Recently, in a dingy bar with the slightly unusual name of Drom on New York’s Lower East Side, Guy Sebastian found himself playing to an audience of eight. And he loved it.
“I played a residency in that bar for a month, and no one had any idea who I was, but it grew from a few people to a few hundred people. The whole experience of doing that has been so satisfying,” says Guy. “It’s been really good for my soul.”
And a huge serving of soul is exactly what informs Guy Sebastian’s fifth studio album Like It Like That. If there’s one thing that this album will do, it will move both your feet and your heart and get right into your bones whether you like it or not.
Recorded in Los Angeles and New York, the album was produced by David Ryan Harris (John Mayer, Mariah Carey, Neville Brothers), and Fredrick Rodesjo – with Mayer himself featuring on guitar on a few tracks - “All To Myself”, “Fail To Mention” and “Never Be You”.
The result is an album of true musical depth, an album which perfectly showcases the rare and charismatic talent of one Guy Sebastian. It’s all about big sounds, bigger beats, blasting horns and those oh-so-soulful Sebastian vocals.
And for the first time creatively, Sebastian says he’s exactly where he wants to be.
“I’m in a really happy place musically,” says Guy, “because this is exactly the style of music I want to do and that I’ve wanted to do for so long. It’s not about me changing the world; it’s just about fun music - pure and simple.”
Indeed it is. One of the album’s standout tracks, “All To Myself”, will hit you with a great big tidal wave of sound and get you up and dancing. With its nods to classic’60s soul - from the beautiful harmonies of the soulful backing vocals, to the big blast of the horn section, this song rises and rises again to a joyous crescendo, which will have you moving before you realise it.
“With my ballads, I want to break people’s hearts or inspire them to love,” says Guy. “It’s more of a personal thing than a political thing. When someone puts my songs on the radio, I want it to lift them from whatever they’re feeling. Make them feel great, make them move, make them feel happy.”
“I wrote the music on this album based on how I feel when I listen to the Otis Reddings and the Wilson Picketts of the world. I’ll put that music on and it always just lifts me and makes me feel great.”
“Music is so powerful. It’s powerful enough on a personal level, without me trying to change the world,” says Guy. “I just want to change someone’s 10 minutes on the way to work.”
Guy Sebastian is one of Australia’s greatest singers and performers.
Guy grew up in the outer suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia. Guy’s interest in music started at a young age singing at his Kindergarten graduation at the age of four. This interest continued throughout his early teens as he sang actively at church, weddings, and in various bands. He graduated high school with straight A’s and studied Medical Radiation which he later left to pursue his dream, to be a singer/songwriter.
In 2003 Guy became the first Australian Idol winner, capturing the hearts of Australians with his uniqueness and incredible vocal talent. His first solo single 'Angels Brought Me Here' debuted at number one and was the highest selling Australian single in ARIA chart history. The smash hit single reached No. 1 in four Asian countries and New Zealand proving Guy is a world class talent, subsequently he was invited to sing as a guest at American Idol in 2004.
His debut album ‘Just As I Am’ again dominated with record breaking sales. The success carried effortlessly into his second album, ‘Beautiful Life’, where Guy took more control of his craft, giving audiences a clearer perspective on his work without the weight of Australian Idol in his shoulders. 'Beautiful Life' went Double Platinum earning him another Number 1 single 'Out With My Baby', which also scored him a 2005 MTV AVMA for Best Pop Video. A sell-out live tour showed the country he was more than just an as-seen-on-TV star with big hair, he was a genuine musician who oozed talent.
In 2006 Guy won the publicly voted Fave Aussie gong at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards in Sydney, for the second year in succession. Guy also partnered Sarah Ryan three-time Australian Olympic swimmer on Seven Network's program, It Takes Two.
Then, having sold a staggering half a million records, Guy released his third album ‘Closer To The Sun’ in September 2006. The album came in at No.4 in the charts and saw three top ten charting singles released.
In May 2007, Guy embarked on one of his most incredible adventures of his career, performing with a 60 piece strong Australian Philharmonic Orchestra at the Sydney Opera and Hammer Hall, Melbourne.
Early in 2007, Guy Sebastian traveled to the home of blues, roots and soul - Memphis, Tennessee - to record his latest record ‘The Memphis Album’ which he recorded with the original members of the Stax Records in-house band who are also original members of Booker T & the MG’s and The Blues Brothers Band. The Memphis album was released in November 2007 to critical acclaim and came into the charts at No. 3 putting Guy into the exclusive group of artists who have had four consecutive top 5 albums. Within 3 weeks of release The Memphis Album had reached Platinum record sales and set itself to be one of the biggest records of 2007/2008.
In December 2007 Guy was invited to perform and performed on Asian Idol to an estimated television audience of 300 million and as a result the Memphis Album was released by his record company SonyBMG in China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.
March 2008 will see Guy embark on his national Memphis Tour backed by the musicians who performed on the album including Steve Cropper, Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn, Steve Potts and Lester Snell. Guy will be performing all the classic songs of Memphis and the tour is set to be one of the special live events of the year.
Aside from his music, Guy has always been open about his strong Christian beliefs and has spoken of plans to release a gospel album for the American Market sometime in the future. As a result of this Guy was invited to write and record the official song for World Youth Day 2008. On 20th July 2008 Guy will perform the song in front of Pope Benedict XVI and an expected television audience of 2 billion and a live audience of 500,000.
He is an ambassador for World Vision and in the past has been nominated for the "Young Australian of the Year" award.