Interview Sam Sparro

‘It’s heavily influenced by funk and electro from the late 70s to the mid 80s as well as New Wave and New Romantic stuff and modern dance music and pop and soul.’

Sam Sparro

is apparently a hit on the ‘West Coast underground’. Whether this will translate to him being similarly popular on London Transport is yet to be seen, but if you hear the girls at the back of the bus listening to ‘Black And Gold’ on their mobile phones, then you know that’s a yes. The single is released on 31st March, with Sam’s debut album following on 21st April. We made him answer some questions about his music and things.

You describe your music as sounding like ‘ice melting’ and ‘ass smacking’. Which bits are which?
Well songs like ‘Black & Gold’ are ‘ice melting’ and songs like Cottonmouth are more ‘ass smacking’.

Have you finished your album?
Yes! I’ve finished my album - I’ve just been listening to all the final mixes of the tracks and figuring out tracklists. I’m really proud of it. It definitely spans a wide selection of sounds and influences. It’s heavily influenced by funk and electro from the late 70s to the mid 80s as well as New Wave and New Romantic stuff and modern dance music and pop and soul. Some of the tracks are written from a much deeper place and some of them are just completely absurd - but it’s a good representation of the many sides of me.

Chaka Khan’s quote: ‘damn, that white boy can sing’; are you worried people will pick up on your colour instead of just your songs?
People are always going to pick parts of you that they either identify with or that isolate you from them - whether its race, nationality, sexuality or style. You just do what you do and try and ignore what other people project.

Your mixtape was called ‘Songs Not Bombs’. Is there a song you think could unite the world? If so, what would it be?
Maybe ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Something’ by Michael Jackson? If everyone was singing along to the ‘Mama say mama sa’ bit they’d be having way too much fun to fight each other.

You once worked in a coffee shop. What was the (or one of the) worst customer(s) you ever served?
I used to have run ins with rude customers all the time. I’ve got a serious problem with people who are disrespectful so I would get a bit gobby with bad customers. I had a few complaints but my boss always sided with me - I was very lucky.

Who would you most like to collaborate with, musically (or otherwise)?
I’d love to do a song with Beth Ditto. I’d also love to do some vocals on an Alan Braxe track or something.

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