Guy Sebastian, stripped back and intimate

Guy Sebastian_Part 1 EP

Australian singer-songwriter Guy Sebastian will play a series of intimate headline shows around the country this March and April to give fans a raw look into his forthcoming album, Conscious.

Jodie Bellchambers caught up with Guy to find out what audiences can expect to experience from his shows.

I’m really excited about this tour because no one has ever seen me tour in this capacity. They’re obviously very intimate venues. I’ve gone from an arena tour which is a whole different beast; we’re talking horn section, big background vocal section, programme, EDO content, everything is in sync and high pressure. This is really very interactive. I’ll be throwing in things that I’ve just written yesterday. A lot of them aren’t going to be produced. So I’m going to be playing on piano the top line and then saying this is how I’m going to produce it. I think it will be a really cool show. I think if I was a fan of someone I would really like to see them in this capacity halfway through making their album. I feel like I’ve written plenty of songs so I am now producing them. The show themselves will not only be different on that front, it will be myself and another musician who is triggering a whole bunch of stuff. He is playing electronic pads and keys and guitar and the drummer is playing drums and possibly guitar as well and I’m playing drums, guitar and piano. Sort of almost swapping instruments and doing every song in different configurations but also really diving into sonically showcasing the really interesting sound of the album. I want to make sure that everything we are playing, people can see us visually playing it.

 

Has your Musical style changed with regards to the song writing process on this album and what inspires you to be the musician you are now?

I’m releasing the album in 2 parts – hence why the first is called part one. I didn’t want to necessarily call this one EP2 as it could be more than 6 tracks now as I have been writing so much. This album is ever evolving I keep changing the track list and replacing some of the songs that I thought were strong with others that are better.

On this album I haven’t really cared so much about the songs being a hit in terms of being formulaic with it. If I wanted to have that sort of album I guess I would have had it sounds like you know everything that is occupying the charts but I feel like I have been really true to my sound and I’ve gone a lot more R&B on this album, mixed in electronica, it’s more a soul electronica pop album. I love pop music I love trying to tackle that song writing process by having something that is an earworm. I think that is the hardest thing to do to write something that is “impactful” lyrically. For some reason when I’m writing I really like certain structures as opposed to just indulging in the musician side of who I am and sharing a whole bunch of random chords and putting tricks in the song. Sometimes having an arsenal of musicality can work against you as a songwriter. I could spend the whole song riffing and showing off and putting practice into my craft but nobody really cares at the end of the day unless they are a singer. I haven’t really chased a chart or airplay which is probably really obvious with some of the releases I’ve done like Candle. Even Set in Stone is not a pop song it’s a heartfelt ballad. …. a bit of an earworm, it’s got a trashy post.

I’ve really pushed the boundaries on the production side of things, made it interesting and tried to engage producers who I froth off. There are a whole bunch of producers who every time I’m in a room with them give me that “stick” face like I’m gun naked -bland chatting productions trying to adhere to a certain formula and I really need to push the boundaries a little bit with the production side of things. Also my lyrics have evolved so much in the last little while to the point where I’m almost embarrassed that I didn’t put this amount of time, this amount of depth to the lyrics, giving them or layers into. I used to write a song and go with the feeling and that was it. I’ve discovered feelings need a bit more of an intense scrutiny so that they can release a lot more depth.

Q: That comes with life experience, children etc….

Yeah absolutely. This album, especially EP1, I can’t really think of a song that wasn’t inspired by my own family or Jules. Candle about Jules, Small Talk, Set in Stone which came together after a sad event that happened. Conscious is a song written about how I decided to be – with age of course – as you said I took hold a little bit of my own life and what I stand for and believe in. I grew up in a fairly sheltered and tunnel visioned environment where it was all done for me almost. If you thought for yourself then you were castigated.

Are you working towards establishing yourself as a particular style of singer, I know soul music runs deep through in your veins?

I’m not sure I’ve thought about anything like that at all. I’m sort of just writing music. I am a soul singer. My whole thing is soul. I grew up singing gospel soul music. I guess it’s about transforming that into the industry and into pop and whatever genre I find myself in. I’m going to continue on the path of not thinking about it because then it might become disingenuous. I love music I love it more than I’ve ever loved it which is odd. Some might think it would taper off seeing as I’ve done it for 14 or 15 years. I feel like I’ve had a musical awakening. I’m so desperate to get the studio and so desperate find something new to listen to every day. I’ve always loved it but it just feels different.

 

Guy Sebastian’s new EP will be released in June and you can hear the album performed at The Triffid in Brisbane on 31 March and The Great Northern Hotel Byron Bay on Saturday 1st April.

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