­pier in a lot of my mu­sic. When you have a son and fam­ily you grow up and you travel a bit and you gain more ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the world and the world he’s go­ing to in­herit. You have strong feel­ings about it. You can start wor­ry­ing about the world and feel­ings of fear can weigh you down. Bat­tle Scars is about that. It could be about a re­la­tion­ship. Ev­ery­one has their bat­tle scars. See Guy Se­bas­tian on Fri­day, May 31, from 7.30pm at Townsville En­ter­tain­ment and Con­ven­tion Cen­tre. Tick­ets: $ 79, avail­able from tecc. net. au or phone 4771 4000.

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