It was quite odd to see Guy Sebastian try to explain why he no longer performs his Australian Idol single “Angels Brought Me Here” — after all, this is the single that catapulted him to international fame. Clear attempts throughout his recent MTV Sessions showcase showed his eagerness to show off new material — from his newest single “Like A Drum” to grittier offerings such as his Lupe Fiasco collab “Battle Scars”.

But, when he relented (partly due to his many Twitter followers who requested he sing that song), it really showed how the adage rings true: oldies never run out of style. Between soulful runs flitting note by note, the Guy we all came to know and love (before anyone outside of Asia did) was still there.

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Entertaining a packed crowd of 250 in the intimate Waterfront Studios at Resorts World Sentosa, Guy breezed through his set list showing many why after more than 10 years, he is still in the game. From the groovy “Who’s That Girl” to a stripped-down cover of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop”, Guy’s rich timbre to his voice and buttery-smooth runs were just what the studio’s acoustics needed. Indeed, it was his showmanship and vocal quality that shone throughout the 1-hour set.

Stopping for a brief moment before performing “Get Along”, Guy said to the crowd that he hoped the world would love each other regardless of identifiers like race and sexuality. An apt plea indeed, given the current state of affairs in Singapore and beyond.

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Guy’s voice started giving way throughout the end of the set — those killer runs do not come without some collateral damage — but his energy permeated among the audience, with many seen enthusiastically singing along and grooving to the beat.

A call for an encore at the end of the set — it honestly felt more like a 30-minute skip-through because we had so much fun — and this writer immediately shouts “Art Of Love”. Yes, that single with Jordin Sparks that encapsulates everything about falling in and out of love. Perfect material to sing out to, no?

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So, instead of bringing out “surprise act Jordin Sparks” (which we hoped was going to happen but would never be), back-up singer Carmen Smith, who had indeed impressed throughout the set with sterling support, steps up to the plate and rivals Guy note for note in the duet. She even sounds much better than Jordin on the high notes, belting through the bridge and nicely picking up where Guy’s then-strained voice couldn’t reach.

Many MTV Sessions have passed before us, some of which impressed more than others. But until now, there has been no other act that rivals the impeccable mastery that Guy Sebastian has brought to the Waterfront Studios.

After the show, we scored an exclusive with him. Amongst other things, we asked who he would like to resurrect from the dead. Guy chose Michael Jackson, because it would be interesting dinner conversation. Thereafter, they could even possibly chill with Michael’s monkeys.

Photos: Aloysius Lim for MTV Asia

Video: Skii Chung for Popspoken. Shot with a Sony Alpha 5000.

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Repeats of MTV Sessions: Guy Sebastian will air on:-
July 20: 10am (WIB), 11am (SG/HK), 12pm (MAL)
July 22: 3pm (WIB), 4pm (SG/HK), 5pm (MAL)
July 26: 3am (WIB), 4am (SG/HK), 5am (MAL)