Courtesy Photo: Nick Favila
Looking at Jacob Sartorius now, you would never guess that the 14-year-old musical.ly star was ever a shy kid. With tons of fans on the app, Jacob has no problem connecting to his followers, or even performing for hundreds of people at a live event. But when J-14 had a heart-to-heart with Jacob, he confessed that growing up, he used to be super shy.
“I was shy in the hallways,” he admitted. “Being awkward was my biggest insecurity. If I could go back and be more confident, it would have allowed me to have more friendships and meet new people.”
Growing up in Herndon, VA, Jacob’s life felt a lot different than his life now. In fact, the word “lonely” could best describe it. “I just had my group of friends,” he confided.
Jacob felt lucky to have a small crew to have fun with, but the truth was, Jacob had big dreams of becoming a singer. He just wasn’t sure how he could overcome his shyness — how could he sing in front of hundreds when shyness overcame him at school? That’s when he discovered musical.ly. It was a way for him to use his talent in the comfort of his own room, where he felt only his phone was watching.
Joining musical.ly in 2014 did more than just allow Jacob to show off his passion for music. After posting a few videos and getting instant positive feedback, he started to feel more confident.
“The app was just a great way to express myself and show people the side of me that I didn’t show in school,” he explained. “It was another way for me to find my talents and express my love for music.”
Within a few months of posting, Jacob started to feel less timid. He even started recording his own songs instead of singing along to others. And when he was invited out to tour in 2015, he handled the crowds like a pro!
With the help of musical.ly, Jacob was really able break out of his shell and become the star he always dreamed of being. “Everybody struggles with something and it’s a great feeling to overcome it,” he smiles. “It means the world to me that my fans get courage and confidence from my music because I know what it’s like to be in that spot,” he tells J-14.
Interview and story by Lindsey Smith. "Jacob Sartorius: 'Musical.ly brought me out of my shell'" originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of J-14.