Devon-born, London-based singer-songwriter, Sam Way, released a limited-edition artist’s book alongside his latest single, ‘Reflections’ – depicting, in his own words: “my own journey so far, a deeper insight into the contexts that surround my songwriting and the creative process. It’s nice to be able to take people a little deeper.”
The project brings Sam’s lyrics together with his diaries, all showing the complex man underneath the music. With accompanying photos, ‘Reflections’ engraves and explores the stories behind his songs. In Sam’s words, ’Reflections’ gives readers insight into the “multitudes of personality that all seem to be housed in this one human shell.” These shards reflect the deep inner life that drives Sam’s music. Readers see new layers in Sam’s songs and discover how writing provides a therapeutic, cathartic way for him to process all the turbulence in life.
In the limited-edition book – a collaboration with London’s Journal – Sam reaches out to his readers with his love of words, “all the joy they’ve brought me and all the magic they create.” He writes with his characteristic sincerity that “If this book has one purpose, it’s to make you take a pen and write.” An expansive, stunning entry into the ways Sam weaves together words from his inner world, ‘Reflections’ invites fans to share in the intoxicating magic that runs through his music.
“If this book has one purpose, it’s to make you take a pen and write.”
“Sam’s fast becoming a big name and ‘Reflections’ shows why, says Kirk Truman, Journal’s Founder and General Editor. “He mixes visual art, music, and performance and is right in the new vibrancy that runs through London. At Journal, we’re delighted to be working with him.”
‘Reflections’ builds on the signature sound that Sam developed in his EPs, Architect (2017) and Archetype (2017) – his own blend of indie-pop with warm moving voice, sincere searching lyrics, genre-crossing instrumentation,and a passionate dedication to his craft. Between them, Architect and Archetype have won Sam a huge online following, with the latter climbing to number 8 in the singer-songwriter charts in the UK. More recently ‘Interlude’, his first ever piano composition has amassed over 60K streams.
This latest track sees Sam sing to the ‘reflections’ that face him. It’s an entrancing song, which goes straight to the heart with Sam’s desire to break through life’s surface and his fragile hope that ‘reflections won’t stop me’.
“I guess personally I’m less interested in trends, and more interested in re-discovering what might feel authentic.”
Already a Musical Ambassador for the Swiss watchmaker Raymond Weil, Sam has started an ongoing collaborative and creative project with UK fashion brand REISS which will continue throughout the year. FMS caught up with the artist, todig a little deeper behind the creative process, and find out what’s next in store, with our Q&A from Mars…
01- Which colours do you associate visually with the recording and listening of the song?
“’Reflections’ is a song that is blue all over, that glassy grey blue, the kind you see when you watch the surface of a really still lake on a cold day.”
02- Which records, songs or remixes were on your playlist on repeat, before, during and after the making of ‘Reflections’?
“‘Prayer’ – Go Go Penguin; ‘Pale Blue Dot’ – Roger Goula; ‘An Opening’ – Charlie Cunningham.”
03- What was the inspiration behind the acoustic/Latin sound of ‘Reflections’ and is it something that would you like to continue or change in the next release?
“I say this a lot, a song is a living thing, it can have many different manifestations and I guess any released work, though somehow a definitive piece, it’s also somehow just a work in progress, a step along the way. The Latin vibe in ‘Reflections’ just came about in the studio and we liked it, so it stayed. It was unexpected, but I like the unexpected. The next release will be a progression, something different, hopefully something unexpected too.”
“The Latin vibe in ‘Reflections’ just came about in the studio and we liked it, so it stayed. It was unexpected, but I like the unexpected.”
04- Furthermore, how much do fashion and trends influence your image as an artist, and yourself overall?
“Nothing says ‘Nothing’ – Every gesture, everything you do, write about or wear is open to interpretation, it’s a chance to say something as an extension of your identity if you want it to be. I guess personally I’m less interested in trends, and more interested in re-discovering what might feel authentic. If you set your compass for that as an artist, I think you’ll be taken where you need to be. I think it serves to be open to how fashion, the way others dress or how you dress, can make you feel.”
05- Who was/were your idol/s when you were a teenager that made you decide to start singing and conquer the world?
“Mum was the hero in my life growing up. Sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. She’s still a pillar of virtue in my life now and back then she instilled in me the idea that if I really wanted to do something, there was nothing that could stop me from getting there. I was never even interested in becoming a singer as a kid either, I was much more into acting, or being a marine biologist, a ninja, or a computer game designer – I guess I found music late… but when I did… when I felt it bring so much intangible richness and wonder into life… I was already ready to offer it all it had.”
06- What types of setups on stage do you have in mind for the different venues’ sizes?
“Ideal world – A Church, 4-piece string quartet, choir,
Real World – Small intimate venues, me, my guitar, a stompbox, cello
“I’m becoming really interested in curating the experience of the audience more, finding interesting spaces, taking them on a journey with more than just the music. Watch this space.”
08- Memes / Habits: Describe to us your daily routine to the studio, and some funny situations, that are reminding you of the “process” of the creation of the single.
“Ha ok. Try get some a good rest the day before, warm up the body, do some Yoga, warm up the voice, make some weird sounds, get your zen on, eat something that ain’t gunna make you feel bloated and tired, be prepared to get it wrong, just surrender, have a laugh, make it fun, take a break, rest your ears. >>> Sometimes things in the studio just don’t flow, nothing seems to fit and you just wanna call it a day, those times, they can be maddening, but you have to persevere… they make you.
“In the studio I recorded most of second EP in, they had this little plastic ‘troll’ toy with massive purple hair right next to one of the monitor speaker, whenever the bass kicked in on the song, the trolls hair jumped around in time with the beat. It always made me smile.”
09- How much fashion and artistic collaborations will you be involved in with future releases?
“As many as possible. Collaboration just makes you better.”
‘Reflections’ and the accompanying limited-edition book is out now.