Plymouth singer/songwriter Jon Rowe talks of his Twitter fame and future ambitions
A PLYMOUTH singer/songwriter who is something of a Twitter sensation says he has come to realise that the way forward is through playing live rather than racking up social network hits, writes Clare Robinson.
Jon Rowe had upwards of 88,000 Twitter followers when a cover of a One Direction song he did went viral. It's now only slightly reduced to around 67,000/
"I set up a Jon Rowe official page online and started uploading videos for people to see and 'like', and after putting up a One Direction cover then The Power of Love, somehow the songs were 'trending' – which means that loads of people are talking about them.
"They even ended up in the NME video library."
"All this was great at the time," continues Jon, "because they were covers of well-known songs, but when I started to change the focus and introduce my own material, the number of tweets dropped. I have always written my own songs and didn't want to be associated with covers so much that I couldn't get away from doing them.
"What I've found is that despite spending hours working on building a fan-base on social media, it doesn't necessarily translate to physical success."
With a voice that's been likened to that of Robbie Williams and an ear for a good pop tune, Jon is starting to get out and about more and is especially looking forward to playing the Exeter Food Festival tomorrow, to a potential passing audience of 40,000.
His love of music started young and at the age of six he was playing cornet in the Torpoint Silver Band.
"I stopped aged 13 when I got into football and concentrated on that for a couple of years, until I was given a guitar for Christmas when I was 15."
By the age of 16 he started to perform his own material and did his first recording at 18.
Debut album What You Do To Me is downloadable from most sites while his EP I Don't Need It is available on Bandcamp.
"I'm very proud of the songs which we recorded at Momentum Studios in Plympton," says Jon, "especially the title track which wrote itself in 10 minutes and we produced in just three hours.
"It captured how I felt at the time and I knew it was going to be special."