The year was 1994. A young Sebastian Kole sat in the pew of his hometown church in Birmingham, Alabama. Notebook in hand, he penned for a fellow church member — at the age of five — the first song he ever wrote.
Now, at age 28, Sebastian is an acclaimed songwriter and producer for top-charting artists.
“In my hometown, I never knew anything about the music industry,” he says. “I always assumed whoever sung the song wrote the song.”
The son of a preacher, Sebastian was immersed in music at a very early age. It was in the church he learned to play the piano. It was in the church he joined his first choir. It was in the church he began writing songs for Sunday services. Using music as an outlet to express himself, Sebastian developed from being part of collective music entities, like choirs and bands, to curating and producing his own music to majoring in music technology in college.
“I was known as the resident songwriter in my neighborhood.” — Singer Sebastian Kole
Sebastian’s start in the music industry reached commercial heights when a friend moved from Los Angeles back to Birmingham after being dropped from a label. The two often met to share creative ideas and collaborate on songs. “I was known as the resident songwriter in my neighborhood,” explains Sebastian. In early 2012, one of these songs was picked up by a multi-award-winning singer.
Having written numerous number-one hits for artists, it was only natural when Sebastian decided to pen his own tunes for his debut studio album, Soup, released in October 2012.
With his creative process spanning singing and songwriting, Sebastian is able to easily navigate being both behind the scenes and center stage. He attributes this ability to ensuring he’s in the right head space. For him, that right head space is established by being outdoors. Rather, he’s penning the latest chart-topping song on a bench outside or giving his latest track a first listen in a vehicle.
“When you get that first mix [of a song], you have to listen to it in the car first,” says Sebastian. “It has to pass the car test!”
As we previewed Sebastian’s upcoming track “Priceless” inside the 2017 Lincoln Continental, we were instantly wrapped into something felt more than heard. That exact feeling is the intent of all his music, whether written or sung. The upcoming single focuses on “the true feeling of love” without anything materialistic, such as money as the driving display of such a strong emotion.
“A long time after the melody fades, the words . . . can change the pattern of history,” says Sebastian on the legacy he wants to leave through his songwriting.
And so it was written — Sebastian will change history.