Chandler teen working on a career in music - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler teen working on a career in music

January 22nd, 2022 development
Chandler teen working on a career in music

By Ken Sain, Staff Writer

Justin Bieber’s singing career began in earnest when a music executive accidentally clicked on the wrong YouTube video and was impressed by what he saw in the young Canadian.

Lil Nas X was living at his sister’s home when his country rap song, “Old Town Road,” went viral on TikTok. 

Now, a Chandler teen is hoping social media will help him launch his music career. 

Jakob Van Rossum, 17, a senior at Perry High School, has uploaded three original songs to YouTube and Apple Music.

“Originally, I kind of was just keeping the songs to myself and I didn’t really do anything with them,” Jakob said. “I’d just go around my math class, actually, and show all my friends. They really liked it, and they were like, ‘You should create a Soundcloud account.’”

Jakob said he wasn’t really confident in his music then, so he didn’t create an account on the music distribution website. However, a friend set up an account for him and uploaded his songs. 

“I got like 800 plays on one of my songs, so that was really exciting for me,” he said. “So I felt like I could really do this.”

He took over his account and continues to upload music. Most of it is original work, but he has done some covers. Jakob says he’s written about 70 songs. But he’s not  alone. There are many others who dream of music stardom and are releasing their songs online, hoping to follow in the steps of giants who started the same way.

How do you separate yourself?

“It’s a lot about promotion,” Jakob said. “I use my social media to the best of my ability. I always make sure everyone knows when my next song is coming out. You can’t just say you’re coming out with a song in a week. I have to give myself a good amount of time ahead so that everybody knows about it. I release little samples of my songs, and make cute little videos.”

The three songs he has released on YouTube and Apple Music are “It Always Ends,” “Love The Way,” and “Find Peace.” None of those three are his personal favorite. That honor belongs to “Forget The Way,” which he is hoping to release this spring.

“I’ve recorded it seven different times and a million different styles,” Jakob said. “It has a lot of potential, but I just can’t decide how I want it to sound.”

He said he hopes by getting inside a professional studio and hiring a producer he can find the version he’s happy with.

“I have seen him grow immensely,” said Jameson Staley, Jakob’s choir teacher at Perry High. “I attribute his quick rate of progress to his passion and curiosity. When he learns a new skill or concept, he goes home and explores it, usually through incorporating it into his own music.

“Perhaps one of Jakob’s best attributes is that he knows he still has a lot to learn, but he is passionate and inspired to do the work to grow.”

Jakob plays mostly the piano and guitar. He also plays the violin, harmonica and drums. 

“I like to dabble in everything,” he said. He also sings backup on most of his recordings, a technique that he says he’s still working to improve on.

He said Michael Jackson is a major influence on his music, but he has also learned from some international stars. He said he likes Dimash Kudaibergen from Kazakhstan and Piet Arion from France.

“I love Michael Jackson a lot,” Jakob said. “His vocal range is really impressive. His song writing is really, really good, like every single thing he wrote was successful. He is probably the greatest entertainer of all time.”

Jakob said he found them because he was looking for singers who can hit really high notes, something he can do. 

He plans to go to Northern Arizona University in the fall. He plans to pursue a double major computer programming and performing arts. 

“That way I can build my skill, get better with my music, but then also, in case I don’t make it in the music industry, I have computer science to back me up.”

Jakob says he is very ambitious and he wants to be a pop star. And for now that means using social media to introduce people to his music.

“Social networking is really fun, but it’s really tiring,” Jakob said. “I feel like I can spend a whole day promoting a song, and nobody cares. It’s hard to get people interested in my music, because I’m just a 17-year-old kid. 

“Social media is really hard, but if you’re good at it, … it can get you really good results.”