The music industry is a fickle beast. Talent doesn't guarantee you a recording contract.
Having contacts in high places doesn't necessarily help, either.
Chris Sebastian's voice is a gift, he can pen a tune and his brother is successful singer and songwriter Guy Sebastian - but he still hasn't been able to wedge his foot in a music executive's door.
After years of trying, and with a wife and infant daughter to support, Sebastian decided to audition for The Voice Australia in an attempt to "make it" as an artist in his own right.
He ended up winning the competition, edging out finalists Stellar Perry, Johnny Manuel and Siala Robson in one of the tightest public votes in The Voice Australia's history.
Sebastian won $100,000 in prize money, a recording contract with EMI Music Australia and priceless national and international exposure. His single Bed For 2 and Complete Collection - featuring the single as well as songs Sebastian performed on the show - are both out now.
He is diplomatic about criticism that the result was somehow "rigged" in his favour because he is The Voice judge Guy Sebastian's brother.
"I knew there was going to be backlash but it wasn't about me anymore. When I made the decision to audition my wife was pregnant," he said.
"My daughter was born two days before my battle round on the show.
"I needed to be able to provide a life for them that I was proud of. I didn't think I was going to win. Far from it. I thought that if I could build up some momentum then maybe, just maybe, I could get a label to listen to some of my songs."
Sebastian sang in public for the first time at the tender age of four.
"I was asked to sing in a tiny little church in Adelaide and people didn't appear to hate it," he said, laughing.
"A lot of people assume I was doing nothing before The Voice but the truth is I've been fighting to do this my whole life. Before I went on the show I couldn't even get a meeting with a label. The music industry in Australia is incredibly cut-throat."
Musing on his experiences, he gives a shout-out to Triple J for actively supporting Australian artists.
"Most of the other commercial stations won't be the ones to launch a song or an artist, but they'll get on board after the fact," he said.
"But if you don't fit the Triple J narrative ... Me being who I am, it was difficult to get the Triple J crowd behind me, so a show like The Voice was truthfully one of the only ways I could be heard."
Sebastian is a natural talent but has worked hard over the years to achieve the vocal capacity that won him the competition.
"I guess I have some built-in ability to sing that I am so grateful for, but if you peek behind the curtain you'll realise that I do more than two hours a day of vocal exercises, and I have been doing that for a long time," he explained.
"I've studied as a vocal coach and I know the power and importance of training. It's a crazy amount of work I've done to be able to do the things I do with my voice."
His single, Bed For 2, doesn't sound like a debut effort from a newly-crowned winner of The Voice.
It's not a power ballad or a cover, for starters.
"I'm really glad to hear you say that because that was my intention with releasing this song," he said.
"People in my position have typically gone out and done a big power ballad, and I wanted to shift that whole thought process and expectation.
"I like so many different kinds of music that it is sometimes confusing for me, but I wanted to release something that people would put on their Spotify playlist and listen to at the gym, or at a party, or anywhere really."
The day after the grand final Sebastian worked his way through 12 hours of media interviews and followed it up with a meeting at the EMI office. Finally, he had his foot in the door.
"I was playing them songs that I had written and they played some songs that they'd like to get my take on," he said.
"We have literally started preparing the next few songs for the album already and there wasn't one bad song - it was mind-blowing."
COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in the works when it comes to Sebastian touring. Typically the winner of The Voice would embark almost immediately on a national tour. A couple of ideas are being discussed, one of them being a digital tour where he would live-stream performances.
Another idea is playing "a bunch of smaller shows" in various cities.
One thing that won't change as a result of winning The Voice is Sebastian's ongoing relationship with Australian electronic duo Peking Duk.
"I love touring with the Peking Duk guys, they're really good people," Sebastian said.
"I let it be known from the get-go that I'm not going to do anything that will take me away from Peking Duk. I'm not doing that for a pay cheque, I'm doing that because I love those guys."
Sebastian is well aware of the stigma that comes with appearing on a reality talent show but is proud to say he gave it a go, regardless of any challenge to his credibility, in the interests of getting his voice heard.
"At the end of the day if it's a good song, it's undeniable, and it becomes less about the fact that I've come from a TV show," Sebastian explained.
"If, say, Triple J listeners don't like the music or the song, that's on me. But if they turn around and say 'I hate that he was on The Voice but this is a really good song', then I've done my job.
"Also, a public vote is a public vote and that's why I feel so good about this - because people have been accepting of me. I am taking this as a win and will go on to make some great music.
"The upcoming album is going to be out a lot sooner than people expect."