We speak to singer-songwriter Sam Way about his work/life balance as he makes his way, carving out a life, and a career in the big smoke.
Music and the arts are a big talking point right now with a move away from faceless corporate jobs towards the dream of ‘making your stamp on your industry’. But what is it really like for a young adult trying to make their way in an ever-condensing market of signers and songwriters? Read Sam’s answers to find out.
How would you describe your style of music and who are some of your main inspirations?
For me, before style, comes the song. Everything starts by the working with an instrument, working with the words, and the meaning of the song itself. In terms of production, the new album leans towards an ‘epic indie pop’ sound, but I’m always open to finding the ‘right’ production values for the song itself, but then again, is there a ‘right’ answer. I guess you just have to trust your ears. I grew up relishing the word play and dynamism of EMINEM, got really into this the sound of dubstep and it’s pioneers like BENGA, but lately I’ve been so inspired by reading Patty Smiths incredible bio, ‘Just Kids’ But the most inspiring things to me in terms of songwriting are the relationships I have, the people around me and the stories we carry.
How long have you been doing this for and what did you do before?
My first release was in 2014 – I had originally moved up to London to pursue the unlikely career – it felt weird at the time anyway – as a male model. I was scouted when I was 16 and moved up here to the big smoke when I was 21. I only really picked up the guitar and started songwriting a years or two into living here, kind of as therapy, to process everything that was going on in my life at the time.
Can you think of any key challenges you had to overcome and how did you battle them to get to where you are?
Absolutely, challenges are everywhere. I guess in a way I’m proud of the fact I just did what I did, I believed in myself from the very beginning, and always did things my own way. No pun intended. (lol) I met a few people in the industry who said they would help and ultimately just provided me with resistance, or who made a lot of promises and then didn’t come through. That just taught me, ‘you always have to drive the bus’ I obviously fucked up a whole lot too, broke strings onstage, had moments of doubt and frustration, highs and lows – but I never stopped loving having found an creative outlet, and always chipped away at what has become my craft,
What is the dream, or where would you like to see yourself in five or ten years?
There are ample dreams, I want to play Glasto, the Pyramid stage – the crowd to sing your song back at you. That would fill me with tears I think. That would be a dream. I want one of my songs to be on the end credits of some incredible film, the sort where everyone leaves the cinema in awe. I want to tour the world, singing everyday, meeting new people and working with other creators to create work that challenges us as artists and the people who listen to it. This is a long way off, but one day, I want to be the ‘cool, weird old granddad’ who sings to my children’s children – makes them laugh, makes them think about life, and make them fall in love with music
How do you find balancing lifestyle and downtime with your music?
For me it’s all about, health, micro-goals, focusing, yoga, and space – one that I have to create just so I can be creative. Time management is key when your entire life is in flux, and planning, if you don’t plan ahead, by more than 3 months at least, then your not going about things the right way.
If you could give one piece of advice to a young spark looking to start in the music industry, what would that be?
Use everything you’ve got going for you, start with you friends, if there’re not going to support you, you have an uphill struggle ahead. Be brave, invest in yourself, and be realistic too. Don’t stress, when is stress ever worth it. Don’t even focus on making it, whatever that means to you. But set your own definition of success and stick to that. Believe. Work with other people. Never Stop learning, and…of course….drive that bus….
What has been your favourite event you have attended this month? If not month, this year?
I enjoyed the DIESEL party that was in a warehouse space in east London back in Feb – for fashion week. It was a totally unplanned adventure, and I even made a music video out if it too. 😉 (Now that’s a hustle)
And finally, what do you think is the best part about being an upcoming musician right now?
Life is honestly, exciting….what more can you want?….
Thank you so much for talking to us and telling us about your experiences! We love the new single, pretty liability which came out today! (which you can listen to here) and make sure to check out Sam on Twitter and Instagram!
Do you have any tips or advice on how to overcome challenges in the working world? Let us know by talking to us on Twitter!
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