Guy Sebastian tries to follow up his success of Battle Scars with Madness

Guy Sebastian tries to follow up his success of Battle Scars with Madness

Australian singer-songwriter, and first Australian Idol winner, Guy Sebastian talks about success, and hopes for America
Guy Sebastian was just 21 when he won the first Australian Idol in 2003. Since then, he's released seven albums, done 10 tours, and been a judge on the Australian X Factor. Now 32, he's set to launch his 11th tour in Australia, in support of his forthcoming album, the aptly named Madness.

"I think it sums up my life, in that it has been complete madness," the Aussie singer said during a phone call to Young Post. "I've been constantly working around the clock with weird schedules, working through the night and being jetlagged … it's hard work, but I know it'll pay off."

Two years ago, his single Battle Scars featuring Lupe Fiasco topped Billboard's R&B/Hip-hop Digital Song Chart and went platinum. But despite that success, entering the US market has proved to be a challenge. While he is used to performing in front of massive crowds back home, Sebastian says he's happy to play for just three people in the US.

"All these years I've played these venues, and my last tour was sold out … I've built an established career in Australia, and then I go to America and I'm starting from scratch. I'm nobody," he says. "It's very humbling in a good way."

Madness, Sebastian's first album released in the US, offers him something of a fresh start.

He is beginning to make a transition to EDM, although his latest singles, Like a Drum and Come Home With Me, still carry a strong soul flavour - which is one thing, at least, Sebastian knows fans in the US appreciate.

"The whole gospel and soul music, they kind of understand it, and they get really excited to listen to the things you can do with your voice," he says.

What's more, he adds, "In Australia, no one really cares about technical stuff, and over in America they sort of give you more credit for it."

Sebastian is very aware of the increased pressure that going international has put on him. "If you're Rihanna or Beyonce, there are literally thousands of people around the world working on songs and writing songs for you," he says. "You don't really get that in Australia. I'm having to do that all by myself."

But even with all the added challenges, he's determined to make himself heard in the US, as the lyrics in his newest single, Come Home With Me, suggest: "This is my chance and here goes, here goes / You may think my lines are bad / And throw my number in the trash / But I can't let you get away."

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Soulful singer sets his sights on the States

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