The Canadian-Argentinian artist releases his major-label debut single and video, "Bad For Me," today.
When Sebastian Javier moved to Canada at age 12 after growing up in Argentina, he didn't speak English and struggled to feel accepted. So he turned to YouTube, where he would post song covers and original music for viewers around the world under the handle @ThatSpanishBoy. Hoping to build a following and spread positivity, he would look at the video camera and "talk to it like it was a person."
"I was such a shy kid, but the camera was the only place where I felt like I could be myself," the 21-year-old tells Billboard. "I think people saw that and maybe saw a part of themselves in me."
The covers helped him amass more than 113,000 YouTube subscribers, and he started working with a manager, Kris Christie. And in March 2019, when Elektra Music Group A&R manager Caterina Nasr was passed along one of Javier's early songs, she saw herself in the young artist, too.