Sueco the Child, a rapper whose career blew up with a song that went viral on TikTok, will perform in Lubbock at Coho Nightclub on Friday night.
Sueco is best known for his song “Fast” which was released on April 1, according to genius.com. As of November, the song has been streamed over 47 million times on Spotify and the music video has been viewed more than eight million times on YouTube.
Before releasing “Fast,” Sueco’s musical career dated back to when he was a child as his father was the choir director at a church and his mother sang in the choir, he said. After singing in the church’s choir, Sueco said he became a big fan of the game Rock Band, playing the drums.
From playing the drums in Rock Band, Sueco transitioned to a real drum set, saying it was easy to pick up after practicing on the video game. After learning to play the drums, he participated in a jazz band and was a member of his high school’s drumline, being the center snare.
Along with playing the drums, Sueco started writing songs when he was 13 years old, singing while playing the acoustic guitar, he said. After the death of his mother when he was 15 years old, he said he started to dive into music more, being a drummer in a hardcore punk band and then transitioning into the band’s screamer.
Throughout his younger years and high school, Sueco said his music consisted of more drums, guitar and the punk genre, but he also always liked rap.
“I always listened to rap, and I was always the kid with the pencil on the table banging out beats for kids to freestyle,” Sueco said. “But then I started making beats when I went to university and that’s also when I started taking rap more seriously. So that was in 2014 when I started making beats and everything.”
Sueco said he came up with his name unintentionally in middle school with the help of one of his teachers. In his Spanish class, his teacher asked the students what name they wanted to be called and Sueco said he wanted to be called “OG.” His teacher then told him he would not call him that, but would call him “Sueco G,” since Sueco means Swedish in the language of Spanish. His teacher called him that since he knew Sueco’s family was Swedish.
Sueco attended California State University, Northridge for two years after high school and then went to University of Puerto Rico to conduct research on artificial intelligence, teaching computers how to understand Spanglish, he said. While in Puerto Rico, Sueco said he realized he wanted to do music and dropped out of school.
“In 2017 there was a lot of lost time, long period,” Sueco said. “I lived in Nashville for a while. I knew I wanted to do music, I just didn’t really know how. I was working minimum wage jobs trying to figure shit out.”
In 2018, the following year, Sueco said he signed a management deal and moved back to Los Angeles. At the end of the year, he decided to part ways with the management company after being locked in the studio to make music on his own. Sueco and his friend group then started to make viral videos where they made beats with random objects.
“In March this year, we took a step back. That’s around the time I made the song ‘Fast’ and then we dropped that and it went crazy on TikTok,” Sueco said. “I was making music the whole time for like a super long time. ‘Fast’ was just the first one that really took off.”
Once “Fast” went viral on TikTok, Sueco was able to get one of the rappers from the Grammy-winning group Migos, Offset, as well as rapper A Boogie with a Hoodie to hop on a remix of the song. Along with getting two well-known rappers to feature in the remix after “Fast” dropped, Sueco said almost every label contacted him. He then signed with Atlantic Records, saying he was offered a good deal and they were good people.
Sueco said he knew the song would do something big after he started to send it to people and received good feedback. He also said he knew at the time TikTok was popular, so he wanted to push the song on the platform.
After his song went viral on TikTok, Sueco noted that it was an untraditional way to get recognized in the industry. He said historically, new artists would get noticed with the help of people in positions of power or influence, such as big-name artists, a radio show or television show.
“Even though the power of the internet, yeah an artist can do a lot more, but it’s still been pretty much -- there has to be something that puts you on pretty much,” Sueco said. “But because of TikTok and because of how that’s working, that kind of just went out the window to some extent. Obviously, the traditional routes are still going to exist, but you can super blow up with literally no looks from anybody; just the people like it, which is almost unprecedented.”
Before TikTok, Sueco said he used to attend parties to try and gain exposure as a producer in college.
“When I was going to (California State University, Northridge), at college parties, literally I remember I would go up – I was so hungry as a producer back then, everywhere at the college parties when people would be freestyling, I would go up and have these business cards,” Sueco said. “I’d pass out business cards.”
As Sueco used to try to get recognized as a producer in college, he said he has produced most of his music by himself.
“Up until literally right now, everything was like 90 percent me and 10 percent my people,” Sueco said. “Now, I’m starting to work more closely with different producers and just getting different sounds. Right now it’s me expanding if that makes sense.”
While creating music, Sueco said he is influenced by several artists.
“I would say my biggest influences are The Weeknd, Kanye (West), Kendrick (Lamar) and Green Day,” Sueco said. “I would say those are my biggest influences, so that’s a big, wide range of music and I feel like that’s kind of what defines my sound; it’s collective. It’s just all over the place.”
Aside from music, Sueco said he is interested in several things people may not know about. One thing fans might not know about Sueco is that he is a big Star Wars fan and is currently playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. He also used to play rugby and in his downtime, he is trying to get back into downhill longboarding.
With Sueco coming to Lubbock to perform, he said fans should keep an eye out for new music to drop soon.
“Something crazy is about to happen very soon,” Sueco said regarding the music he is about to release. “I can’t tell you even a date, but in the very extreme near future, something crazy is about to happen.”