Samuel Jack is relatively new to the music scene. The UK-based artist began performing in 2015 and released his first music in 2016. Vocally reminiscent of Hozier with plenty of musical energy and vivacity, Jack draws you into his songs through catchy rhythms and charming vocals. Though he has only released a handful of songs so far, keep an eye for more music this year!
Emily Cardé: Your website mentions that you got your start by singing for your supper. Can you tell us about that experience and some stories about your start as a musician?
Samuel Jack: It wasn’t until my late teens that I sat down at a piano, let alone thought about singing. It was actually a friend of mine that got me into singing properly. He was a good pianist, and one night at my local [pub] (which, coincidentally, I was working in) he had me sing ‘Light My Fire’ by The Doors. It was a ‘lock in’ type situation around the battered old piano, just us and a few locals. I loved it, and from then on I started teaching myself a bit, noodling in between shifts. It got to the point where I’d exchange a few songs for a few beers after I’d finished work. They were good times, and where it all began for me.
Emily: You’ve worked a bit with Sofar Sounds. How has that experience been, and what is your impression of doing house shows?
Samuel: Sofar Sounds is an absolutely awesome. As a songwriter, all you really want is people’s ears. Sofar Sounds guarantees just that: always a full audience, all avid music lovers, and all there to really listen to what you’ve got to say. The other great thing about those shows is that because they’re so intimate, you can really connect with the crowd, have a chat afterwards, give them a deeper insight into yourself as an artist. Funnily enough, I actually performed a Sofar Sounds in Los Angeles just last week.
‘Let It All Out’ is a song about being together, getting things off your chest, being okay with making mistakes, and just being content with who you are.
Emily: How would you define your musical style?
Samuel: I continue to be influenced by a wide range of genres, I’d say primarily Blues, Soul, Hip Hop, anything roots-oriented. I’ve had previous comparisons to artists like Hozier and Sam Smith—which of course is hugely flattering, but I’ve got my voice, my own story to tell, and I’m hoping people will enjoy it with me.
Emily: Can you tell us a little more about the song ‘Let It All Out’? It’s very catchy and I’d love to know a little about the story.
Samuel: Sure. ‘Let It All Out’ is a song about being together, getting things off your chest, being okay with making mistakes, and just being content with who you are. Above that, I just wanted to write a song that made people want to sing it out loud. So far, so good on that front. It’s a really fun song to play live because the audience does just that.
Emily: What does the songwriting process look like for you?
Samuel: An onion. Ha! No, the songwriting process is different for me with almost every song. I might write some lyrics then take them to a piano, or I might just sit at a piano and write on the fly, or sometimes I might write what you call a top-line over a track vibe. It’s a fascinating thing, songwriting, and I love talking to other writers about the craft and how everyone has their own approach. There’s just no set way to go about writing a song. For me the important thing is to write when you’re inspired, and not to try to force a song. That’s when the magic happens.
Emily: What do you hope to communicate through your music?
Samuel: How I feel—no doubt. I just hope to write music that resonates with people. That’s the ultimate goal for any musician, I think. I had a lovely email from someone recently that was a thank you. One of my songs had helped her through a rough time. It was just the nicest thing to hear. If I can keep doing that, I’ll keep writing music forever, I think.
Emily: Any concrete plans for another EP or a full-length album?
Samuel: I’ll be releasing my next single in February. Following that, you’ll just have to wait and see. But there will definitely be lots, lots more coming from me very soon.
Photo courtesy of Samuel Jack.