No Grammy win for Franklin singer/songwriter but still a proud moment
LOS ANGELES, CA. -- (CBS 58) The best in music were crowned Sunday during the 61st Grammy Awards on CBS 58.
Among the hopefuls on "Music's Biggest Night" was a young music singer/songwriter and producer from Franklin with his first nomination.
Just about every night and into the early morning hours, Seann Bowe creates magic in his music studio in Van Nuys, California.
“I song-write, I produce [and] I'm also an artist,” he said.
Music is his release.
“It's a way to get out things that are maybe bottled up,” he said.
He's had some extra motivation to work even harder these days after earning his first Grammy nomination for Happy Hour, a song he co-wrote with Rivers Cuomo of the band Weezer.
“It is pretty crazy,” he said. “[I’m] really grateful always because it's really a gift to be able to do this.”
To him,the song means so much more than just an ode to a bar time tradition. It represents the highs and lows of his journey to pursue music as a career - one that started in Franklin Wisconsin.
“I wrote that song in Milwaukee,” Bowe said. "Home is so important. When I started picking up the guitar that's when I started forming bands and like actually writing my own music.”
He was in several bands growing up, most notably the Mechanical Kids in the late 2000s. They performed at Summerfest and even landed a record deal with Universal Motown Records.
“I immediately called my mom and I called my dad and they were like, ‘Oh, we're so proud of you,’” he said.
The Mechanical Kids then flew out to Los Angeles to record their first album only to soon find out the label folded.
“It just put this damper on everything,” Bowe explained.
It was the end for the Mechanical Kids. Bowe then got into songwriting and things started to look up. Rapper Wiz Khalifa was working on a song for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and needed some help.
“I was in New Berlin,” he said. “I just kept driving and I just kept writing to the beat and I sent it off to my manager and a week later they were like, ‘We want to use this.’”
Wiz was just the start of the big names he'd work with. Juicy J, The Veronicas and All That Remains soon followed - Which brings us back to Happy Hour and his collaboration with Weezer.
The song's success too has had its ups and down. It was originally supposed to be featured on Weezer's White Album in 2016, but the band ultimately decided not to include it.
“I was just like, ‘This just means I need to buckle down and do more work,’” he said.
During this time Bowe moved from Wisconsin to L.A. and worked odd jobs at odd hours to make ends meet.
“I was struggling to make money at the time so I would wake up at 4 a.m. and go unpack boxes at J.C. Penny and around 1 p.m. I would drive an hour and a half into the studio and work until 2 or 3 a.m. and get a couple of hours of sleep and do it all over again,” he explained.
Listening to Happy Hour was what got him through those tough times.
“I just remember gripping my wheel and saying, ‘This is why you’re doing it. Just stay in it,’” he said.
His persistence paid off. The song made it on to Weezer's Pacific Daydream album in 2017 and it's up for Best Rock Album. The album didn't win, but Grammy or not, he said he's already won big with the song.
“I got three wins out of one song you know,” he said. “Three pushes to keep going in music and I think that's all I can ever ask for.”
After the awards ceremony ended Bowe said, “I’m so honored to have been a part of this year’s Grammy’s. I’m proud I could represent Milwaukee for a night. I’m hopeful this won’t be my only time up for a nomination, maybe next time as an artist.”
Bowe is currently working on some new music with rapper Post Malone. He also expects to release his debut solo album by the end of the year.
He said he’s always looking to work with more singers and songwriters especially from Wisconsin. Anyone interested can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.