S:mon: ‘I wasn’t prepared for all the hate comments’
The artist S:mon has 90,000 followers on TikTok and over 1 million streams on his songs. A mix of deep ballads and hard pop/rock songs in Swedish. He made his debut on Spotify in 2019 with the song “Själv,” which quickly made it onto Spotify’s Viral 50 list. Since then, he has released nearly 20 more songs and is now set to release a new album this fall.
S:mon, whose real name is Simon Forslund, began his musical journey in music classes in Uppsala at the age of 11. A few years later, he started producing his own music from his bedroom. With lyrics based on his own experiences combined with a beautiful pop voice, we expect S:mon to take big steps forward in the coming years.
Read about his journey from when he posted his first video on TikTok, his challenges, and how to succeed as an artist.
KMR met S:mon for an interview:
You, S:mon, started releasing songs on Spotify two years ago and now have over 1 million streams on your songs. What is your recipe for success?
TikTok. I came across that platform about a year before I started releasing music. Before that, I had never sung in front of anyone, but it has always been my dream to work with music, so I tried posting a video. Then another video, and then I started posting several times a week, and that’s when the followers started coming. So, you could say that TikTok changed everything for me.
Right now, you’re independent. Why have you chosen not to sign with a record label?
I come from a background as a business owner, and I’ve always seen the music, the S:mon project, as a business. Giving away almost all of the revenue doesn’t feel like the right path to take right now, even though a record label might be able to help me.
Besides TikTok, what do you think is important for someone who wants to succeed as an independent artist?
You as an artist are a business. Sometimes it’s easy to forget, but it’s the most important thing. See each song as an investment. What do you need to do to make a profit on your investment? Then you need to find people who can help with the parts that you can’t do or don’t have time for. I reached out to producers early on and asked if they wanted to be part of the journey. If I didn’t have these 4 producers, I wouldn’t be able to release as many songs as I want.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Everything has been going pretty well, but of course, there are challenges along the way. For example, I wasn’t prepared for all the hate comments. Anyone with a larger following will also receive hate; there’s no way around it. It’s tougher than you think and something I work on every week.
Now, for the final and very important question: How does one succeed as an artist in the music industry?
Wow, that’s a big question. I believe that you need to work hard, just like in any other industry. You need to be visible and gain fans – and that’s where TikTok has changed everything. You can go from 0 to 10,000 followers overnight. Then you need to be persistent, not giving up because your first 20 songs get few streams, or because you’ve been posting on TikTok for a year and haven’t had a single viral video. If it’s your dream to work with music, just keep going. One song at a time, one video at a time.
Listen to S:monApple Music Spotify
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