His career took a huge leap when he entered a cover contest – now Sem has 25,000 subscribers and millions of views on YouTube.
Sem’s work consists of original compositions and song covers of popular tracks ranging in genre from classic R&B to popular chart hits.
We asked him how he works his video magic and how other singers can do the same.
What inspired you to start making YouTube videos?
I happened to stumble upon a video of Esmee Denters singing in her bedroom. So I thought I’d give it a shot to see what might happen.
Was there a particular thing that helped you reach a larger audience?
Winning a cover contest. There’s an R&B group on YouTube called Ahmir. They were holding a cover contest which I happened to win. It generated a large amount of new followers. I went from having 1,000 subscribers to around 10,000 in about 2 weeks.
Do you do more gigs or videos and which do you prefer?
I don’t really do a lot of gigs – whenever the time permits, I try to focus on writing new original music. Aside from that I do covers just for fun, so I enjoy making a video every now and then.
Any tips on the technical side of video making? What gear do you use?
I basically just use my MacBook Pro and a condenser microphone to record my videos. Every now and then I use a DSLR for the video – the lenses just give it that extra touch.
Most important lesson you have learned about social media?
Not to bet everything on one platform. Always make sure you have more than one way to reach your followers. Social media platforms tend to make changes frequently that don’t always work in your favor.
What ingredients are essential for a great vocal performance?
For me the most important thing is feeling the song. I’d rather not pick songs just because they’re popular at the moment and, because of that, possibly generate more views. I only pick songs that I connect with. I don’t think you can make the listener feel the song if you’re not feeling it yourself.
Current favourite youtube artists?
Ahmir & ILLumeci.
Sem is a singer & producer who has gained over 2 million YouTube hits in only a short period of time. His work consists of original compositions and song covers of popular tracks ranging in genre from classic r&b to popular chart hits. Despite gaining recognition from several multi-platinum selling artists such as Brian McKnight, Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men) & Jagged Edge, Sem chooses to remain unsigned. See: www.youtube.com/user/SemMusic/featured