Thursday, May 18, 2017

Meet S.A.M!

Hey guys,

It has been a while since I've introduced an artist, performer, entertainer or just an inspirational person to you guys. I have previously interviewed Make Up Artist - Vithya Visvendra , Dancer - Krrish Siva, Model - Sabby Jey.

While I took a break from introducing artists to you guys I have found lots and lots of new artists on Instagram. It is amazing how much talent you can just find on Instagram by clicking through different artists that support each other as well as the people involved in the production process.

Anyhow on my Instagram search sessions I came across S.A.M.

 Samuel or Sam as most people call him- is a 19 year old musician and student. He currently is in his first year at City University studying Economics. He says he has always been in and around music and started playing piano at about 6 years old alongside violin. 
He's clearly good at what he does but I wanted to find out some more things about him. I've asked him to introduce himself to you guys and followed up with a few interesting questions. 

"I gained the God given ability which I'm truly grateful for, which is to be able to play by ear. (In simple terms it means I can hear a melody or a song and basically work it out on the spot and play it). However rapping I started pretty young which people don't really know about me. In year 4, I was sitting on my table with my two mates Anthony and Ryan, Anthony was writing "bars" on a piece of paper. At the time I listened to rap music and stuff but didn't really understand what that even meant, I can't lie. I saw him doing it, and then was like why not so I went home tried doing it. I still remember my first ever lyrics. Sooo cringe. I used to call myself Fire Kid and do the rap "I spit like thunder I spit like wind cos u know who I am I'm fire kid..." Very basic indeed. However it sparked from there, over the years I guess I grew fonder to music. Many people don't know but I did quite a lot of extra curricular asides music including drama which I was also heavily involved with. 

I started taking it a bit more seriously I'd say from about Year 10. I was always the first to volunteer to rap or perform in assemblies or class shows, always loved to showcase my musical ability etc. I guess coming from Asian stereotypes it is hard to sometimes pursue something that is not classed as "academic." Hence, like a lot of Asian kids I was led in an academic route but I always did music on a side. 

People were always telling me to start up a Youtube channel, so I eventually did at the end of year 11. At first it was piano covers then slowly raps over well known instrumentals. 

I created the concept of calling myself S.A.M- to obviously say my names Sam but also to stand for "Spirit And Music." Thought long and hard about the concept but it made sense, the two things that ultimately always drove me forward in life was my religion (spirit) and music. Religion plays a big part for me, also because mainly through church playing did I become diverse myself and allow understanding of different music. From classical to carnatic (Western to Eastern music).

Despite this until my tune "6 feet under" , "See You" and the tune "Its only You" a Jegz tune which I  featured on - I don't believe I was taking the music on the side thing seriously until I worked on these songs. 

Who inspired you to start releasing your own songs?

Inspiration  to write my own songs- to be honest that is a question I've never properly thought about. I'd like to think it's a lot of personal experiences, problems and situations I've seen or encountered. Good events etc. For example 6 feet under was written over the course of a year while I was in year 12 at sixth form, it characterises all the events that affected me during that time with deeper meanings, the metaphors were meant to symbolise my inability to ever talk about those things to a lot of people in a straight up manner hence I disguised it.
This may sound weird - I love words, the way you can manipulate them, phrase them its just mad. That along with rhythms was mad. 
But yeah, I try to progress as an all round musician, not just an artist or just a rapper or a pianist. 

What were the responses like after you released 'Let's See Why You Came'?
Onto my latest single, "Let's See Why You Came". Honestly I was pleasantly surprised with the extent of the positivity around the song. Loads of people loved it. I receive messages everyday from someone new saying that they play it all the time etc. I went about writing let's see why you came how I write most my songs. There are two times when someone like me writes their lyrics, 1) train journeys  2) when I'm feeling some kind of mad emotion or feeling about something.

What are your plans for your future, in terms of your music career?

For the future- I just want to branch out a bit to create a larger audience and fanbase. Don't get it twisted, love the current support I'm getting however I want to break out of just the Tamil stereotype and allow my music to be heard by everyone and anyone, since my music is applicable to a wide range audience. Definitely more collaborations to be done soon with other artists as long as a lot of solo tunes,  once exams are over and summer hits then things will start happening. 

How did you go about releasing a whole song? Did you just decide to write a song one day and then started looking for people who could help you with it or how exactly did you manage to do it?

For let's see why you came - in all honestly the song was written in a 40 minute train journey into central. However the level to which it was pushed to become a video on a major platform like GRM DAILY was mainly due to Mr Saj. He pushed me to make this song a big vision we got the video done  within two days after me and Saj had a conversation about it. Big up 821 media for the video. Then Saj connected the links to GRM to get them to upload, I can proudly say we didn't pay our way onto the channel. 

Have you experienced any negative responses? How do you deal with it?

Of course being in this particular industry there has always been hate, whether it be for my race, or for some petty reasons. It hurts more when its within a race that usually supports your grind. In any career pathway in life you will experience hate, if it's positive criticism then you should take it on board, if not then you should take it in one ear and out the other. In my opinion- focus on yourself and your craft and work on it. To this day I still sit down to try and perfect flows, to redraft lyrics, work out new melodies etc. Nothing happens overnight. Recently as well I have been getting more into production of my songs as well, it doesn't feel fair on myself playing various instruments and being musical if I don't start producing so definitely going to invest in equipment and start doing that. 

How do you manage with all the workload and exams and promotion? Do you get any help with it?

I am still in uni studying Economics. It is difficult to balance both, without a doubt. Hats off to any other artists doing that. My plan is to keep growing music on the side till the point one day I will either be in a position where I can solely focus on music or go into production and bringing up new artists. However having said this I do push promotion thoroughly by myself, my main platform currently is Instagram. However I am looking to become well known on other social platforms as well but baby steps at the moment. 

Expect lots of new music soon. Just dropped a quick freestyle on my birthday in the middle of exams to demonstrate the grind don't stop. 

Sam is one of my favorite upcoming artists and I can tell that he will keep growing and share more music with us in the future. All the best to him! You guys should check out his music and do let me know what you think.

If you wanna have a look at his work check out his social media handles! 

Twitter: @spiritandmusic
Facebook page:
Soundcloud: S.A.M



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