Dirty Dozen: Sam Brockington

Sam Brockington, 2016Growing up in a sleepy town in Devon, Brockington took his music through a range of cities and has now found his feet in the ever-growing Bristol music scene. Sam Brockington’s Folk influenced songwriting and powerful vocal performances have been gaining him much critical acclaim from the likes of BBC 6 Music, Songwriting Magazine and more!

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
At 18 I left home and was working in a band in London, gigging regularly and enjoying what I did but I like a change of scenery. I moved to Melbourne, Australia where I started busking and gigging solo for the first time slowly building up a catalogue of material on the road. I took the music back to Bristol and started getting radio play, I’ve built up a loyal fan base. Since then it’s been pretty surreal really, being booked for bigger and bigger stages, playing Glastonbury and now working with a band which  makes the live shows so much stronger.

How would you describe your music?
I like to call it indie/folk and it’s a mix of folk picking patterns with an indie backdrop.

Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?
When learning guitar, the first thing I was taught was how to fingerpick, a folk technique, so early influences involved learning the works of folk legends John Martyn and Bert Jansch. Their work made me learn more complex material and the picking patterns I learnt still remain at the heart of most of my material. Vocal influences include more soulful singers such as Sam Cooke and Bill Withers, later discovering the work of Jeff Buckley and Matt Corby..

What are you currently promoting?
I’m just about to release my first 5 track EP, ‘Peace of Mind’ The title track’ will be available on all platforms from the 4th November and you can have a sneak preview on my SoundCloud page right now!

Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?
I would have to choose my song ‘Follow’. It features on the EP and was released as a single late last year. It was the first song where I really got a response and felt like reviewers were rating me as a songwriter. I don’t write to please the critics but it’s nice to know they are listening.

What are you currently listening to?
Recently been listening to  a girl called Angel Olsen, she has folky/indie/Americana elements, especially in here earlier albums. Which are the best really but she seems to have just blown up, caught her live in Bristol the other day she was a brilliant performer. It was a sell out but even so In the more melancholic songs you could hear a pin drop, really captivating. Also Matt Corby recently dropped his debut album Telluric and it’s so damn good.

And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?
It’s got to be Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago. I think I was 16 when it came out and he really captured my attention, every song is simple but constructed so perfectly. The haunting vocals and pained lyrics opened me up as a songwriter, teaching me how to be less vague with lyrics and how to creative a narrative even through metaphor.

What are your hopes for your future career?

That’s always a tricky question. Hmm, I’m not really too sure what I’ve got to do next week so I try and just take it a day at a time, who knows what the future holds!

If money were no object what would be your dream project?
I’d buy an old abandoned London Underground Station, half of it I would turn it into a recording studio with crazy acoustics, it would be like recording in a church. Arcade Fire did that for some songs of their first 2nd album and its sounded amazing. Then the part tube I’d turn in to a really long slightly odd underground venue.

What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Ah its got to be the sex and drugs and rock and roll. Ha I wish… I’d say playing live.

And the worst?
Starting out as a musician is usually always a little depressing and there’s usually a phase most musicians have to go through where your playing out of town, don’t know anyone, playing some crummy bar and usually singing to just the owner. Then hopefully you get out of opening slots and in to real venues. It’s not really the worst though, just close your eyes, worked for me. I’m glad to have done it and made it to the other side.

Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?

Been good to chat to you but remember Peace of Mind single out 4th Nov and the EP 25th Nov! Hope you guys like it and maybe even buy it! Big love to you all.

Author: Rudie Humphrey

Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show - The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session - playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.

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