EXCLUSIVE: Popstar Houssein South on having 6 kids and why his mum's his number one priority
The 18-year-old from London is one of UK's up and coming music artists with over 250 million views on Vine and another 100 million interactions on Musical.ly. His latest song, '5 Bucks' has generated something of a buzz in the music community and the singer's loyal fan army only wants to hear more from the star.
Pop singer Houssein South has been amassing a strong fan following ever since he appeared on Vine. The 18-year-old from London is one of UK's up and coming music artists with over 250 million views on Vine and another 100 million interactions on Musical.ly. His latest song, '5 Bucks', has generated something of a buzz in the music community and the singer's loyal fan army only wants to hear more from the star.
In an exclusive interview with Meaww, Houssein revealed that his musical journey began quite early. He was just six when his father bought him a drum kit and his love for performance began since then. Three years later, the music artist landed a role in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's UK Tour. After this, he secured a two-year deal with The Sound Of Music UK but tasted success when he appeared on Vine. Now, Houssein is a full-time singer with a diverse fan base that loves his cool laid-back style. Here are excerpts from the interview:
Meaww: Can you briefly tell us who/what was your inspiration?
Houssein: When I was really young I was obsessed with Green Day… I went to a few of their shows, I bought their live DVD and I would just watch the lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong perform over-and-over again. I think that sparked my initial interest in music and performing… but then my family have always been so supportive as well and think I’m way better than I actually am — this encouragement and positivity has kept me loving music and pushed me to want them to always be proud of me.
Meaww: How do you balance your work and personal life?
Houssein: I don’t feel like music is work, it’s more just my life, so I never feel like 'ok, I’ll work for an hour then relax'- because I want to keep doing it as much as I can for as long as I can.
Meaww: What is your advice for those who are just starting out or are keen on entering the field?
Houssein: If you are passionate about music and want to have a bit of a laugh then go for it, just do what makes you feel the happiest and most confident, and hopefully it will work out for you! But if you just want to get famous, and don’t actually care for the music, then maybe try something else that you have more passion for.
Meaww: Is there a place and time you think you are at your creative best?
Houssein: I have my best thoughts at 3 am when I know I have to wake up the next morning, so I’m trying to get to sleep — I’m like 'uhhhh why do I have to have this idea now?' I get my phone out and write it down now, and the bright screen doesn’t help me try to get back to sleep!.
Meaww: Does every artist need an inspiration?
Houssein: I don’t think you always need a direct inspiration, sometimes ideas might just come through naturally — maybe they’re subconsciously inspired by something else, but you don’t always have to go out of your way to get inspired.
Meaww: How important do you think social media is these days?
Houssein: Social media is the biggest thing — bigger than TV, radio, newspapers… social media made all of those sources more accessible, more real and more interesting. It’s given a lot of people voices, who never would have had the resources to be heard — whether that’s a kid singing on YouTube or an oppressed freedom fighter pleading for international help. Everyone has a use for the internet, and its impact can be groundbreaking. Traditional mainstream companies are as scared of social media as banks are scared of Bitcoin.
Meaww: What significance does competition have for you?
Houssein: The entertainment industry is a very competitive world, but I am not competing against anyone… I’m just making the tunes I love and hoping other people will like them too.
Meaww: What's that one thing you hold above anything else?
Houssein: My mum has always got to be the number one priority. She’s always supported and helped me and so I always gotta make sure that I give that back.
Meaww: What's one thing that you have done and regretted and wish you could get a chance or go back and change it?
Houssein: My early YouTube videos. I’m not sure I’d actually want to change them though because they fuelled my passion for creating, and they’re kind of funny to watch now.
Meaww: At what stage does it stop being about art and start becoming about money and fame?
Houssein: Money is very important at the moment, as I am independent, which means I fund all of my music myself — but it’s only important because of the music, I need the money to do what I love doing. I don’t think this will change, I’ll always need money to do my passion, maybe buy a nice coat here and there, but other than that…money isn’t that important and neither is fame. It’s all about the music.
Meaww: Tell us something you've discovered about yourself — both negative and positive — after becoming a celebrity.
Houssein: Positive — I’m a pretty positive guy, hate doesn’t get to me or other people being negative… I don’t get upset very often, just because I’m happy with everything that goes on around me. I don’t take everything too seriously. Negative — I am so impatient. If a producer is mixing a song for me today, I want it finished yesterday.
Meaww: How do you judge character? Do you suspect every person who wants to befriend you?
Houssein: That sounds like a lot of effort! Like I said before, I don’t take everything too seriously — if someone is chatting to me and they seem nice, then I’m happy and believe that they’re a cool person. If they suddenly grabbed me by the collar and said "give me a shoutout on your Instagram or else" — then maybe I would be slightly suspicious of their character.
Meaww: Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Houssein: Retired, in an old people's home, with 6 kids off at college.
Meaww: What's the best advice you've ever received?
Houssein: It was from my vocal coach, David Grant, and he said 'always be the kindest person in the room' - it’s pretty simple, but it stuck with me and I always try to follow it.
Meaww: What is an ideal day for you?
Houssein: Barbados. Sitting in the shade outside. Sipping on some English Breakfast Tea. Eating some finger sandwiches. Then going out and exploring, doing adventurous stuff.
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