by Chelsea Ness
North East alt singer songwriter, Sam Thomas has had an incredible year when it comes to music releases, with his EP, Process, his single, Mr Sunshine and his debut album, Progress all being brought out within the year! Sam is no stranger within his local music scene meddling in a wide variety of genres such as punk, metal, indie and of course hip hop! I caught up with Sam to discuss where his love of music came from, his debut album and his musical influences. Take a read below now…
1. How did your love for music begin? It’s hard to really pin point but I remember being in my first band, playing my first gig with my friends and just feeling so good. The music was appalling and we had no idea what we were doing but it was exhilarating all the same.
2. Describe your music in three words. Alternative | Story telling | Rap
3. Who were your musical influences growing up and what drew you to them? The more I listened to music the more I became influenced but just to name a few I would say… Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Linkin Park, Paolo Nutini, Jamie T, Taking Back Sunday and quite a few different YouTube rappers from like 2010 – 2012 era… I can’t really think haha my influence comes from what is happening around me mainly and a lot of what I do is a product of the local artists I work with in my city.
4. You released your debut album, Progress in November, what’s been the general reaction? It’s been mixed, I was nervous to put out a “Rap” record because well…..I’m not a rapper but it is something I never thought I would do which means to me, I had to do it to challenge myself. Some people love it and some people say I should stick to singing and writing songs in a more conventional sense but if I were to continue doing what is easy I don’t believe I would grow my knowledge as an artist so I always strive to push boundaries and that is what progress is all about.
5. Do you have a favourite track within the album and if so why? It has to be headshot, I love the instrumental (Shout out Caps.Ctrl) but it’s all about the passion in the delivery for me….when I heard it back after it was mixed it was the first time I really felt something deep.
6. What track are you most looking forward to performing when gigs return? It has to be #IHATEHASHTAGS just for that old school boom bap sound and I wanna see if people will chant along at the end haha!
7. What track was the hardest to write and why? I would say, take my time. It’s an extremely in depth and detailed narrative on how I was feeling at the time but masked in metaphors that some might not understand but the meaning of it is way deeper than what you think.
8. Do you have a particular writing process and is there a particular place you like to write your lyrics? Most of my lyrics / songs started with one phrase and from there I build until it becomes something bigger. A lot of the lyrics on the mixtape were written before I even had an instrumental and I would fit them in with whichever beat I chose which is a little different to how some rappers write their music.
9. You’re based in the North East… what local bands / musicians can you recommend? I can recommend a ton but just to mention a few. Eyeconic (One of the smoothest dudes I know) Jack Fox (Constantly working, creating and bringing out exciting content) Jonny Sands (A voice that was built for soul / Rnb) Jamilah (Soul / Rnb Queen of the NE) Abi Nyxx (One of the most talented artists I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting with the most humble of hearts….she’s gonna be a superstar)Shakk (Only recently started listening to his music and I kick myself for doing so cause this guys pen game is second to none) Scrannabis (When you talk about developing as an artist you look to this guy…. Resilience and bags of talent to back it up) Hivemind (They make bangers and put on incredible shows) Louis Chrisp (Seriously underrated in our city but I have no doubt this guy will go far with the unique voice he has)Xavier (Doesn’t conform to what’s normal, he puts out music he loves and comes up with some quality music) Reali – T (One of my favourites rappers and writers in the NE…..The city doesn’t deserve him but we are blessed all the same) John Dole (Creative, unique and just a lovely guy that I have the pleasure of knowing) Rebecca Anna (A real talent for music and songwriting with such a soothing sweet voice) Joe Treacy (This guy doesn’t the credit he deserves but he continues to work hard! His songwriting and energy is some of the best I’ve ever heard not to mention his Paolo Nutini like vocals!)
10. What plans do you have for the future in regards to your music? I’m just going to keep making music and most importantly enjoy doing it because the minute I lose enjoyment is the minute I lose my passionI just want to put out music I’m proud of.
Make sure you check out Sam Thomas’ socials below:
Check out Sam’s debut album, Progress below…