Guy Sebastian’s soulful tribute to friend who battled depression

Guy Sebastian

Australian singer Guy Sebastian’s new song is a moving tribute to his friend and musical collaborator Luke Liang, who died last year after struggling with depression.

Guy Sebastian’s first attempt to write a song about losing his dear friend and fellow musician Luke Liang didn’t end well.

The song was a ballad and, according to Sebastian, “just not Luke Liang”. So he ripped it up and started again.

“I wanted to write something that was more joyful, and that made people want to think of his life and celebrate it rather than feel grief, because I know he wouldn’t want that,” Sebastian says.

And with Choir, a rousing celebration of Liang’s life, Sebastian has achieved just that.

“My hope is that it gives people a different emotion when they’re reflecting on their lost loved ones,” Sebastian says. “Like when Sarah McLachlan’s Angel comes on, you just want to cry. Choir has a bit of a different emotion to it; it’s more a celebration. It’s a happy celebration of the good times.”

Longlasting friendship

Since rising to fame as the winner of Australian Idol in 2003 Sebastian has been on an incredible journey. He’s sold millions of records, represented Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest and, through appearances as a judge on The Voice Australia, maintained a high profile in his homeland.

Liang, a talented multi-instrumentalist, was with Sebastian for much of this journey, serving as a key member of Sebastian’s band and helping put together his live shows.

Despite often coming across as “the life of the party”, Liang struggled for many years with mental health issues including depression. Sebastian spoke openly about learning of his good friend’s death in this interview.

Looking ahead to a UK tour

Sebastian insists that after all these years in the music industry, he’s still driven by his main passion: to make music that matters.

“I just want to make soulful music that resonates and moves people”, he says. 
Choir follows on from Sebastian’s anthemic Before I Go, released in late 2018. The platinum-selling track has been a hit in Australian and Europe. On the back of this success Sebastian is soon to announce plans to tour the UK. Details to follow on Sebastian’s website.

If you would like to talk to someone about any of the issues raised in this article, and discuss personal difficulties, call the Samaritans free any time, from any phone, on 116 123.

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