Introducing... Samm Henshaw
Following the release of his latest single Church, soul standout Samm Henshaw speaks with us about his inspirations, experiences working with huge names, and what we can expect from him next.
Your new track is titled Church - how big an influence has religion had on you musically?
I wouldn't say religion has had a big impact on me as I’m not religious, I see my faith more as a relationship between myself & God. But yes it's had a big impact on me musically as my faith has been a big part of my life.
Outside of church, what artists inspired you most growing up? Were these mainly soul musicians, or were there other genres at play?
A lot of them were soul artists Like Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder, Janis Joplin, Lauryn Hill, John Legend, Musiq Soulchild etc but I was very much surrounded by so many different styles & genres also, from r&b artists like Usher to country artists like Johnny Cash.
As someone who emerged as a real talent whilst studying music at university, what's the best piece of advice you could give to the students currently in that position?
Everyone's experience will be different but I'll always say work hard, keep your head down, master your craft and don't give up.
You've collaborated with some amazing artists - Pharrell Williams, Wretch 32, Earthgang - what have been some of the best moments from these partnerships?
Meeting them, getting to know them and watching them work.
What have you been listening to recently?
Just started listening to Joey Bada$$ (I’m super late), a jazz musician called Cody Dear, Mayra Andrade and this guy named Xam Volo, he's amazing!
You gained a lot of recognition from touring runs in support of both James Bay and Chance the Rapper - for me, your sound is much more akin to the latter than the former. Have you ever been on a bill where you've felt out of place, or like you had something to prove to an audience?
To be honest I don't feel like I fit in on any tours, but funnily enough it was probably Chance The Rapper’s tour. My current music probably fits that sound and vibe more whereas when we were on that tour I definitely felt like stylistically I wasn't meant to be there so definitely felt like I had to win the crowd over way more - not only because I was the only singer on the bill but because my music had more of a rock-soul vibe to it.
What sneakers have entered your rotation in 2019?
I have a lot of trainers (that I actually need to get rid of), but my go to's are simple stuff like Vans, Converse, Nike. I bought some Nike Moonracers which my manager and girlfriend think are ugly but... fashion innit.
You dress quite casually when you play live - do you have different outfits for gigging, or does a look go straight from the street to the stage?
Sometimes I just walk on stage in whatever I was wearing before. But usually, I try to put something together that's comfy and able to handle the sweat.
Do you see yourself sticking with the soulful backbone of your current style, or exploring new avenues on future releases?
I think I’m gonna stick with the soul for now, I’ll always try different things but soul is always gonna be the way to go for me.
Where can we see you play next?
I will be playing in London at Electric Brixton on the 16th May!
Listen to Samm Henshaw’s new single Church