His brother has already conquered the Australian Idol competition and the local music charts, but now Chris is the latest Sebastian to emerge from the shadows to have a crack at mainstream success.
His infectious, feel-good debut single ‘F.L.O.W.’ was released recently, so we decided to ask Chris about the new track, his future plans and the pros and cons of having a decidedly famous brother.
Q : Did your parents specifically set out to create a family full of amazing vocalists?
Haha I don’t think so! They aren’t musical themselves, so I have no idea how we all have an interest in music. My dad had us playing other instruments growing up. We never really had singing lessons; I played saxophone, Guy played violin, my younger brother played drums and my eldest, piano.
Q : When was it that you first came to the realisation that singing was what you wanted to do?
Ever since i can remember I loved singing, but when i was 13 I was sitting at the computer in my room, I opened this program called ‘Cool Edit’ and I started playing around on it. I ended up plugging in a microphone and recorded a song. I remember sitting back and being so proud and it was at that point I knew it’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Q : What was your first ever public performance and what are your memories of that?
My first public performance was at a charity AFL match. There were about 40,000 people there and I was singing the national anthem. I was so nervous and worried that I would get the words wrong, but thankfully I got them all right.
Q : That ‘Sebastian’ surname – is that a help or a hindrance in getting yourself noticed in your own right as your own artist? And why?
Like everything there are advantages and disadvantages, because of the “name” people can relate to it in some way having almost been there for his journey through Idol. But in saying that, it has probably made it harder for me for numerous reasons. But I would be doing this whether Guy was or not, this is also my dream and my passion, and that’s why I’m doing it my way.
Q : Has Guy been able to give you any hints and tips as to how to break through?
Guy has definitely given me some great advice, but above that, the most I have learnt has been from his actions. I’ve had the honour of observing his career from a close distance and have learnt so much just from watching what he does.
Q : Your debut single ‘F.L.O.W.’ is a rather likeable R&B/pop number (loving the harmonies, by the way). How did it come about?
‘Flow’ was so much fun to make. I was in my studio one night and it started with a few chords. I put down a few sounds and a beat and loved it, took it to my producer’s studio and we wrote it in one night. We were sitting down wondering what to write about and I said “this sounds like a really fun song, let’s just go with the flow” and at that point myself and the two other writers looked up and knew that we’d had a moment haha. We wrote and recorded the song over two nights which we have never done before.
Q : It seems stylistically to echo those feel-good pop numbers of the ’80s – was that what you set out to achieve?
Absolutely, I’m “ol skool” so I’m all about the the melody. A lot of what I do is influenced by sounds such as Boyz II Men, Michael Jackson, Brian McKnight and Stevie Wonder.
Q : And no doubt there’s more where that came from on the way? Who have you been working with musically?
There sure is. So far, we have finished about 16 or 17 songs for the record. I have done everything locally in Australia – I wrote almost the entire album with Melbourne producer Jhay, we just connected on a musical level and it just worked. And another guy called Adam Reily who has written for everyone from my brother to Jess Mauboy to Shannon Noll.
I cant wait to release the album – I’m hoping early next year. I’m so proud of this album. It’s very close to me because I’ve been working on it for a few years.
Q : Can people come and see you perform anywhere in the near future?
Yes for sure! We are setting up shows right now, so as soon as we have them confirmed you can jump on Facebook and Twitter to find out.