NSW Education LIVE – Guy Sebastian

This page is a transcript of the video NSW Education LIVE with Guy Sebastian.

Duration – 14:51

Guy Sebastian joined us to discuss the lessons he's learnt in a career in the music industry.

Transcript

On-screen text

NSW Education LIVE

Guy Sebastian

Hello, everybody, it's Guy Sebastian here. I hope you're all well. It's a very strange time, isn't it?

I'm sure some of you are being homeschooled and some of you are going to school. My kids, Hudson and Archer, they're actually they've been getting homeschooled here at home and it's really, really strange times, but I'm sure you guys have found a way to get by and also there's a lot of positives in this time as well. I've been hanging out with my kids heaps and we've been doing a lot of fun stuff and I've realized that I've forgotten pretty much everything that I learned at school because I'm trying to teach them and I'm like, how do I do that again.

But I'm here to talk a little bit about music. And as some of you may know, I'm a singer and a songwriter, and I have been doing it for quite a while longer than most of you been alive. So I love music and I love that I get the opportunity to do what I do. I get to record albums and tour and travel the world, not at the moment.

But it's been an incredible time for me the last many years and so I wanted to talk to you guys a little bit about how I do what I do and it's very hard to break that down into a short 15-minute talk but I'm gonna do that and I'm gonna break it down into for now, three main points, those three points is purpose. It's a very powerful word purpose and it's not just about music, a lot of you who do other things, you find that this will be helpful in what you do as well. So purpose, the power of no. So I'm gonna get to that one in a second and that one will help a lot of people. And then lastly, it's intuition, which is quite a big word but I'm sure some of you know what it means but it basically means trusting yourself and using your gut feelings to just get stuff done and to not think that you're not good enough, but anyway, I'll get to that later.

Let's kick off with purpose. Now, how does purpose fit into the music industry? Well, to me it's everything, as somebody who makes songs sometimes the songs they do well, and now they might even go number one and everyone plays it on radio, but then there's a whole lot of songs that doesn't win an award or they don't even make the top 50 or even the top hundred. And people decide that they're not even gonna play it, and so not everything becomes a success in what I do. I know some of you might have seen some songs like 'Battle Scars' and 'Choir' and 'Like a Drum' and a few other songs that I've released, you might have seen those do well but guess what, there's a whole lot of other ones that don't do very well and this is where purpose comes into it. Now, some of you might play sport, and sometimes you might win and sometimes you might lose but it doesn't mean that you give up. You've just got to keep going because if you lose, you don't just go or I hate cricket now I'm never gonna play cricket again. Now you don't play just to win. And it's the same thing in music. I don't write a song just because I wanted to win an ARIA or for everyone to play it on radio.

Sometimes what you think is a failure or what you think might be or I've lost, guess what, some people will take that song and take that music and they will love it. And so I'll get letters about songs that didn't really do very well. And people will say "that was my favorite song and it really helped me through this time when I was sick or this time and I was really having a tough time and you made me smile through that song". So my purpose isn't just about winning. My purpose is in the power of music. And some of you might apply that to sports. So the purpose isn't in just winning that cricket game or that netball game, it's because you love doing it and you love that you get to be with your teammates, and you love that, maybe within that game, you said something really nice to your teammate. And it really made that person's day and what a great purpose for that sport to have, than not just winning. So you've got to see outside of what people call success, and you need to find your purpose in a much deeper way.

So I'm gonna pause for a second and tell my kids to be quiet 'cause they're being super loud. Hudson, Archie.

Hudson

Yeah.

Guy Sebastian

Shush. I'm trying to do a thing here. They're so loud.

Anyway, I'm gonna talk about point number two, which is the power of no. Boy, this is a tough one because this one is probably the most difficult thing. Now I'm sure you guys are probably thinking I'm just gonna talk about technical things to do with music, like chords and all that sort of stuff. This stuff is way more important. You can learn that with your teachers and your music teachers. I'm gonna tell you about things that really matter on a grand scale and the power of no is a big one 'cause some of you think that there's a certain way of getting into the industry, that there's a certain way, maybe if I change my hair, maybe if I changed the way I talk or the way that I behave, then people will like me and I'll actually get more followers on social media and they'll like my music more. And you know what, a lot of times in my life, a lot of people, they tried to tell me to be more rude in my songs and swear in my songs or make my videos a lot more ruder and have like naked people and stuff in it like swimsuits and all crazy stuff like that and that just wasn't who I was. And people even told me, "hey, look, you're not gonna succeed unless you do this stuff."

But this is where it comes back into purpose. My purpose wasn't just about succeeding. My purpose was in the power of music, through me being me and not compromising or not changing who I am. And so the power of no is a tough one because sometimes you will see this way of getting into a job or into the industry, the easy way. And in sport, we see that via cheating, people cheat, and my brother, he plays golf and he loves to cheat. No I'm joking. I'm just kidding. I'm just teasing. I'm about to go and play golf with my brother so but I've got friends who cheat all the time and it's so frustrating 'cause it's like, dude, you will never get better. But the power of no means that you're gonna say, "look, I'm not gonna take the easy way and I'm not gonna change who I am. I'm gonna not be a cheat or I'm not gonna do things that I think are wrong". Like maybe swearing, now some people might swear they might be cool with that I'm not I just didn't really wanna put that out there with my music and so I've tried to keep you know my music quite positive and quite loving and honest and so the power of no is big. So you will face times in your life where people will try and tell you to do things and it doesn't feel right inside just doesn't feel right. But they'll say, "but you've got to do that if you wanna succeed".

And you've got to trust your intuition, which is next. And you've got to back yourself and be able to say no, 'cause there's big power in that. I'm gonna talk about the thing I just mentioned, intuition. And what is intuition mean? Well, intuition is kind of using, yeah like I said before your gut, using your gut feeling and using what you know to be something that you want to be. So what I mean by that is, behind me, there's this beautiful-like, painting and say I wanted to start painting. I don't have to look at a painting like this and go, "Oh, but I'm not Picasso, who's a really famous painter – I'll never be as good as him, so why should I even start?". But no like, you've gotta use your intuition and use what you know and use what you feel inside to just start it. Because there's so many times in my life, I could have said, well, I won't be as good as that person or that person or that person. Why should I even start?

But after all these years, I've found myself being able to do stuff I never thought I'd be able to do. I mean, I only took up the guitar not too long ago. And I was surrounded by all these people who were incredible guitars and I was like, I'll never be that good, but I just did it. I went for it, now am I the best guitarist in the world? No, but I'm getting better and better. Piano, same thing. Recording, like I can record all of my music. I've got my own studio, there's cables everywhere, I never thought I'd be able to do that. But what you guys have now is YouTube and the internet and everything that I didn't have when I was young. There is stuff I wish I could learn when I was younger, but I couldn't. But if you wanna learn something like say you wanna learn how to record something in GarageBand, or on Logic or you just look it up on YouTube, and you look up all these different videos and it teaches you how to do it. It's incredible.

And I'm sure you guys know about YouTube, of course, I'm not trying to say that YouTube's like this new thing but yeah, intuition you just gotta use your initiative to really do what you wanna do but not get overwhelmed. You don't have to be like the best of the best of the best just to start, make a start and you'll find after years and years of just doing stuff and being brave, you'll be like, "Oh my gosh, I can do this now". So that's my three points:

  • purpose
  • the power of no
  • intuition/initiative.

Can I introduce you to Ronnie before I finish my video? This is my dog who we just got not too long ago. And his name is Ronnie. And so cute, you're so cute. You are the best run. Can you see him? He's very dark. And he's very loving and so sweet. Say hi Ronnie. Hi. All right, off you go. It's my video not yours, get out, get out of it.

Here's a song that I wrote for a friend of mine and it's called 'Choir':

I know it's weird to say this
But I've been thinking 'bout it lately
Reminiscing about us in Vegas
Drinking like we're famous
Man, those days were crazy
But your book ran out of pages
And now I wish I never waited
To tell you out of all the moments in my life
The ones I got to share with you
Were probably my favorite.

I know you're looking down on us
I'm missing you bro
I hope you're proud of us
At least I know you made it home
And I know you're not alone

'Cause now you're singing with a choir
Now you're dancing with a crew
You ain't doing this solo
We all ridin' with you
No one can put out your fire
Nobody filling your shoes
'Cause now you're singing with a choir
We all ridin' with you
Yeah, yeah

We fill up all our days with
Workin' and grindin' just to make ends meet
Too busy to call, we'll catch up next week
And then it gets to next week
And we say maybe next week
And then before you know, we all feeling old

Asking ourselves
"Where did my friends go?"
So don't wait till they go home

'Cause now you're singing with a choir
Now you're dancing with a crew
You ain't doing this solo
We all ridin' with you
No one can put out your fire
Nobody filling your shoes
'Cause now you're singing with a choir
We all ridin' with you
Yeah, yeah

Someday, I know, my friend
I'm gonna see you again
And when I do, you better have a part for me
You sing the melody and I'll take the harmony
'Cause we ain't done making music yet
We got some more sound checks
And this time we gonna have about a million voices
Singing, dancing
Party in your mansion

'Cause now you're singing with a choir
Now you're dancing with a crew
You ain't doing this solo
We all ridin' with you
No one can put out your fire
Nobody filling your shoes
'Cause now you're singing with a choir
We all ridin' with you
Yeah, yeah

We all ridin' with you
We all ridin' with you
We all ridin' with you
With you

Thank you so much and remember to smile during this really crazy, crazy time. There's heaps of love for you guys and stay positive. Be good to your teachers.

End of transcript.

Return to top of page Back to top