Music is his life and life is good right now.
As of Sunday, Sebell’s new single FOMY (For Fear of Missing You) was number 10 on Playlists.net where Kiara holds the top spot and Maroon 5 is in the fifth slot.
Playlists.net pegs itself as the most popular playlist sharing site, with an active community of listeners who are keen to share and discover interesting playlists in all genres, with a focus on new music.
Being in the company of such chart-toppers is exciting for the talented singer/songwriter who has been working in Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver and Nashville over the past several years, advancing his career but wondering what he’s missing in one place when he’s in another.
And that includes Salmon Arm, a place of respite and renewal where family and friends live and where he’s known and welcomed simply as Greg.
“I love my life, but an artist on the road is always a transient with no roots,” he says. “I think you always want what you don’t have.”
Between 2014 and 2016, Sebell had settled into what he describes as a more normal life in Toronto that included a great team at Universal, awesome friends, a girlfriend and a great music community.
While he enjoyed the normalcy and had just signed a one-year lease on a condo, Sebell says a month later he was selling everything and moving again – with possessions now in storage in Toronto and Nashville.
“As soon as things got normal, doors started opening like crazy in LA and, as much as I love my life in TO, I knew I had to walk through the doors in LA to see what was there,” he says. “Your heart is always in a game of tug of war; you want to be on one coast but opportunity is on the other. No matter where I am, I am feeling the fear of missing people.”
These feelings are expressed in FOMY, which he likens to FOMO (fear of missing out), a commonly used acronym in his age group and the song that is his most autobiographical.
Whatever city he’s in, Sebell says being a professional songwriter is fun but hard work, being open and vulnerable for three or four hours at a time, often with someone you’ve just met.
“Being a professional songwriter is like being a professional speed dater,” he laughs, noting the best songs are based on real life stories and are the ones that are hardest to write. “You’re meeting new people every day and you have very little time to get to know someone.”
Not all collaborations are easy. Sebell says differing perspectives on music or attitude to life can make finding common ground difficult.
“You work with what you can both work with; there were some sessions that I went into thinking this is gonna be amazing but came out thinking I was talking Chinese and to me they sounded like they were talking Russian,” he laughs. “Others put in the work, dig a little deeper and find something special.”
As he strives to work out a better life balance, Sebell says he’s thinking of making LA home because it is one of the best places for doing what he wants to do in terms of career development.
“I love LA, it’s amazing how influential the city is and how it affects culture,” he enthuses. “Writing with and for other artists and being brought into their stories and being trusted is amazing. It’s a beautiful human experience to walk together and write songs from that vulnerable place.”
Sebell says pop songs are too often thought of as musical candy. But, he says, when you hear the stories, you know it’s from the heart.
“I might not agree with the conclusion of the song or the theme but I can’t deny it’s their experience,” he says.
Sebell’s management team is now based in LA and he is thriving under the direction of manager Andrea von Foerster, whoplaces songs in movies, TV programs and commercials.
Sebell has written with Universal/Hollywood Records artist Shawn Hook, Island Records artist, Banners. He co-wrote the lead single Coachella for Universal’s latest signing, New City and wrote Bitter /Sweet, a song Keshia Chanté will introduce in the new year. His song Darkside, which he wrote in Nashville last year, aired on MTV’s Teen Wolf. It is available on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music and YouTube.
He also co-wrote Paul Brandt’s single, I’m An Open Road, (featuring Jess Moskaluke), which was a top-10 hit in Canada and recently went Gold.
The artist loves his own country and sees himself splitting the year between LA and Toronto, another city with a thriving music industry.
Wherever he is, Sebell says “There’s a lot of exciting stuff in the works; I’m just waiting and looking forward to the future.”
That future includes a tour for the new year and a six-song EP release.
It is a follow-up to the last self-titled album featuring Till the Burns Out, that hit number 15 across the country and Promised Land, that did over 2 million streams on Spotify around the world.
“The last couple of years has taught me, as much as I love the dream of music, I don’t want to be hitting 50 and saying I lived the dream; the dream is cool, but not if the connection with people or being with family and friends is not part of that,” he says. “If you don’t have those meaningful relationships, you’re setting yourself up for living half a life. In living a full life of intention with the people you love, you discover the the pain and beauty of being alive.”