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The thoughts and opinions featured here are solely the views of editor HarleyQuinn_NJ, and not necessarily the views of DamagingTheStreets.com

Last weekend (9/30) we got to see the highly-acclaimed new fan favorite, 15-year-old Jacob Sartorius at Philly‘s Punchline comedy club venue on his official tour of The Last Text EP. Jacob Sartorius is one the youngest rising stars leading the charge of intertwining pop culture success and social media relevance, first gaining traction hosting viral bedroom performances on apps like Musical.ly and Vine. He’s also collaborated with singer/songwriter Blackbear, and since leaving his Virginia roots, he’s become a fascinating artist to watch in 2017.

From listening to Jacob‘s music and hearing his voice live, he has an undeniable singing talent and an incredible vocal range that almost sounds pre-recorded while on stage. His music contains elements of acoustic guitars, rap/hip-hop, pop, and R&B. Coming from an educational background in theater and music, Jacob Sartorius has a true passion for the stage and what he does. Jacob uses his huge platform to advocate against bullying, extending a much-needed message for the youth as they grow in this superficial age, and providing more depth to his brand. He wants to be here. His fans, aged anywhere from 4 years old to the older women in their senior year of high school, adore him and even rushed outside to watch and profess their love for him as his tour van pulled away to his next performance in New York. With literally millions of adoring fans, and music and merchandise that flies off the digital shelves in record time, it seems like Jacob Sartorius is on his way to becoming a bonafide mega-star, akin to his pop predecessor, Justin Bieber. The only thing stopping him? With his uninspired stage presence and current performance style, he’s just not quite there yet.

He graced the stage unannounced — and without an opening act — to a room of 250+ name-chanting fans and their parents, and began his 45-minute set with a slow introduction, opening with his recent single “No Music.” Being that this was our first time seeing Jacob S. live, we were expecting a full-on pop show complete with backup dancers, live instruments, and a blazing light show. We were lucky to get two of the three, as interactive lights and a 2-person band can only contribute so much to a performance. Among the diminutive concertgoers, Jacob‘s stage moves were pretty stationary, save for a few repetitive arm waves and bops across the stage. He doesn’t dance (nor does he in any of his videos, so what can ya do?). In between songs, his connection with the crowd left much professionalism to be desired. At times, Jacob seemed too relaxed and nonchalant during his talking breaks. The call & response segments reverberated in a perfect harmony. To his credit, performing at a show full of kids that are probably easily impressed, it might seem like overkill to have such a set-up in the small venue space of Punchline, but there really is no business like show business. Having performed an early morning show at 8AM before arriving at Punchline, and with a third show on his schedule later that day in New York City, the show was sadly over for the Philly/NJ fans.

What we love about Jacob is his amazing voice, of course (and he’s a cute kid who’s talented on guitar), but there has to be more brought to the table, even as he just begins his career. If he wants to sustain his longevity in music he has to supply more of a “wow” factor in both content and performance ability not just for his younger fans, but for everyone in order to be taken seriously.

Consider past wunderkinds, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. The two legends both started their careers with a team of writers and producers –no different from Jacob– who helped them reach their first #1 singles at ages 13 and 11, respectively. What people loved about them was that they had a definite sound that echoed their times and their albums could be bought by anyone from your little sister all the way to your grandfather. They made everyone jam with them and not feel like an uninvolved chaperone at a concert for tweens and kids.

Once Jacob Sartorius studies what he’s presenting, lives life a bit more, gets his heart broken a few more times (more than just romantically), and takes charge of his artwork to come back to us with a story to tell, there’s absolutely no doubt that he’ll become more of an MVP in the music industry. For now, waiting for the real Jacob Sartorius to emerge, and watching to see what he molds himself to be will prove entertaining.

See photos from the event, and read a brief Q&A that we had with Jacob Sartorius before the show.

HarleyQuinn_NJ
Photo credit: Julia W.

DTS MEDIA: Describe what your songwriting process is like, and how you collaborate with a team of producers and songwriters.
Jacob Sartorius (JS): Most of my songwriting occurs in the studio. Usually, we block off creative sessions and I discuss what’s going on in my life, what I’m experience and stuff like that. All of my songs are based on my past experiences and I think that’s what helps me relate to my fans and kids who are around the same age as me.

DTS MEDIA: What comes first for you: the beat or the lyrics?
 JS: Sometimes the beat comes first, but other times we have an idea for a great lyric and we build the beat around it.

DTS MEDIA: Do you end up re-writing a lot in the spur of the moment?
JS: I think re-writing is part of the creative process and it definitely happens on occasion!

DTS MEDIA: You had some bars in your “Hit or Miss” single, which was really unexpected! Who in rap/r&b/pop do you see yourself working with?
JS: I would love to work with Drake, Lil Yachty, Macklemore or Kyle! They are all great at what they do in their field and I know we could make a fire track happen.

DTS MEDIA: Describe your process of creating music video concepts and treatments. On average, how long are you on set shooting a video & going to different locations?
JS: Typically, I’m on set of a music video shoot for an entire day. I definitely have creative direction with everything we do. If there is something I really want to do or see in my video my team and I make it happen or if there is something I really don’t want to do, we don’t go that direction.

DTS MEDIA: Would you ever use your larger platform to make a song/music video to speak out against the different types of bullying?
JS: I am always trying to advocate for my fans and fight against bullying, I would 100% be open to using my platform in the future to speak up against different types of bullying.

DTS MEDIA: What are a few of your favorite “Jordans,” and brand names/designers to wear or places to shop?
JS: My favorite Jordans are the Jordan 3’s – I’ve got the True Blues. They’re awesome. For all of my other clothes, I usually like to shop at H&M or Urban Outfitters.

DTS MEDIA: How would you describe your personal style?
JS: I like to wear baggy oversized t-shirts and button downs that’s kind of my vibe right now. If you’re trying to get some brand new Jacob merch you can go on my website there’s an entire merch section – all the new stuff is really sick!

DTS MEDIA: Blackbear is a favorite artist on our site. What was it like working with him in the studio & shooting the “Hit Me Back” music video? (The ending of the video was hilarious, by the way!)
JS: Thank you, we [also] thought it was funny, it’s always fun to joke about yourself. But Blackbear is incredibly talented he’s, like, a musical genius in the studio. I learned a lot from watching him write and produce on the spot. It was really inspiring! The video was also a ton of fun to shoot since we got to hang out and goof off all day.

DTS MEDIA: We love for our interview subjects to encourage our readers! Why was it important for you to continue following your passion and love for music, instead of giving into the negativity from your peers?
JS: Since I was a young kid, I have had a passion for music. I started doing musical theater in my home town, which really inspired me to want to do music.

DTS MEDIA: What message do you have for other kids who may be going through the same thing?
JS: I think it’s important for people to know that if you truly love something and want to do it then you shouldn’t let hater’s stand in your way. Take what they say with a grain of salt; use it and focus your energy.

*An earlier version of this article mistakenly claimed the state of Oklahoma as Jacob Sartorius’ birthplace. This information was corrected to Virginia.