One pair of the coolest kicks can make a 13-year-old think they’re all that and then some. So it’s safe to assume 99.9% of teenagers would be a bit to handle given some internet fame. Although Sebastian Janoski found fame on YouTube while in middle school, he was the .01% to stay humble.
“The people I surround myself with has a lot to do with that. My family and friends keep me very grounded. Also, I try to stay involved and grounded in my faith as well. Making God a priority has really kept me on a straight path,” said the now 18-year-old who splits his time between working on amazing videos, charity work and penning soundtracks. All of the above and more were on the table as Sebastian shared his current single, “Toy” with ZO.
Kendra: How did you mentally handle being a YouTube sensation at only at 13-14-years-old?
Sebastian Janoski: I think my situation was a lot less to handle mentally than a lot of other young singers situations like Justin Bieber, and a handful of past Disney Channel stars, but, there definitely is some pressure involved and even the slightest bit can be really hard to handle at that age. But, I’ve always had a huge support system with my family and when you have something like that to fall back on when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, it can help with a lot.
Kendra: Speaking of YouTube, I had to check out the video for “Toy.” It plays out like an episode of a favorite TV show. Did you play any part in the concept?
Sebastian Janoski: I had a specific event in mind when I wrote this song, and there was a specific storyline that I wanted to be shown in the video. The director did an amazing job bringing his image and his interpretation of the song into the storyline as well as combining it with some notes that I gave him and little details here and there to make the video more like the actual story that this song is about.
Kendra: “Toy” is out now, but you’re also working on the soundtrack for a movie, Natural Selection? Can you give us any insight into where you’re coming from in terms of emotion for those songs?
Sebastian Janoski: I actually worked on the soundtrack a couple years back when I was about 15. I was so honored to be asked to record the song. At the time I wasn’t able to record any of my original music for the movie, just the song written and chosen by some creators working on the film, but actually writing my own songs for soundtracks in the future is definitely a huge priority and a huge goal for me moving forward.
Kendra: It’s safe to say you’re a natural when it comes to songwriting. Who are some fellow songwriters you admire and would want to have a session with?
Sebastian Janoski: Right now, Brandi Carlile is a huge inspiration. I love her sound, and I love her lyrical content so much. Getting the opportunity to work with her would be a dream come true. She’s one of the most talented artists I’ve ever witnessed.
Kendra: Now does your songwriting skills help when it comes to schoolwork?
Sebastian Janoski: Sadly, in math, my songwriting never really came in handy, but, when it came to essays getting my thoughts down on paper came pretty easily and English and Creative Writing were my favorite subjects because of that.
Kendra: I’ve noticed you play a lot of charity gigs. What are some organizations you love helping out?
Sebastian Janoski: There’s an organization called Walk for D.E.S. that I play at every year and it’s one of my favorite ones that I’ve ever been a part of. D.E.S stands for “Detect Early Signs,” and the organization’s dedicated to suicide awareness. It’s such an important cause that I love to be able to help and be a part of.
Kendra: What else is on your plate so far for 2018?
Sebastian Janoski: Well, I’ve been writing a ton. I’ve been trying to line up as many gigs as possible, and I’m just trying to let things happen as they may. In this industry, you can’t exactly force things. You’ve got to just keep working at it. Try your hardest 100%, and whatever’s meant to be will be.