“It’s that feeling of ‘I’ve had something special and experienced something I know that I cannot replace, and I have to do everything I can to keep it in my life or rekindle it,’ Guy Sebastian mused, his demeanour a world apart from the night before where the pop and R&B singer and former Australian Idol performed an exclusive showcase to a crowd.
Here, at the Mövenpick Heritage Hotel in Sentosa, the “Battle Scar”-ridden artiste sank into an oversized armchair as he softly recounted his inspiration for “Like A Drum”, the lead single from his recent 7th studio album Armageddon.
Dressed in a rough denim jacket, jeans and a New York Yankees black cap, the 32-year-old singer continued, “That’s what the song is about: ‘Someday I know we’re gonna feel again/ Just like we did when we were younger/ Someday I know we’re gonna beat again/ Gonna beat again like a drum.’ It’s basically saying ‘I’ll do anything to keep you in my life’, and if you see the music video, it very much spells it out.”
It’s evident Sebastian has been beating, or rather marching to his own drum for the past 11 years since winning the Idol title – albeit with a tinge of fatigue. After all, he’s now a father to a 2-month-old son named Archer Sebastian.
Besides familyhood, Sebastian will do anything for his fans, including performing an electrifying set of 8 songs the night prior.
Bursting on stage and belting out crowd favorites like “Gold”, and “Like It Like That”, the best male artiste at the ARIA Music Awards hit all the right notes for his first public appearance in Singapore. It’s not his first time on our shores though.
“I used to come here all the time! I’ve got family here. From Malaysia, we used to take the train here quite a few times and 2 or 3 times from Australia.”
What drew Sebastian here was the food, his eyes lit up as he rattled off the food he’s had since touch down: “We’ve pretty much pigged out on roti chanai [Indian-influenced flatbread] and rojak[fruit and salad dish] and satay [grilled meat on a stick] and nasi lemak [coconut milk rice with dishes]…there’s the obvious crab, no one does chilli crab better than here, and funny enough we haven’t had chili crab [on this trip].”
Gastronomical delights aside, he’s quick to point out that he’s careful with what he puts into his stomach before a show. “I very much watch what I eat on the day of the gig, but after the gig, I will eat everything. For singers, your whole instrument [vocals] is so dependent, it’s so fragile.”
While on the topic of food and beverages, he recalled, “I was in a country town performing on a tour, and I was really tired. Someone said ‘Dude, grab some red bull man!’ and I was like ‘Yeah!’ so I drank 2 big cans of Red Bull, got on stage, and I was shaking physically! I knew people in the front could see, and they’re like ‘Oh my gosh, guy’s turned to drugs! He’s lost it!’ I had never drank red bull in my life and this was my first one.”
With a repertoire of 6 studio albums spanning a decade and countless awards under his belt, Sebastian has honed his craft into a fine art and reached levels of success few artists can compare. Between juggling fans, tours, an infant child and working on his music, Guy Sebastian probably has had his plate full.
Meanwhile, he has that chilli crab to work on.
MTV Sessions premieres July 18 2014, and repeats on July 20, 22 and 26.
Photos courtesy of MTV Asia & Aloysius Lim.