Listen: Chris Sebastian chats to Laura Bennett
For singer Chris Sebastian, competing on the TV’s The Voice eight years after first appearing in 2012, has meant more confidence, more maturity, and more experience as an artist.
He has not only ‘turned all four chairs’ of the coaches – including brother Guy – but made it all the way to this Sunday’s Grand Finale, with Australians now voting for a winner out of the four finalists.
While he’s got an anxious wait to see who fans will choose, he also has a quiet confidence, knowing that God has everything in his hands.
Just like his love for singing, Chris’s Christian faith has been with him from an early age, and it’s something that’s helped him know his identity in one of the toughest industries.
“In a world where people will pigeonhole you and compare and do all those things, there’s one thing that has really been, I guess the cornerstone for me and it’s – I’m who God says I am,” he told Laura Bennett.
“I’m not who the critics say. I am I’m not who I sometimes think I am. I’m who God says I am. And where I’m supposed to be? If I can remain faithful, if I can just trust and be okay that it’s not my timing, it’s his. It’s not my will, it’s his.
“If I can rely on those things, and I stay on the track… it will happen.”
That being said, Chris says it’s been tough being in his brother’s shadow, and struggling to be taken seriously – so having the chance to shine on The Voice has been a real breakthrough.
“For years and years I’ve been saying ‘If I could just get the chance to show them who I am…’ That’s been the hardest part for me – is getting people to back me enough, to give me the opportunity,” he said.
“So this show has actually allowed that to happen. And that’s amazing, the most special thing.”
Just “10 Minutes” with Kelly Rowland in Person
Despite the sudden exposure, Chris said this year’s version of The Voice hasn’t been easy – with intense recording schedules; COVID-19 restrictions shutting the show down for months; then returning to no studio audience.
“The whole process has been so ridiculous, because we didn’t know if we were going to get shut down again,” he said, “So we kind of had to rush everything. We didn’t really have a day off. When we restarted again, it was kind of ‘all guns blazing’.
“If I’m going to achieve it, I do it off my merit, not somebody else’s.”
“Before COVID hit I’ve probably spent maybe 10 minutes with Kelly [coach Kelly Rowland]… Then with COVID and everything, obviously she can’t be in the studio with us. So she’s [zooming] in from LA.”
They still managed to bond though; Kelly sending Chris some baby clothes as a gift for his new daughter Ava.
Not Cashing In On His Brother’s Success
While some have asked why Chris hasn’t just asked his brother to pull some strings in the industry for him, he said his integrity means he needs to make it on his own.
“Guy has helped me on numerous occasions… but… he’s my brother and very close friend,” he said. “I don’t want to take advantage of that relationship.
“He’s worked incredibly hard to get where he is. And I think it would be unfair and I also wouldn’t feel good about that. I want to earn it on my own. So if I’m going to achieve it, I do it off my merit, not somebody else’s.”