Prior to announcing the concept album that boasts collaborations with the likes of Clairo and J. Warner, the PMR-signed producer had already shared studio time with the likes of G-Eazy, Gallant and Col3trane, foreshadowing the immense respect SG has amassed within the industry.
This summer, the British artist is hitting the road. We had the pleasure to catch Sam during his first Asia tour as part of Indonesia’s We The Fest. Get to know the man behind Dusk below.
What’s Jakarta been like?
I mean it’s crazy. Just on the way from the airport to the hotel…it’s a huge culture shock, very different. It’s exciting to be here
Is it your first time?
Yes, first time in Southeast Asia. It’s been amazing so far. You know, you never know if your music is going to travel. You get booked for these festivals...
But you don’t know if the Spotify streams will translate...
Exactly. You have an “x” amount of monthly listeners, you wonder what that means…but then you get to the hotel, you see all these fans. It’s crazy, I didn’t expect there to be anyone who knew my music out here. To have people that really fuck with it, that’s awesome.
Do you reckon you have a soundtrack for Jakarta from your recent release (Dusk)?
(Laughs) I’d like to say Aura, it’s a little bit cheeky and uptempo.
You just dropped a new release. Could you tell us a bit more about the concept behind it?
So Dusk is the first part of the concept album that I’m doing. The album is broken up into three parts- Dusk, Dark and Dawn- the music that follows the trajectory of a night out. It’s about the music at the start of the night, in the middle of the night and at the end of the night. I’m just fascinated by the fact that there’s so much music around club culture, even if it’s not music that’s necessarily played on the dance floor. I’m really fascinated with the purpose of music, the way in which music is digested. That was really why I wanted to do the album. I’ve released the first part, Dusk, which is sort of the start of the night, sunset hour, very sort of West Coast setting. I have finished up the second part of the album, Dark. The first song is dropping in about two weeks or so. It’s so easy to look at nightlife in this kind of cynical way- people getting fucked up and going out- but there is beauty in that. Some of the best moments in my entire life have been, like, enjoying music in a room with people. Sometimes that music soundtracks magic moments. It’s so easy to get corny about it but you can experience some things in those environments that you wouldn’t anywhere else. It’s about people coming together.
Tell me more about Clairo and J. Warner in that case.
How did those collaborations come about?
I’ve been spending a little bit of time out in LA. I love London but, the more time I spend in LA, the more I ind of start to get it. When you first go there, it’s this big lonely city, but over time…If my life were to turn out perfectly, I’d try to spend the start of the year in LA, then spend the summer in London. Clairo, I’m good friends with her. Her manager Patt also manages Chance (The Rapper) and stuff. We were talking about doing a track. I invited her down to the studio out in LA and showed her a couple of things that I’ve been working on. She wanted to jump on one of them straight away and wrote most of the song in under twenty minutes. We did all in like half an hour. So, we finished the track, hung out for a bit, and then agreed to put it out the following week.
I saw the iMessage chat you posted.
(Laughs) She’s amazing. What’s really cool about her is that it’s all very genuine. I think that’s why people love her.
And that her come-up felt organic...
Yes, and I think that reflects in her fans and music. It really is just her writing songs in her bedroom. She produces them as well, all the beats sound lo-fi and stuff because she’s making them in GarageBand.
He’s one the most talented vocalists in London. He’s got the most soulful voice. I had the idea for Aura, the instrumental and I had written “I feel your aura”.I sort of knew what I wanted it to sound like so I invited J down to the studio. We took one of the takes, cut it up and just sat there and wrote the lyrics for it. It happened supper quickly.
And you just captured the moment.
Exactly. And again, we agreed to put it out the following week.
“Better” x @Clairo out now on all good platforms 🌅 Huge love to Clairo for being super awesome (she wrote the top line in about 20 mins, crazy ⚡️), and huge love to @pomobeats and @dannymckinnon for writing the instrumental with me - the whole track started from the three of us jamming, me on keys, Pomo on sample drums and bass, and Danny on guitar. Hope you all love it as much as we do now GO LISTEN 💙🌅 Visuals by the 🐐 @rorydewar
Tell me more about your live set?
There’s five of us on stage- the drummer, keyboard player, my set-up, and then there’s two singers. The singers take turns covering the vocals of the different collaborations. The live set is it’s own thing, there’s some moments that don’t really happen on the record. I have this vision of it being this mix between electronic and live, and it kind of sits bang in the middle.
Last but not least, tell me about the three-part music video you’ve just shot?
We did a three-part video with Harvey Pearson, one of my really good friends who directed it. We wanted it to be a concept video that reflected the concept of the album. I’m so happy with how it turned out. It just helps to reflects the concept.
And the aura.
Yes (laughs). On the other hand, we shot a music video with Clairo last week. It’s our tribute to the 90s hip-hop videos- tracksuits, fisheye lens, LED dance floor- it’s super lo-fi. We were basically just making fools of ourselves. I’m excited to share that.
courtesy SG LEWIS
interview UNDINE MARKUS
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