by Mack on Tuesday, January 29th 2008
Creativity and non-conformity are what separate the true artist from the riff-raff of industry clones, and if it is creativity you are looking for, Sam Sparro is the impersonation of the word itself. From his fresh urban sound to his eclectic dress sense, I think he is worthy of any connoisseur’s playlist.
A friend of mine (who normally has bad taste in music:)) sent me “Black and Gold”, a song by Sam Sparro, and I was pretty surprised because not only was the song quite excellent, but also he had found an artist who was worthy of my 3 minutes and 59 seconds.
I have been a fan ever since .I think fans are looking for something new now, people have started downloading a lot of music and not going to buy it because the whole CD is not worth their hard earned cash. So it is always a good thing to find artists who are willing to push the envelope further in their art, and come up with something that does not sound like a million other “industry clones”.
I caught up with Sam Sparro to talk about his music and life. Here are some of the things we talked about.
How long have you been making music? How did you start?
I started singing and playing piano when I was quite young- maybe 6 or 7? My parents and grandparents were musicians so it was always in our house - but my great grandmother, Elvie, was the first to give me proper piano lessons.
She was really strict and made me do it again and again until I got it perfect.
Where are you based?
I'm originally from Sydney, Australia and now I'm based in Los Angeles - but I
like to think of myself as quite nomadic. I'm always traveling and have moved around a lot.
How do you come up with new song ideas?
My songs always come from some kind of experience that I've had, whether it be an encounter or incident with someone, or some kind of internal struggle. One of the songs on the album, Sick, was actually inspired by a film I saw.
Cool, what is your "sound"?
I like to think of it as New-Wave Funk, but I've heard lots of interesting descriptions from people that I really like. One of the heads at Sony BMG described it as Gnarles Barkley meets the Scissor Sisters... I don't know about all of that...But I'm definitely influenced by many very different types of music from House, Electro, Afro-beat, Hip-Hop, Punk, Disco, RnB, Rock, Soul, Jazz and Funk...so its always manifesting itself in different ways. I think Pop is fair broad description- and one that I'm not afraid to use.
Which artists have inspired you in your goal to make music?
I love eccentrics- Artists that just create their own world of music, style and art and just run with it - they inspire me- Artists like Bowie, Prince, Björk and others.
What is on constant replay on your ipod/mp3 player?
Right now I've been addicted to anything from Full Time records - this amazing
80's funk electro disco label. Check out "The Best of Full Time Records". I'm also loving Adele - her voice is gorgeous. Alan Braxe and Fred Falke have also been on heavy rotation.
I notice the unique fashion sense, care to describe your look?
I'm just a fashion victim. I love clothes especially when they are made well with a great sense of design and flare. I love Ksubi, Jeremy Scott, Brian Lichtenberg, Dior and lots of vintage shit. I'm addicted to sneakers and sunglasses.
How can fans get hold of your music? Any albums out?
The single "Black & Gold" will be available March 31st on Island Records with
some wicked remixes. The full length album will be out most likely in April. My first EP was only 1000 copies so if you didn't get one...you'll just have to wait ; )
Hehe, that could be a collectors item in future. Any gigs/ tours coming up?
I'll be playing a lot of shows this year....but not that many have been confirmed yet. I can report that I'll be playing in Austin, Texas at the South
by Southwest music conference, which should be a lot fun. I'm also playing the
Snowbombing Festival in Austria in April. I'll be updating gigs and tours on
myspace as soon as I know.
What is your favourite place in the world?
I love London, Paris, Stockholm and lots of other great places but I think my
favourite place in the world is still Sydney - It's just so beautiful and friendly and tasty - I always feel so peaceful and relaxed when I'm there and it's hard to wipe the smile off my face.
Besides music what do you do when you have time to kill?
Time to kill? me? I sleep when I have time to kill.
Hahaha, so what do you think about the poor performance of record sales , do you think downloading is truly hurting the industry, or the quality of music has gone down?
I can't speak for everyone but I know that when I make music...the intention
is for people to listen to it and to enjoy it...so if that means buying it or
any other way of obtaining - its getting out there. I think the changes have
given a lot of power back to the artist who can now make the music they want to.
Now - if we could just figure out better ways for artists and writers to get
paid- it'd be wicked! But I think the quality of music right now is great - so
much new and interesting stuff around!
Which of our T-shirts is your favorite?
Yellow World in Chaos T... I love yellow and the world is most definitely in
What do u think about the Live 8 concerts and similar philanthropy
stuff for Africa?
It's hard these days to get people who are comfortable in Western countries to
really care or do much about the overwhelming poverty and disease in Africa
and other countries. Live 8 and such can be a little bit "pat yourself on the
back" and "showy" but at least it brings a little bit of attention and money
to these problems, if only for a moment.
I love curry, thai and vietnamese food!!!
How fast can run a 100m?
I have no idea...
I love football/soccer (depending on where you are)... I'm not a huge sports
fan but I enjoy watching a match with friends over a couple of beers. I do
like watching Australia swim in the Olympics - I used to compete in Australia
when I was younger.
Cheers Sam and thanks for making the time. Good luck.
Thanks, all the best.
1 comment so far
brooks @ 8:46am Thursday, June 18th 2009
Thats a cool track and video...best of luck