Flashback from our June 2012 Issue Click to View
In case you haven’t heard, Sam Sparro is back and better than ever this year with a new look, album and lease on life. Sam’s been somewhat off the music scene for a few years crafting up some seri-ously good music and has returned this year with a vengeance and a new album in tow. Recently signing with record giant EMI Australia, the release this Spring of the highly anticipated album ‘Return to Paradise’ has the music scene buzzing. His singles ‘Happiness’ and ‘The Shallow End’ have been met with praise as Sam reminds us why we love him and his unique blend of pop, funk and soul that tantalizes our earbuds.. Catching up on all things music, we were lucky enough to chat with Sam recently after he’d just emerged from a yoga class, 10:30am London time..
Hi Sam, Well firstly let me thank you for taking the time out to talk to GCMag. There is a lot of ex-citement about your soon to be released album ‘Return To Paradise’ here in Australia. You’ve been off the scene for a little while working on this album, which is out here early June- how did you like the time off and are you glad to be back on the music scene doing your thing again?
So glad to be back! It has been a long and really challenging process and there were times I didn’t think I would get it finished. I’m really happy with it and I spent a lot of time working on it, chang-ing it, and figuring out exactly where I wanted to go with it. I made sure I took the time out to really make sure I stuck to my vision.
What can people expect to hear on this album and how is it different from your previous mu-sic? Hmm, where do I start! This album is a lot more organic. I felt there was something missing in pop music, something more loose and soulful and not so polished. Thats what I did with this record which for me feels quite fresh. It’s an emotional diary for me really. The last couple years of my life working on this album I went through some really grown up stuff. Depression, a bad breakup, really life changing events. I wrote about it all. I hope that people can relate to it and that by listening to it, it might help them as much as it helped me to write it.
So you’re back out touring again after nearly five years, is it good to be back on the travel cir-cuit re connecting with your fans once again? Touring again after a nice long break is definitely a nice change of scenery, I don’t like to stay in the same place for too long so it suits me perfectly! But seeing the fans and getting to reestablish that connection great, the shows I’ve done so far the response has been amazing. It’s reaffirmed my love for the music. My fans are so loyal, even without having seen me for a few years people are still really responding to the music. Which is great, I couldn’t be more grateful to have such wonderful fans. So you’ve said recently that when Page 19 Page 18 you wrote your new single ‘Happiness’, you were trying to coax yourself out of a miserable place. It seems to have worked?!..
It definitely worked. I think it’s something you constantly have to do in life. Take a step back and accept everything that happens, just take life as it comes- the good and the bad. ‘Happiness’ the song came about when I realised there’s lots of things in life I can’t control and can’t change and as long as I can accept that i’m going to be much happier. I realised, hey- I’m alive and I’m healthy, theres no need to be so anxious and depressed! You recently toured Australia for a few gigs in Sydney and Melbourne, how was it being back here? Coming to Australia was excellent. You guys are always such a great crowd. I feel like I’m playing to a bunch of friends I’ve known forever when I tour there. The people are great, always up for a good time. Australians seem to all be on very equal playing field, no one appears to be better or less than anyone else. Everyone is like a VIP- It’s definitely fun playing there for sure.
So the music on this album is influenced by the soul and funk era of the late ’70’s and ’80’s, which definitely comes through in this album. Have you always loved that sort of music and who influenced you from that era? I’ve always loved 70’s and 80’s fund and soul- but the older I’ve become I’ve gone a little bit deep-er into the music, done more research and become more aware of lesser known artists of that era. Its interesting to go back through musical history and see who influenced who. You’ve collaborated with some fantastic artists and Dj’s and written songs for the likes of Adam Lambert and Natasha Beddingfield, but who has been your favourite or most interest-ing artist to work over the years?
I’ve collaborated and done writing with lots of different people, some of which is not released yet but some has been. One of my favourites though was a side project with American rapper Mark Ronson and rapper Theophilus London. We called it Chauffeur and we only made vinyl singles. A GENERATION OF CHANGE IS HERE You’ve been described as quite the style icon. Often recalled for your individual sense of style and ability to model a suit to near perfection. Have you always had a love for fashion?
Ive always loved fashion but my taste has changed a lot over the years due to me growing up and moving around a lot. I’m a scorpio and we’re known to be adaptable and chameleon-like. I change with the times and my environment. My taste has become more refined, where three years ago you might see me in leggings and a crazy shirt, today I’m more into suits and tailored elegant menswear. Today I’m wearing a tailored power suit, I feel like I can take on the world wearing it!
I know you’ve been based overseas for years, but would you ever consider moving back home to Australia? What will it take to persuade you to come to the Gold Coast? I think about moving back a lot. When I’m older I would love to come back and get myself a beach house. I come back a couple of times a year, mostly to sydney and the Gold Coast. I have family on the Gold Coast but it’s been years since I’ve been back, maybe you’ve just tempted me to get there and do some gigs!
The Album, released June 1st 2012 is available for purchase at http://smarturl. it/SamSparroParadise or like Sam’s Facebook Page to keep up to date with everything this Sydney-born electro-pop artist is up to.