Sebastien Izambard was born on March 7th, 1973, in Paris (France).
Sebastien is a singer, composer, producer, presenter, actor and entrepreneur who is most known for being the only completely self taught singer in global pop-opera phenomenon IL DIVO.
Launched in the UK after a worldwide search of the international opera houses and concert halls by pop impresario Simon Cowell, Il Divo have since become the most successful international musical break-out story of the past few years, selling more than 40 million albums to date. The group has garnered over 150 gold and platinum awards in 33 Countries. Their first album was the highest charting debut for the UK signed act ever in America, their 2nd album “Ancora” the only classical crossover album to ever debut at #1 on the Billboard top 200.
Il Divo may have won the Artist of the Decade award at the Classical Brit Awards at the Royal Albert Hall the evening before we meet, but Sebastien Izambard isn¹t the sort of person who lets such things go to his head. The French singer, already a highly successful pop artist in his native country before Il Divo's formation in 2003, is absolutely clear about why the quartet are still able to top the charts worldwide, after seven years. “You can receive all the prizes in the world,” he says, “but if you don't have an audience to perform to, well, you can keep your award on the mantelpiece, but what does it give you?” All four of them, Sebastien continues, keep their eye on the ball. “Nothing is ever taken for granted. We're very lucky with our record label and management. It's all about teamwork. We've had our fair share of criticism over the years, so it felt amazing to have that experience last night, to be reminded of what we have achieved. But the biggest achievement is seeing all the fans out there. And they are still there, seven years on.”
In common with Urs, David and Carlos, Sebastien¹s creative life before Il Divo was one of extraordinary diversity - and so it remains. He couldn't conceive, he says, of resting on his laurels or limiting his horizons. “As an artist, you should never think, "I know how to do this, I'm fine". You need to always question yourself. I don't mean dwelling on things in a masochistic way. But you have to evolve, and recognise your weaknesses.” In the past 18 months, Sebastien's life has been a hive of activity - but then, it always has been. A tough childhood in Paris taught him to value the important things in life ¬ family, friendship, fulfilment. That attitude is reflected in his long-term involvement raising funds for Assistance Medicale Toit du Monde, a charity that gives support to poor children in India and Nepal, and the Sanfilippo Children's Foundation, an organisation battling a fatal genetic children's disease.
Sébastien continues to compose, record and produce songs, for himself and other artists. Prior to Il Divo, he was a special guest of French legend Johnny Halliday on tour in 2001. In 2002 he played the role of the Businessman in Richard Cocciante’s “Le Petit Prince” and performed in several theatre plays as part of the group “La Troupe”. Sebastien also starred on UK ITV’s Popstar to Operastar and has enjoyed various television appearances on US shows including The Young & The Restless. In earlier years Sebastien was a sought after model across both commercial and editorial campaigns.
Untrained as a musician, Sebastien learnt to play by ear, and is now a talented and respected songwriter, guitarist and pianist. Before joining Il Divo, he released an acclaimed pop album, Libre, and his single Si Tu Savais topped the French charts. Last year, he even had lessons in both singing – you see what he means about not resting on his laurels – and acting. “You go to the Royal Albert Hall,” he says, “and see all these paintings and photographs, spanning the 18th century to singers such as Rihanna today, and you realise that music has evolved so much. And if you don't remember the traditions, the roots of music, you lose the richness. And that's what we're trying to do in Il Divo, to honour that tradition. I'm from the pop side, so I went backwards. The others are classically trained, and I'm self-taught; I work with my instincts. But you need both, so I had to gather that knowledge. Without knowledge, you can't evolve.”
Something slightly more dramatic than singing and acting lessons has turned Sebastien¹s world upside down, however: fatherhood. Already the proud father of twins, he now has a new baby boy, too. “Life has changed for me completely,” he laughs, “and it feels amazing. I've always wanted a family, and I've blossomed, I've found the person I want to be with, I have these beautiful children. I have my family, I travel the world, I've been making music, collaborating with Darren Hayes from Savage Garden, and with the lyricist Don Black - and Il Divo have made an amazing new album. So how can I not feel fortunate? I couldn't ask for more.”
Album and tour promotion has seen Sebastien very familiar with countless TV show interviews, appearances and performances over the past 6 years including daytime staples such as “Oprah” and similar programming internationally as well as TV highlights like the “Daytime Emmy’s” (USA), FIFA World Cup opening and closing Ceremonies (Germany), London 2012 Olympics handover event (UK), the Nobel Peace Prize (Norway), The Logies (Australia), USA Woman’s Open Final (USA), Miss World (China) & the inaugural Purple Ball in honour of President Obama (USA).
Compiled and edited from several sources including www.ildivo.com