SEB chats going viral alongside Harry Styles with ‘seaside_demo’, his impact as an artist and his outlook on the future
If you’ve been on the internet recently, you’ve probably heard a charming lo-fi and summer ready track attached to Harry Styles’ ‘Watermelon Sugar’. Behind the virality is the humble multi-faceted artist SEB. His track, ‘seaside_demo’ has already won over the millions of thousands of listeners online and he is gearing up to become one of the most globally adored breakthrough artists of this year. He’s now gearing up to release his debut EP, ‘IT’S OKAY, WE’RE DREAMING’ on July the 30th via Mom+Pop Music. It’s rumoured to feature intimate and feel good stories of freedom, youthful ambition and the optimistic perspective of endless possibilities that accompanies graduating from high school.
Sitting strongly in his own sonic lane, SEB pulls from great songwriting inspirations such as Kurt Cobain and Joni Mitchell and combines them with contemporary youth icons such as Tyler the Creator, Kid Cudi, and Grimes. In a recent interview with Spindle he explained his artistic positioning and aspirations, stating, “the fact that I’m black makes it hard for people to just call my music pop.” Adding “the whole point of my artist’s existence, right now, is fighting for the idea that a single black artist, who can write and produce their own music, can stand right next to a Taylor Swift or Harry Styles.”
‘seaside_demo’ has already made a storm with the worlds youth and tastemakers alike. It’s a song ready built for summer, combining elements of lo-fi hip hop and pop writing tropes with a dreamy euphoria. He writes, produces, performs, and engineers all of his music and it reflects on the track, providing a personal yet cheerful reflection of his everyday life. To get to know the ‘seaside_demo’ writer better, we chat to SEB about his perspective on going viral, realising his calling as a musician and what he is looking forward to in the year ahead.
Who are you and where are you from?
I’m Sebastien and I’m from a lot of places but I’ll just say Chicago for now.
When did you realise music was your passion and something you wanted to pursue?
I would say around 7th and 8th grade, when I saw Lil Wayne recording his Swagga Like US verse in that Carter documentary floating online. That’s the first time I saw one of my favorite artists make a song and I was like, oh I only want to do that.
What impact do you want your music to have on a listener?
So during summer 2016, I had my first bad anxiety attacks. Not really knowing what to do or who to really talk to about it, I would always find myself driving to the pier every night for 3 months to catch the sunset. For like those 10-15 minutes everything felt ok, and just looked so beautiful. That feeling I get while watching the sunset is what I want my music to do for people. That sense of comfort.
Do you think the TikTok virality and that ‘Watermelon Sugar’ mashup fairly reflects your artistic abilities?
It was a super effective way of showing that as long a song feels good, it doesn’t matter if things aren’t perfect technically. So if anything, it’s less of a reflection and more of an invitation into my world. How I hear things.
What are you most excited about looking forward to for the rest of this year?
Hmmm there’s a lot of things. Drake’s album is one, I really hope he puts one out. Hopefully I can get a PS5 around Christmas to treat myself. I really want to play Cyberpunk without it glitching out on me. Also the new Battlefield game, I’m big into that. Oh and excited to drink carbonated water. I just really got into that, and I don’t know how I’m ever going to drink still water again. Those are basically the first things that come to mind.
Words by PARRY TRITSINIOTIS
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