Guy Talk

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Having gone platinum 29 times, Guy Sebastian sure knows how to sell himself...but without selling his soul

guyseb
Photography by Georges Antoni

 

On the eve of the ARIAs, we revisit some highlights from our chat with 2015 Best Male Artist nominee, X Factor judge and seasoned risk taker, Guy Sebastian.

 

I’M A CALCULATED RISK TAKER.
And I back myself with my decisions both on a creative and business level. Like any entrepreneur, you win some and you lose some, but it’s about being in the game that matters. Whether it be stock, property or music, I’ve made some good business decisions and some bad!

 

BEING A MUSO AND A BUSINESSMAN IS NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE.
Regardless of scale, if you’re a musician, you need to have some level of entrepreneurial skill, whether you’re playing pubs or stadiums. It’s a unique business that is ever-changing and adaptation is key.

 

I HAD A VERY CONSERVATIVE UPBRINGING.
That was the general culture I grew up in so I really did have to break out of a lot of moulds myself and overcome the fear of failing. I’m not saying no one inspired me but rather I’m pointing out the fact that I wasn’t really surrounded by many people who were in positions to take big risks. I’m going to name-drop here, but I was lucky enough to meet Oprah on a couple of occasions and heard her talk to her staff. She had the most incredible ability to make her team feel like they were part of something that was changing the world.

 

THE BEST ADVICE I’VE RECEIVED IS TO BE UNIQUE
And never to depart from my strengths – this is a big one in music. It’s easy to deviate when there’s someone else on the scene doing something great and many artists try to emulate it but lose themselves in doing so. It’s about reinventing in a dramatically changing environment without sacrificing the core DNA that your fans fell in love with in the first place. However, despite all of that stuff, just be nice to people.

 

BALANCING MY FAMILY AND CAREER IS BY FAR THE MOST CHALLENGING BALANCE TO ACHIEVE.
The most important thing for me is to make family time quality time. That means being in the moment – not on my phone reading comments or posting but being attentive to my wife and kids and appreciating the little things because they are so much more precious than a filtered sunrise shot from some random celeb on Instagram. It’s also about setting boundaries and realising that there’s always going to be compromise and sacrifice. I have, and will have to, say no to certain gigs that I’ve dreamt of doing in order to prioritise family time because that comes first. I set certain time limits of being away and try to involve my family in those trips where possible.

 

DAY-TO-DAY, I THINK MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD BOILS DOWN TO JUST BEING GOOD TO PEOPLE.
To remind myself every day that even though I may have had the worst day or been in a rush to get somewhere, spending that little moment to take a photo, to hug someone, say an encouraging word, or put up with someone’s very long life story can change their day.

 

Read the full interview in Issue 18 of Collective Hub

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