At only 18 years old, the talented singer-songwriter Seb Lowe is about to make his debut at the Glastonbury Festival. It’s an incredible moment for the Oldham teenager who, until a year ago, simply posted his own songs as videos on social media site TikTok.
But it was these TikTok videos that made Seb go viral – with his songs tackling politics and how young people feel in Britain today – sparking huge interest with each new post. He has caught the eye of recording industry bosses as well as music star Billy Bragg who has now invited him to play on his stage stage at Glastonbury on Saturday.
“Everything was TikTok initially,” says Seb. “During the lockdown everyone was pushing me to do it, after a long while towards the end of the second part of the lockdown I was like ‘okay, break it, I’m going to do a TikTok’.”
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“I started making the weird song I had written in the past, never intending it to go anywhere. After posting a few videos, they picked up steam.
“I created this style of fast political writing, because I know the attention span is short, it was to write something fast. of the.”
Seb was only 17 at the time and studying for his A Levels at Oldham Sixth Form College in English, History and Economics. He then landed top A grades and won a place at the University of Birmingham, but is now on a gap year as he takes the opportunity to explore his music due to the incredible speed at which everything is happening now – he has already played gigs and festivals. across the region.
He says, “I was thinking, well, I’m going to give this year and see what happens with the music, but it all got a little crazy from there. It’s really crazy to think about what happened. past.”
His current manager contacted him after seeing him on TikTok, and he quickly became the talk of the Manc music industry. Seb says: “It’s really amazing that all of this came out of TikTok.
“TikTok is driven by the people watching it and it’s just amazing. Audience members just talk about the songs and converse about them.
“There was a song that did pretty well and I thought oh that’s really cool, and then it got huge, I thought what’s going on? There’s thousands of people who have seen this. Your stomach hurts a bit but in a very good way.
“Then it got bigger and bigger. By the fourth time I posted a video, each one just got better and better. One had a million views, when I saw the letter m this was completely mind blowing that’s when i thought ok i should probably take this seriously i have a following here people who are interested and care about this I have to say “.”
Seb says the social media platform has given him the confidence to find his voice on the big issues that matter to him and the millions of others who write with a scathing wit and invigorating honesty. He says: “Some people don’t agree, but most of the time people want to listen whether they agree or not. You have to learn that any type of reaction is a good thing, it gets people talking. people – it’s the first step towards any kind of change.”
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He first learned to play the guitar as a child, with his mother and father, both teachers, with whom he lives in Saddleworth, very passionate about their music. Seb says: “My mum and dad are both into music, the people they listen to, I listen, my mum is a huge David Bowie fan, my dad made me listen to Led Zeppelin in his car .
“My dad in particular is really passionate about his music, he has a whole collection of CDs. They’re so supportive of me that they always thought it was something I’d probably end up trying.
“They probably wouldn’t have expected it to happen and happen as quickly as all of this. I said I’m going to take a year with the music, and since then it’s been ridiculous.”
Seb will perform at Glastonbury on the Leftfield Stage on Saturday as part of Billy Bragg’s ‘radical rally’. Seb says: “Billy Bragg got in touch, it was really very casual, it wasn’t like built up, it was the occasional mystery about it all, and then when I found out what it was , I was even trying to match that energy although I was freaking out.
“I guess someone saw my TikTok and that’s how I’m on the Leftfield stage because it’s a segment called the radical turn and it’s all about the thoughts of young people in the UK ranging from thoughts internal, and more directly socially conscious thoughts, it’s perfect for my music. I’m looking forward to it to be honest. Yardax is after me, I’m playing alongside Billy Bragg and other songwriters.
“It will be my first time at Glastonbury and I will make sure to see Paul McCartney and Robert Plant.”
Seb hopes that music can become a full-time career after his rapid success. And he believes that TikTok will be the vehicle through which many up-and-coming artists will get noticed in the future.
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He says, “I think TikTok is going to be the way to go as the world evolves. It’s not the kind of app you keep thinking about making money here, it’s a way to promote you to levels that can’t be matched by radio or something.
“It’s a social media app to advertise and promote your songs, but the way the algorithm works helps people who want to go from nothing to something. You have to keep trying until something sticks. But I think it’s only going to get bigger.
“It would be a dream to have a career in music, it’s one of those things you say when you were a kid ‘oh I want to be a musician’ but the fact that there is potential for that to happen now it’s just amazing. It would be amazing if I could do this for the rest of my life, there’s nothing I’m more passionate about than writing songs, making music.”
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