Multi-talented UK artist Samm Hemshaw honed his vocals in the church, and caught the attention of the festival circuit this summer with his show-stopping sets at Parklife, Wireless, Barn on the Farm, Bushstock and many more.
With his own headline tour starting in November, and debut EP The Sound Experiment days away from its release, we caught up with Samm in his dressing room, moments before stepping out on stage at Manchester’s o2 Apollo in support of James Bay.
How does it feel to be supporting James Bay?
Mad. I’m a huge fan, I remember listening to his EPs when they first came out. And now I’m here! And he’s such a lovely person.
How important do you think festivals are for emerging artists?
We did quite a few this year, they’ve definitely helped with introducing more people to my sound. In particular, Barn on the Farm was genuinely the best festival we played this year, it definitely shows how important festivals are for up and coming artists. The whole idea and the whole vibe is wicked, we loved it.
Do you feel additional pressure as an artist now that you’re signed?
There’s been more pressure in certain areas, yeah. But, everything’s been cool. I mean, as soon as I left University I started to do this full time, so that’s when it really changed. But I still wake up and do what I wanna do!
What would you be doing if you weren’t pursuing music?
I studied popular music performance at uni, so I’d probably be a music teacher – I’m no good at anything else!
EP The Sound Experiment is out soon. What sounds have you been experimenting with?
All types. With this certain experiment, it was more about experimenting with the process – and trying to do things outside of the norm. That involved experimenting in areas such as song-writing. I tried to write about things I’d never written about before, but I also tried to write in a different way. On Better, we experimented with not putting a verse in, not adding a bridge.
Interesting. What about genres?
We did experiment with genres too. I deliberately didn’t want to label the EP with one solid genre. There’s no traditional theme to the EP, we incorporated different elements of style and genre, that’s when it really became The Sound Experiment.
Do you have a personal favourite track on the record?
No, I don’t like any of them! Joking. It’s got to be Temptations and Everything. I rap on on Temptations, so it was fun to play with words. And Everything really gets your head bopping!
What can we expect from your headline tour?
The headline tour is all about the EP! I’m really excited. It’s gonna be wicked. Expect good music, and a bunch of lads jamming on stage. We just want to have fun essentially. Also, Izzy Bizu is supporting and she’s amazing!
What advice do you have for anyone trying to break into the music industry?
Surround yourself with good people. Remember that it’s about your music, and focus on that more than anything. Work hard. Work extremely hard. But still make time to have fun, and enjoy what you do!