It’s not often that your debut performance will land you a major festival slot.
Starting out predominately as a songwriter, Samuel Jack first stepped onto the stage at a local restaurant performing a range of cover tracks. Two weeks later, he was standing on stage at Glastonbury Festival.
Born in London, Samuel lived briefly in Johannesburg before exploring the world in his teens.
Eventually settling in Dorset, he gave up his apartment and decided to write, live and record in a caravan keeping in line with his travelling routes.
From these sessions his debut EP ‘Let It All Out’ was born, a four track release blending gospel, electronica, folk and songwriter-pop.
Following the release, we caught up with Samuel to find out more about his musical journey.
Can you tell us briefly about your musical journey to-date?
I’ve been a lover of music all my life, but only really started making my own through my late teens. I’d play open mic nights and sing in between shifts at a pub I used to work in. A few years ago, I took a job helping at a local recording studio as tea boy and doing admin bits and pieces and as it turned out, the production team that own the studio became good friends. They listened to my songs and we began to work together which, in short, is how everything came to be.
A huge part of your life-to-date has involved travelling, do you feel this has had a major impact on your songwriting?
Definitely. No doubt. I spent 18 months travelling through my teens, just me and a backpack. Previous to this, I lived in South Africa for a couple of years with my Dad and I fell in love with tribal/community songs in South Africa, native songs of Zulu and Choza. I loved the magic of big gang vocals and poetically I discovered Paul Simon around this time too, I must’ve been 11 or so, all that coupled with my father’s love for the blues, roots and soul have definitely had an impact on me musically.
How did it feel when people began to realise your vocal talent alongside your songwriting skills?
It’s all wonderful. The biggest thing for me is my music connecting with people, resonating with them. I was always so nervous when I first started out. I still am sometimes, but discovering that people are enjoying what I do is a real shot in the arm.
Your debut EP was released last month, can you tell us about the rather interesting recording process for this?
The recording of the EP was some journey. It started in my caravan in Somerset where I live and work, I wrote the majority of the songs on the record here. I’ve also spent a bit of time writing and recording in L.A – quite the contrast! I use the caravan mainly to demo ideas, and then as the songs move forward I take them into the studio.
Are there any tracks in particular that fans are favouring during your current UK tour?
I’ve been really lucky and had a fantastic response so far. ‘Let it All Out’ always gets a great sing-a-long! I’ve also banged a few new songs in the set that, as yet are unreleased – and they seem to be going down really well.
What has been your career highlight of 2016?
Cor, that’s a toughie. It’s my first EP release so that will always be a bit special to me. Larmer Tree festival was one of favourite gigs ever – oh and also my current tour! It’s amazing to get out and share my music with people around the country. The tour has been so much fun so far, the shows, and all the radio stuff I’m doing now, it’s all a big fun musical dream!
And finally, what are your aims for 2017?
To keep making music, to keep performing it, to as many people as I physically can!