The Version Interview... Model-turned-Singer Sam Way
Discovered by the legendary Eric Hall – who helped launch the careers of Queen and the Sex Pistols – Sam Way already has a stellar line-up of collaborators under his belt, including William Baker (Creative Director on videos for Rihanna, Kylie Minogue and Outkast), chart-topping composer Edward Abela, Olivier Award-winning singer and actor Matt Henry, and pioneering producer Moghul Veyron.
London-based but Devon-born, Sam’s early education was in world music under the influence of his musician father. Completely self taught, Sam is a singer-songwriter of the old school - where it’s all about raw, organic talent.
You may also recognise Sam from the odd billboard - with ad campaigns for Chanel, Tommy Hilfiger and Diesel under his belt - so no one special - but it's as a singer-songwriter where Sam’s visceral talent lies. His legion of fans across social media – especially Turkey - where he’s become the face of a fictional character from a breakout book entitled 4N1K - which is currently being developed into a film – already propelled Sam’s 2015 EP, Architect, right to their hearts and back again, propelling it to No.15 in the iTunes charts.
Things are going to get even more interesting with the release of ‘Last Page’ on the 4th November - a uniquely beautiful single that is catchier than your average cliché - and the UK tour, beginning early 2017 to support the release of his EP.
We caught up with Sam in NYC to find out more...
1. You broke into modelling after being spotted in Top Man. What it is about
you that you think made you stood out?
I honestly couldn't say. I was a pretty ugly duckling when i was a kid, I was all mullet, big ears and teeth, so it was a surprise to everyone, including my mum, who thought I has been scouted by some dodgy man trying to get teenagers naked.
2. Modelling can appear very glamorous but I know others have said it’s very
boring. How do you find it?
It can be the most amazing job, really it can, you get to travel, meet new people and see things and locations you never would normally. There is a hard side to the industry for sure, in many ways - how volatile it can be - how it effects your self perception - and yes sometimes....it is soooo boring...lol...i once waited for an entire day on set, 8am - 8pm to have one shot taken - we took 3 frames, got the shot, and that was it, i went home!!!!! Just take a book on set - or chat to another bored model.
3. There are quite a few tv talent shows now like America’s Next Top Model… what
are your thoughts on them?
Regardless of your exposure on a show like that, and even nailing a massive contract, the truth is that when you're done with the show, you're quite likely going to head to the same castings everyone else is....building relationships and starting to make your career. If you want to do it, you're going to do it right...i haven't met many models for whom modelling is an actual passion...but i think shows like this are fun...if a little trashy
4. You get to wear so many different labels – for those reading this who can’t
afford the expensive designer brands, which brands do you think offer the best
collections for the everyday guy?
H+M, Zara, And TOPMAN for sure.
5. You’ve been performing for some time now. How does the experience of singing
to an audience on stage compare to modelling?
It's so different - in photography you have to capture one moment - how you get to that moment might be really bizarre or plain simple, it's a type of performance, working with the camera, and sometimes you take on a character thats outside your own i guess, I little bit like a silent actor, but with a live show...you're sustaining those moments for the duration of the song and beyond. It's much more exhilarating too. Up on stage, it's also just me..
6. Tell us the story behind Last Page?
Last Page was born from a co-write between me and fellow singer-songwriter and friend Billy Wright - from the 'Arcaves' - he care round to mine, I had some chords and a few verses loosely mapped out and we started a fresh with some of those ideas on the table. We both connected over some respective relationship troubles we were having at the time i think and that theme definitely got worked into the song. That was two years ago. From that jam session the studio version has become a bit of a monster...in a good way....the track is huge!
7. You’re planning to go on tour next year aren’t you? How are you feeling about
Cannot bloody wait!!! It's just the most amazing feeling, being on the road, honing you craft every night, doing what you love, and creating all these memories that you'll be able to look back on when your old when no one will listen to you play - ha - 'Dear...can you take the guitar away from Granddad now, i think he's played enough' LOL i can imagine that!!
8. How ambitious are you with your music career? What are your aspirations?
I embrace every single part of the journey, and honestly have no idea where music is going to take me, by the looks off things however, we are on a snowball right now, and i hope LAST PAGE is going to become one of those songs that I hear blasted from random car windows down Bethnal Green Rd - where i live in London - That would make me happy! I'm a total dreamer, and a hard worker, so the dream - is playing at Glasto on the pyramid stage and having everyone chant the lyrics to your songs - it's something to go for...right?
9. How would you feel about auditioning for The Voice, X Factor etc?
Not for me
10. Tell us about your own musical influences – and also who you rate and don’t
rate right now on the music scene and why?
I mean they are all over the place - i grew up listening to world music with my mum, i was into UK rap and then Drum and Bass in my late teens and then got swallowed by electro for the first part of my 20s. I take most of my inspiration for songwriting from experiences and relationships, so when it comes down to finding the right sound for my music, it's often just a very creative, spontaneous process.
Who do I rate right now....my mate Anna Pancaldi, who's just smashing it right now, and the Mt Wolf boys too. I have no time for hate....
11. Finally you're out in NYC at the moment. How are you enjoying that and
what's your absolute favourite place there that we should be checking out when
we next visit?
I am loving this crazy city - OMG!!!! If you can eat Lobster...go to Chelsea Market and get the lobster roll from the seafood joint on the ground floor with some clam chowder....damn...i want to go there right now! Late nights at the Whitney are also cool, and i had lots of fun riding the little boats around the lake in central park..ive basically been such a tourist. All my mates end up in this bar in Brooklyn called 'Freehold' which is worth a go too.
Thanks for listening, and be sure to check out the single too when it lands this friday!
Sam has recorded this exclusive video for our readers:
Click here to buy Sam Way's Last Page via iTunes.