TV SMITH's Dua Sen: The Guy From Simpang Lima
TV Smith's Dua Sen
TV Smith's Dua Sen. The politically incorrect irregular columnist combines his idiosyncratic observations and tangential commentary into a blog...


by TV Smith

Malaysia-born Australian Idol, Guy Sebastian, is in town on a promotional tour. I caught up with him for dinner at the misleadingly named 'Spices' restaurant. We both thought it serves Indian or local cuisine but were fed some fine funky fusion food instead. Despite his unconsummated cravings for satay, the humble lad from Klang shared some of his thoughts on a wide range of topics; from piracy to babes…

TV: Do you know what's a blog or blogging?

GS: Blog? What's a blog?

TV: Eh, never mind, let's move on…

TV: What do you personally feel about music piracy?

GS: When I was in Philippines, I saw a lot of people who love music but not all of them have enough money to spend, say 500 pesos, on a CD. Sometimes I feel even though it is illegal, it provides a chance for people who are unfortunate enough not to have that kind of money to have a chance to listen to your music. I guess if people are listening to it, enjoying the music, if they're touched by it, that's what matters. As a record company you are probably not too happy, but as an artiste you think more people are listening to your music and that's cool.

TV: Did you come across any of your stuff pirated when you went shopping earlier, here in KL?

GS: I was at a shopping complex in the Bukit Bintang area, and I was staring at my own (pirated) album and this guy, the shopkeeper, looked at me and said "Oh no!" In the end he asked me to autograph a copy [laughs].

TV: What do you think of people sharing music online?

GS: You know, I have done it myself, so I can't really complain… [chuckles]. Seriously, it is the same thing you know, good in one way and bad in another. It will be quite unfortunate when stuff becomes so accessible that people don't buy records anymore. All it's going to do is reduce the amount of talent that's out there. It is going to make it impossible for people with talent to be able to make a living. It's all about supporting music. I used to kind of download stuff but when I saw my own CDs in the stores, it changed my whole perspective.

TV: What's with the Afro hairstyle?

GS: Actually started as laziness; I was at uni, working a couple of jobs and trying to afford a studio. So I just couldn't be bothered wasting money on a haircut. Since it has become my 'thing', they won't let me cut even though I can afford it now.

TV: Which part of Klang were you from and do you have any recollections since you migrated at an early age?

GS: I was from Simpang Lima and I can remember only the playground, stray dogs and nasi lemak

TV: After, seventeen or eighteen years in Australia, do you now hate durians?

GS: No, I love durians! And rambutans too [correctly pronounced].

TV: Do you speak any Bahasa Malaysia now?

GS: No, only a few words… Terima kasih, apa khabar, nasi lemak, satay, ha ha ha…

TV: You mentioned that you have your own home studio. Did you get to incorporate some of your original and earlier work into this current album?

GS: My second single, "All I Need Is You", is one of the songs I wrote about a year and a half before Idol

TV: Speaking of which, who's the babe in that music video?

GS: She's actually the director's brother's girlfriend. So she was taken unfortunately [laughs].

TV: What do you think of Malaysian women?

GS: They're hot, very good looking.

TV: You may have noticed that there are now plenty of Malaysian women who dye or tint their hair, what do you think of this fad?

GS: I don't know, I'm not a huge fan of that. I think Asian women need to have black hair. I mean maybe brown, but blonde? Something's not right.

TV: Tell me something about your upcoming second album.

GS: It's coming along really well. I got to write with Brian McKnight and a whole bunch of other people. There's some really beautiful ballads in there and the up stuff is kind of 70's funk mixed with some kind of disco sounds. I think it's cool and it's fresh.

TV: Boleh cari makan sekarang?

GS: Yeah, I've got my money now, but I'll be a liar if I say money isn't important. It's not the reason why I do my music but the money never hurts [laughs].

TV: Any advice for our Malaysian Idol aspirants?

GS: Just always keep it about the music, stay focused and keep your feet grounded 'cause they can all go in one second. At the same time, take risks; don't do 'safe' songs.

This interview also appears in print and online in StarMag (The Sunday Star).
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Picture, dinner and interview courtesy of BMG Music Malaysia.


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