Since his success on The Voice in 2012, Chris Sebastian has released an EP and toured with older brother Guy. He chatted to Jessica Morris during his Runaway Tour about family, faith and the future.
Congratulations on your Runaway Tour. What’s it like headlining for the first time?
It’s both terrifying and incredible. The chance to play my songs to a crowd of people that actually came just to see me is such a great feeling. We’re starting from the bottom, but I’m excited about the future.
You released your debut EP Runaway in 2015. What’s your favourite song on it and why?
My favourite song would be ‘The Good Old Days’. I had the idea for a few years and had tried writing it for a while. Then, about a week before I was meant to finish the EP, I was at home and it just came to me. I wrote it in about 15 minutes which rarely, if ever, happens to me.
Who inspires you musically?
It’s strange, because most people would have that answer locked and loaded, but I honestly don’t have a single person—I’m inspired by so many different people. One day I’ll hear a country song, but three hours later a hip-hop song will play and I’ll find so much relevance in that too.
It used to be the classic answers, like Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, but while those guys were why I started music, the reason I am still in music comes from what I hear on a daily basis.
How does your faith influence your music?
Faith plays a huge part in what I do, from the lyrics I write, to what I write about. Music is an extension of myself and I always want that to be evident. My high school chaplain once said to me ‘Go and preach the Gospel [message of Jesus], and if need be, use words.’ It was his favourite quote, and it stuck with me more than anything [I learnt] from school. The best way to share the Gospel is to be the Gospel. Be grace and be love, try to love others like Jesus loves us—that should be everything.
What has been the most challenging aspect of developing your own identity as an artist when so many people associate you with your brother?
I think the answer is in the question. The toughest part was/has been developing my own identity, but not in a negative or bitter sense, more in silencing the voices I thought mattered, and just being me. I have, for the most part, been told what kind of music I should do and how I should sing it, but then I just stopped.
I am so proud to be ‘Guy’s brother’. He is one of the kindest, most hardworking and loving people I have ever known, and I count it a blessing to be family, so I will never let anyone paint that in a negative light. I love what I do and I just have to keep doing it the way I want, and eventually I’ll make enough noise so people will stop and listen
What is ahead for you in 2017?
I have another record coming out, more tours, more singles and, I’m hoping, more success. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who’s holding it.
Chris Sebastian’s Runaway EP is available on iTunes now.