A Q&A with Sam Cotton

Sam Cotton - Q&A

He was in room 109 at Uni – now rapper Sam Cotton tells us what happened there after hours…

What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
My latest release is a project EP called Afters at 109 and it means a lot to me because I think it is a pivotal point in my career as I began to find my sound during the creation of this EP. It allowed me to experiment, and try and hone my own sound using all my inspirations.

What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
The hardest part was trying to settle on ideas! It was such a creative period of time and atmosphere, there were so many ideas being thrown about and it meant that some songs took quite a lot of time to finish as new ideas were being thought of all the time as to how to improve each song. I see myself as a bit of a perfectionist, so it takes a lot for me to be able to let a song go.

Who produced the release – what did they bring to it? If you produced it yourselves what do enjoy most about producing your own material?
I began producing this project myself until I met another amazing producer called Ben Roberts who worked with me on the rest of it and who is now a great creative partner. We both have the same taste so work off of each other very well and bounce off each other’s ideas. We’re also great mates at uni! Being able to produce on my own means that I have full control over how the song goes. And, I can take it into any direction I like. I can add any flare which can make the songs more unique to me as my feel can be heard not only in the words but also in the music. I can take the listener on a lyrical journey, as well as an instrumental one.

“A unique experience”

What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
I want them to have a unique experience that attracts them back to my music. I want them to be able to listen to my music in any scenario or mood: Sad at home. At the gym. At a party, etc. I also want the music to have touched or related to them somehow and hopefully make them feel better if they’re sad or enhance their good mood.

How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
Normally it starts by me finding a nice chord progression on the guitar or a nice rhythm on the drums. And then, jamming that idea until other ideas come about and there is more of a structure. I’d usually write the melody and words after. Rarely has the melody come first. This is probably because it’s not my main priority as I’m not just a singer, or rapper, but also I’m the band. Or since meeting Ben, I’ll tell him an idea or he’ll tell me one and we’ll jam it together until there is more of a structure.

“Eventually play big stages around the world”

What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
I’ve had inspiration from a wide number of artists from a wide number of genres. Mac Miller, Little Simz, A Tribe Called Quest, Kendrick Lamar, Loyle Carner, Saba, Smino, J Cole – in terms of rap. But even artists like Tame Impala, The Beatles, Miles Davis, Still Woozy… All these artists have influenced me in their own unique way due to the unique style that they all bring. You can hear some of these styles come about in my music. Even down to the smallest thing like the use of a phaser that Tame Impala does a lot. (I think need to double check that!)

Sam Cotton - Q&AWhat countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
Any and every country or venue. Even down to the small intimate acoustic venues. I have always wanted to do a Tiny Desk, though that is one standout. I’ve loved watching my favourite artists on Tiny Desk for a while.

“Different aspects”

If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
I would probably pick ‘Slow Down’ the last song on my EP as it is quite long, meaning it shows a lot of the different aspects in my music, singing, rapping, jazz, beats, guitar, interesting rhythms, etc.

What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
I hope to build a great community of fans and eventually play big stages around the world.

For more info visit: instagram.com/samc0t


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