In this edition of #CREATORTALK, we speak to musician and visual artist SAMUEL ( @samuel_visuals_ on Instagram). #CREATORTALK is a series of articles and interviews, with a focus on the creative industries and the the talent working within them.
PW- Hey Samuel! How’s it going?
Hey! I’m doing well thanks, it’s nice to chat with you.
PW- So, first thing’s first. For those who don’t know yet, how would you sum up who you are and what you do?
For those who don’t know me, I would describe myself as a visual artist who writes, produces and sings electronic pop music. I also direct, edit and co-shoot my own videos too.
PW- You’ve released several tracks and demos this year so far. Which would be your personal favourite/ highlight and why? (I know it’s like picking a favourite child, but we won’t tell :P)
Haha to be honest I don’t mind picking favourites with songs. For me, they feel less like “children” and more like “polaroids snap shots” of a particular time in life. “I Don’t Wanna Be Alone Forever” is a song that still resonates with me and the message behind it. I wrote and produced the song a few months into living in London, I felt disconnected and like I wasn’t meeting genuine people. The song conveys exactly how I felt at the time, and I like that. My favourite line from that is “I don’t wanna be alone forever, but it’s hard to settle down and the city keeps you going until you are all worn out”. I wanted it to reflect that the constant treadmill-like mentality that people have living in a city can burn you out after a while.
PW- Your videos are particularly striking, mixing live-action content and nostalgic GIFs and clips from cartoons and stock footage. Where does your inspiration for this come from?
Well to be honest, I didn’t want to have my music videos feature my face so much. I know it may sound off to some, but I wanted to take more of a backseat and let the songs take over. Using vintage clips was a perfect way to add texture and subtext to the songs and not have to feature me so heavily. Also, my songs tend to sound melancholy and having retro clips over them really helps bring out that sense of nostalgia, as if time has passed by.
PW- You trained at UCA in Film Production before launching into your music journey. What lessons did you learn at uni that transfer over to your solo music career?
Oh gosh so much! I’m so glad I started in film, because that allowed me to package myself in a fuller way as an artist when it came to making music. When I play chords on the piano and start writing lyrics, I get images and pictures come into my head for how I could promote the song. It speaks to me and tells me in my head what it needs video wise. The only downside is I am my absolute worst enemy, and because I have so many ideas I get frustrated with myself when I can’t make them happen.
PW- This blog focuses heavily on creativity and the real people behind the art. How does creativity affect you on a day to day basis? Do you get super inspired out and about, or is it more of a focused effort, where you can shut off from the world and just think?
For me, creativity is something that comes to me and speaks to me in different ways, and in different formats each day. In the same way that I started making films and then moved onto music, I can also draw and I am at the mercy of the muse as to when and how inspiration strikes me. I’d say there are two more defined ways that I am inspired and these are instant. The first is after a breakup or during a bad patch in a relationship, song’s just ooze out me haha. I get a churning feeling in my stomach and I can feel ideas bubbling. More often then not, that’s when the ten minute songs come out of me, from start to finish I get them done in under fifteen minutes. They seem to feel like the most authentic songs because they are a direct result of a moment. The second is going for walks or totally forgetting about music. That’s when more abstract ideas or metaphors come into my head and I write them down on my phone or sing a melody into my voice recorder. I like how going for walks and being inspired by smells, plants and greenery can then springboard your mind into coming up with lyrics. It’s fascinating.
PW- In this kind of economy and industry, it can be tough to feel like you’re moving forwards sometimes. How do you battle these feelings when they come up, and do you have any advice to other people who might be struggling in a similar way?
Honesty this is such a good question. I really do struggle with self belief, feeling worthy of trying to pursue this crazy career and every day I have a battle with myself, to remind me that I am good at what I do. I can get into very bad patches when I don’t feel like I am progressing, and these end up being some of the most unhappy periods in my life. It’s hard, so hard. It’s even harder when you spend hours or even days on a song, put it out online and you get no views. You then browse on Youtube and find a video of a cat s****ing itself that has two million views. It’s insane. It can feel horrible. I try to get off social media when I’m feeling low and re-connect with myself and my surroundings in an authentic way. That can help. For people also struggling I’d tell you you’re not alone at all, so many feel the way you do. Try to connect with like minded people who will support you and see your ideas and visions. As a creative person you can feel so alone and misplaced in the world when your ideas fall on deaf ears. Don’t let the wrong people’s opinions put you off creating…ever.
PW- And final question! It’s more of an invitation actually. Use the next few sentences to self-promote the hell out of what you’re up to, what we can watch/ listen to- no judgement!
I do love a good self promotion 🙂 Ok well I am currently writing and recording my debut EP. So if you would like to follow to be kept up to date on the progress please feel free to follow me below:
Image Credit- @iimxviix