Anson Seabra started piano lessons when he was seven. But later he had trouble seeing a career path for himself in music, so in college he studied computer science and went on to write two smartphone apps. Some dreams die hard, though, and later he was drawn back to his true passion. He left his job in 2018, moved back in with his parents and began to create and upload songs. Seabra signed a publishing deal with Sony and a distribution deal with Virgin last year. The former led to the placement of his song “Walked Through Hell” in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Much of his work is done at home. But his recording space is relatively sparse. “It’s not acoustically treated,” the singer explains. “When I’m working with another writer, we’ll do it at my house. But when I work with a producer, I’ll usually go to them because they have better equipment and they’re more familiar with their setup. But my favorite place to record is at The Jim Henson Company Lot. The building is magical and the rooms are amazing; they have these huge consoles and they can record big bands. It makes you feel like a pro.”
Recently, Seabra began to collaborate with songwriter Amy Allen (Selena Gomez, Harry Styles, Halsey). The connection was made through his manager who’s a friend of Allen’s rep. Often that’s how these partnerships are formed. “I’m a big fan of her work and when the opportunity came up, I certainly took it,” he recollects. “‘Lucky Charms,’ the song we wrote together, comes out soon on my EP Feeling For My Life.”
His most valued piece of gear is the Shure SM7B mic. “It’s what I used on all of my TikTok videos,” Seabra says. “I got it because it’s super-directional. You can track vocals without headphones. And it has a distinctive, sort of compressed sound. It’s like the quintessential podcast mic, but it also sounds great with vocals. Some big records have been recorded with it and it’s not too pricey. I’ve got a really expensive mic but I [often] end up using my SM7B.”
One of Seabra’s favorite studio memories is of the time that he nearly crossed paths with a hometown hero at Henson. “We were shooting an acoustic video for my song ‘Welcome to Wonderland,’” he recalls. “I heard that the producer BloodPop [Michael Tucker], who lived down the street from me when we grew up, was in the studio next door. I think he was working with Lady Gaga at the time. We didn’t get a chance to say hello because I didn’t want to bother her during a session.”
Over the course of his career, one of the biggest difficulties he’s faced was the temptation to measure his achievements against other online artists. “It’s really easy, especially now with TikTok, to compare yourself,” Seabra observes. “If some other artist is having a bigger moment than you are, it’s hard not to read into that or to feel like you’re a failure. It’s brutal here in L.A. People seem to only care about your streams and followers. They don’t care about the music. You have to be your own champion, especially in the beginning when few people believe in you. It can be depressing when no one bites for a long time.”