Hello my pretties,
Remember me? You should do, I’ve popped up on here once or twice before, and let’s be honest…I’m a highly memorable character whether you like me or not (don’t worry we’ll keep it our little secret how much you adore me).
Okay, okay I know you all didn’t mosey on this way just to hear me tell you things you already know, so shall I move on?
For all the folks who are new to here – for those who are dedicated disciples of TWTB take a 10 second break, put your feet up, make a cup of tea or whatever else you do while I present a condensed welcome for the newbies – WELCOME TO TREBLE WITH THE BASS, I am Rebel Yell your host for this particular entry, a good friend of Treble. I received my orders from head office, or in our case…a cheeky text asking for an iddy biddy favour, so here I am, aren’t you all just the luckiest to be blessed with my writing.
So what juicy news do I have for you today? You really wanna know? Like really, really, REALLY want to know? Okay quit your begging I’ll tell you! I managed to spend some time with singer-songwriter Sami James, a Brighton-based lad who has spent the passed year constantly gigging around good ol’ Brighton Town. He is no stranger to the pressures of being a young musician in such a vibrant city, yet he has managed to continue to push himself to new lengths to have his music heard by as many people as possible. If you are from the area there’s a 90% chance you’ve heard him play his songs down at your local bar. You name the pub/venue I can guaranty he’s most probably played it…at least twice. However, 2016 has brought forth a new milestone in his career, he has been working hard in a studio recording his debut EP ‘Show the World’ which will be released in the following months. Shall we have some words from the main man himself? I know how much you all love hearing me ramble on, but seeing as this entry is dedicated to him I should probably let him actually get a word in after all.
Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you Mr. Sami James:
So Sami, for those who don’t know your music how would you describe it?
I don’t really like over analysing what I write, but if I was to listen to it as an outsider I would say simple words with a lot of meaning, with an indie/pop/folk type of feel.
Any particular bands or artists you can compare yourself with for style? As indie/pop/folk covers a fair amount of musical ground.
Artists I can be compared to are the likes of Turin Brakes, John Mayer, Noel Gallagher or Neil Young.
Who would you say influenced your writing, especially as you were growing up?
I could write a massive list of people who have influenced me in a certain way, but from the bottom of my heart probably Noel Gallagher from Oasis, just the way all of his songs meant so much to me when I was growing up. They made me really passionate about music, more than in writing or playing guitar.
Let’s get some of the cliché questions out of the way, how long have you been writing music now?
8 years, I remember vividly writing a lot of very crap songs between the ages of 15 to 18, and I remember writing one specifically good song called ‘Turn around’ when I was 18 which I consider being my first song.
Do you still play “Turn Around” as part of your repertoire? More importantly has it managed to secure a place in your upcoming E.P?
I still play it now and again, but it won’t appear in my upcoming E.P. There is a recording of that song with an old band I used to be in called Midnight State.
It can be heard here: ‘Turn Around’
You’ve been gigging around Brighton for little over a year now, some say playing live is like an addiction, each show is a new hit, how would you describe the sensation?
For me it is a complete escapism of whatever situation I am in life at that specific moment. Yeah, a complete addiction I would say. I am completely obsessed with being better than I was yesterday which can get a bit depressing if I’ve played a bad gig.
Seeing as you’ve been performing constantly for so long, have you started to notice familiar faces that were once new? Created your own fan base?
Yes I would say, but they tend to always talk to me after the gig and end up being friends and that, so I don’t know if to consider them fans or just friends (laughs).
Brighton is a very competitive market for new, upcoming musicians what were/are the main challenges about getting yourself noticed?
I think the main challenge that a lot of people don’t consider is, you can’t just play a gig/concert/show whatever and then just leave. In my opinion you have to hang around have a drink with the fans. I feel you have to show some sort of personality, or show your identity to people aside of music.
Where do you find inspiration for new songs?
I really don’t know. I wish I had a cool answer for this question but I don’t want to lie. I may wake up one day and write an amazing song, and wake up another and nothing will happen. I think it’s a lot to do with your emotions and your motivation at the time.
Right, now we’ve got the standard questions out the way, let’s get some dirt on your new E.P. Tell us about the new tracks you’ve been recording.
The tracks I have chosen for my E.P are the ones that resonate the most with one and other I feel, and obviously I’m going to think they’re great. I don’t want to give too much away to be honest. The E.P is called ‘Show the World’ and the main concept of it is about having faith in your passion and following what you love.
Sounds interesting, which song on the album has the most powerful story/meaning to you? Why?
Argh… To choose one is very hard for me. But Probably ‘Show the World’ as the title of the E.P. It means something special to me because I feel it kind of wrote itself, I picked up the guitar one day and I wrote it in 20min as I remember. The message behind it is about not giving up on hope, or your passion, or your faith in something special.
Now every songwriter gets asked this and you’re no different, right of passage really, what comes first usually for you, music or lyrics?
I feel music comes first, lyrics second. You can have a great song with poor lyrics, but if the music is crap with great lyrics, it may as well be a poem.
Has this E.P been a lifetime working progress, collection of your favourite originals, or was it planned and written purely for this one E.P?
I have sort of been delaying recording an E.P for about 3 years, but I would say yes these are my 5 favourite collection of songs, I feel these have a certain special place in my heart.
What were the main challenges when writing and recording this E.P?
The main challenges I feel is the recording itself, writing was no problem at all because I had written these songs individually without thinking they were going to end up being in my E.P. Recording is hard because there’s so many things you can do in a studio with ideas floating round all the time and it’s very hard to stick to one decision because once you finish the E.P you can’t go back. So I want to make sure it sounds as best as it can be.
Okay, last question and then I’ll let you go. No longer be my hostage! So Sami, what defines you as an artist? What makes you and your E.P stand out?
What defines me as an artist is that I am honest and pure – I don’t have that filter in my brain to stop me from saying it as it is and I think that’s what makes me different. I feel my music is catchy and edgy. Edgy enough to make you think yet simple enough to make sing the words.
Okay my lovelies, that was Sami James from Brighton. Give him a round of applause, don’t be rude now, ohh the wolf whistle was a nice touch my hat goes off to whoever did that!
So be sure to watch this space for Mr. James’ upcoming E.P because I can assure you that it will be more than worth it. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing this songwriter for quite some time now, so trust me when I say you do not want to miss what he has to offer.
Now that’s it from me my pretties, I hope you enjoyed my company as I much as I did…I mean…as much as I enjoyed your company. You may see me appear a few more times on here, but then again you might not. But let’s be honest you’re going to want more of me because I’m such an addictive creature. Until then,
Written By: Rebel Yell
To find out more about Sami James then click on the links below and keep yourselves updated: