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Sam Fender at King Tuts

Written by on 6th November 2018

From being named one of BBC Sounds of 2018to performing on Later…With Jools Holland,singer-songwriter Sam Fender is the newest musician to get his music in the minds of the youth.

I remember during the summer of this year I had been searching for new music to listen to when I came across his song Dead Boyswhich focuses on the stigma of mental health in men. Ever since that first listen I was hooked and I needed to know more, so I headed down to King Tuts Wah Wah Hut on Halloween where I got the chance to catch up with Sam before the show on what inspires him:

“I’ve been lucky enough to be born into a family of musicians, so I’ve been surrounded by it from very early days and I think that really affected me via osmosis.

There were always musicians that my family were friends with that I was kind of inspired by as well, but in the early days I loved all the Nirvana and Oasis stuff and then I was kind of put onto things like Bruce Springsteen and all the classic singer-songwriters, and then I was into loads of soul stuff after that. I was really into Donny Hathaway and Sam & Dave, like really old stuff. Now my music taste is more eclectic and a lot more modern.”

His song, Play God, which features on Fifa 19, describes a dystopian world where “no matter who you are or where you been, he is watching from the screen.” With so much of Sam’s music focusing on social and political subjects I was keen to know his creative process and how he thinks of what he wants to write about:

“The creative process is kind of each to their own, everyone’s got their own little thing. I tend to write lots of lyrics down on my phone. Sometimes it hits you and you get it done in five minutes. Some of the best ones I’ve done in five minutes. They’ve come in a mad flurry and then that’s it done.

I’m just a twenty-two-year-old. I write about what’s in front of us. It’s not like I specifically went: I am going to write some songs about the government or male suicide or sexual harassment. I’m writing about mine and other people’s existences. I write about stories that I can relate to and that I have seen personally.

A lot of people have been coming forward [to me] and talking about their experience with suicide. It’s a bit of a slap in the face from reality really. I never wanted to capitalise on a tragedy. I was just writing about my experience.”

I was also interested to hear how he felt his performance onLater…With Jools Hollandwent, what he was feeling, and if it lived up to what he thought the experience would be like:

“It was a wonderful experience that we got to do that. It is a milestone, it’s something that you dream of as a kid…well I did anyway.”

Sam’s first EP titled after his single Dead Boys will be out on 20 November 2018 and is now available to pre-order on LP, cassette, and for digital download.

Written by Olivia Hall


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