Old Street singer-songwriter dad Sebastian Azul: Mainstream radio won’t play my songs about Tourette’s
PUBLISHED: 14:27 04 September 2017
copyright Sebastian Azul
A dad who writes and produces songs about his son’s Tourette’s syndrome is hoping to get on national radio – but claims he has been told by some stations that his music is “too positive”.
Sebastian Azul started writing music two years ago when Dominic, then eight, came home from school crying because a teacher interpreted his hand tic as naughtiness and sent him for detention.
Dominic was six when he was diagnosed with the neurological condition affecting the brain and nervous system, characterised by involuntary noises and movements.
Sebastian, 36, from Old Street, said: “That particular day triggered something in him and it broke my heart. He knows he has a neurological condition and has been very brave. He doesn’t ever complain, but from that day at school his confidence went down.”
Sebastian, a Portuguese interpreter from Angola, decided to try to help Dominic celebrate his condition by taking his musical hobby a step further. So far he has spent £6,000 producing 16 tracks he has released on iTunes, Amazon, cdbaby, and Apple music.
“I’m doing it because I want my son to embrace Tourette’s, and to say: ‘This is part of you – don’t feel bad about it, and don’t apologise to anybody, it’s not your fault’,” said Sebastian. “I promised my son I would help him. I was born with a congenital heart defect and there were so many things I went through as a child. My parents didn’t support me, and I thought: ‘If I have a child with a problem I want to be the best parent.’”
“I’m the Girl” reached number two on a chart compiled by online London radio station Control Radio UK. Sebastian, who has also approached national stations where he knows he could generate more publicity, said: “It’s very hard for them to play an awareness song. I’ve been told at the moment people aren’t into it. Most of the time it doesn’t fit the format, a lot of the time negativity sells.”
He has also made up a clothing range including t-shirts and hoodies which he is selling online– although so far he’s given them all away to friends at a Tourette’s support group.
“I believe I am the only artist that has expressed and touched on sensitive subjects about the neurological condition in a way never done before,” he said.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Hackney Gazette. Click the link in the orange box below for details.