Listen: Guy Sebastian and Emma Mullings chat relationships, charity, and Christmas.
When Guy Sebastian first got the phone call inviting him to compete in Eurovision 2015, he thought it was a radio station prank.
“I thought it was one of you guys on radio just having a laugh,” he told Hope 103.2’s Emma Mullings in an interview.
He was glad he didn’t hang up, though, when it turned out to be a genuine offer—leading to one of his “very strange”, “amazing” career highlights.
“It was very random,” he said. “If you asked me at the start of the year what I wanted to do, Eurovision wouldn’t have been something I even thought was on the radar.”
He described his time in Vienna with the other Eurovision contestants as “a lot of fun”.
“[It was] a lot of different cultures and people from different countries that speak different languages and have different backgrounds, all coming together in a very happy, positive way through music,” he said. “I really enjoyed the spirit of the whole event.”
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When He’s Not Touring The World, He’s Writing New Songs
Eurovision was one of many high points for Guy, in a year filled with touring, coaching young stars on TV’s X Factor, and writing new music; he just launched his new single Black and Blue.
He describes it as a song reflecting his experience when Jules, his now-wife, broke up with him in their teenage years.
“It’s about being bruised from knowing that you didn’t treat somebody well, and that somebody else is going to get the opportunity to,” he said. “I think a lot of us can relate to that.”
Guy and Jules met when they were very young, singing together in their church band. It was when he became too busy with other commitments to pay her much attention, that Jules called off the relationship.
“We split up because I was pretty much a jerk,” he said. “I think I was just preoccupied. I was playing a lot of AFL and a lot of cricket at the time, and any spare time I had I was in a church band and then I was doing my own [music].
“And I studied really hard too. I have pretty strict parents, and they were like, “you need a fallback plan”, so I studied, and I think I just made the girlfriend thing the last priority.
“I was pretty much a jerk… I was preoccupied… so she dumped me.”
“So if I didn’t see her for a week, I’d be like, “yeah, it’s all good, what do you mean that’s weird?” So she dumped me.
“It took her dumping me, and me being heartbroken and all that sort of stuff, for me to learn.”
And it’s a good thing he did learn, too, as the two now make one of Australia’s best-loved celebrity couples—not only doing great things in the music and fashion industries, but also helping those in need through their charity, The Sebastian Foundation.
Sebastian Foundation Helping Those In Need
Guy said the work the foundation has done recently has been the highlight of his year – even more so than European tours or Eurovision.
“We’ve built a kitchen up in Gunnedah that services 7,500 people who are drought-stricken, homeless and in need,” he said.
“We built a playground in the Blue Mountains where people lost homes [to bushfires], with a counselling centre for parents. Parents, a lot of the time, can’t be vulnerable and show their emotions and break down in front of the children, because they have to be the strength. So we built this playground so the kids can play while the parents receive the help they need.
“And we just gave $55,000 to the Westmead Children’s Hospital with their music therapy program.” The foundation is raising funds this weekend with their annual Christmas carols event at Luna Park.
Representing The Spirit Of Christmas In Sydney
As well as hosting a celebrity carols, Guy and Jules have been appointed the City of Sydney Christmas Ambassadors for 2015. “We love Christmas,” he said of the appointment.
“I think that was one of the inspirations to have kids! To buy presents for and do the carolling thing. And Sydney is a great place for Christmas, it’s stunning.”
They’re helping to promote the many events that are happening around Sydney at Christmas time, which are listed on the city’s Sydney Christmas website.
Christmas With The Sebastian Family
On Christmas Day, Guy and Jules and their two sons Hudson, 3, and Archer, 1, (pictured above with their cousin), will be with their families in Adelaide, where they come from – which he cheekily calls “Radelaide”.
“My parents and my youngest brother Jeremy are still there,” he said. “I’ve actually rented a farm where we can escape and turn our phones off and play board games and go fishing and just connect as a family again.
“With the busyness of life, and travels, and hardships and things you go through, you just need to find those times.”
He said his eldest son Hudson was “all over Christmas” which was a thrill for him as a Dad. “It’s much more fun when they get it,” he said.
A Regional Tour, An Album On The Way
Looking forward to 2016, Guy said there’s a new album on the way, which he’s been working on in the midst of all his travelling and touring.
“It’s a bit of a different sound, and I’ve been really diving into the production side a lot heavier than I usually do,” he said.
His new single features a heavily synth, electronic, dance sound, perhaps a glimpse of what’s to come on the new record.
“I went from playing arenas in Australia to being in little dive bars in Europe.”
And in January and February he’ll be touring Australia’s big country towns and regions, with shows in places like Newcastle, Dubbo, Tamworth, Townsville, Cairns, Darwin, Wagga, Bendigo, Bathurst and more.
Guy said his European experience has inspired the style of the shows on the new tour—a very “stripped-back” sound.
“I did a tour in Europe, which took me back to how it is when you are starting as an artist,” he said, “because over there I do have a way to go.
“I went from playing arenas [in Australia] to being in little dive bars in Europe. It was one of the most fun times of my life, because it was just mainly me solo, with a very stripped-back outfit on stage.”
For tour dates, see Guy Sebastian’s website.