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Seth Staton Watkins will take his Irish tunes from TikTok to real life this St. Patrick’s Day

Seth Staton Watkins

Seth Staton Watkins works as an energy conservation consultant — but now, TikTok has given him a new outlet. The 26-year-old St. Louis man posts videos of himself singing Irish rebel songs. In no time he racked up millions of views and learned how to layer his vocals, creating his own digital acapella group using only his voice.

Now, after gaining 370,000 followers and a wardrobe stocked with tweed, he’s ready for his first live performance.

Conveniently, his show is on St. Patrick’s Day. Watkins argued on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air that even for someone without a personal connection to Ireland, Irish rebel ballads are something we all can connect with.

“It exemplifies struggle,” Watkins said. “That's something that is universal in all human cultures, unfortunately — but also perseverance through that struggle.”

Watkins plans to not only sing Irish songs in his March 17 set, but also share some context as to what the songs are about.

“They're songs that were sung by Irish people finding hope amidst immense struggle against the English occupation for the last 800 years until they won their independence,” he said.

Of course, there will also be drinking songs. That’s the Irish way.

Watkins grew up in Indianapolis with no direct ties to Ireland. But he discovered a love for Irish music after his dad joined an Irish band when he was a child. Now Watkins Sr. plans to drive to St. Louis from Indianapolis after a gig of his own to join his son onstage. He’ll play the violin, an instrument Watkins regrets giving up as a child.

Bar seats are sold out, but table seats are still available for $15 a ticket.

Related Event

What: Seth Staton Watkins’ St. Patrick’s Day show

When: 7:30 p.m. March 17

Where: The Blue Strawberry, 364 N. Boyle Ave., St. Louis, MO 63108

For Seth Staton Watkins, Irish songs were the path to viral TikTok videos

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Emily Woodbury, Kayla Drake, Danny Wicentowski and Alex Heuer. Jane Mather-Glass is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Kayla is a general assignment reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.