Sam Tompkins: An Interview With The Future Of Music
Sam Tompkins is a 24 years old singer singer/songwriter from Brighton, UK who is taking over the music scene by becoming the voice of the unrepresented of this generation.
Sam Tompkins began his career by busking on the streets of Brighton, primarily Bond Street and Ship Street.
"I went to a skate shop in Brighton and I saw this hat and I couldn't afford it," he said.
"One of my mates suggested that I went and busked for it, because they knew I could sing."
Thanks to his excellent singing skills, he ended up raising the money he needed very quickly.
You may be familiar with his voice if, like many of us, have spent a big part of the pandemic finding some type of positivity and distraction from reality by watching Tik Tok videos.
The Bruno Mars track “To The Moon” was in fact sampled by Sam Tompkins, gaining an immense worldwide overnight success thanks to his incredible style and voice range.
Although the realization of the cover wasn’t an easy one for Sam, who found himself recording it in his living room during a sad time of his life as he had just broken up with an ex-girlfriend, it was an exciting yet bittersweet moment of his career.
Inspired by the R&B sound of the 90s and early 2000s, the human sentiment resonates a lot with Sam who strongly believes in creating music that leans into the average human experience, everyday struggles that all people go through and the importance of representing the unrepresented.
Since its release towards the end of last year, the sampling of “To The Moon” racked up over 91 million Spotify streams alone and the singer was approached by one of his biggest inspirations ever, the Canadian singer Justin Bieber.
The two talents have been seen working together in a music studio in Los Angeles and a collaboration is soon to be expected.
"I've sort of exceeded any expectation I ever had of myself." says Sam to BBC.
January 2022 marked another memorable moment for Sam, as he released his emotional single “Hero”, a piece dedicated to his father, urging him to find hope even in his darkest moments. The relationship with his father wasn’t always an easy one. As it often happens when parents divorce, he found himself distancing from his father for a long period of time, seeing him as the main cause of many issues. Finding a common ground in such a heartbreaking situation wasn’t always easy.
Luckily, it’s never too late when it comes to our loved ones and he soon reconnected with his “Hero” later in life despite their ups and downs.
“Some turn invisible, but that’s not original/Might not be invincible, but you’re still my hero Dad,” he sings.
The original version of the single is featured on his brand new highly anticipated EP, “Who Do You Pray For?” which was released today March 18.
Touring it’s such an important part of Sam’s artistry, having started his career as a busker, he strongly believes in having some sort of live connection with his audience and describes his time touring in 2021 selling out all venues as a “magical, closest thing to true euphoria” experience.
We can’t wait for Sam's impeccable live performances to take over 2022. In the meanwhile, enjoy this interview with whom we consider to be one of the most available and caring singers we’ve had the chance to speak to so far, the one and only Sam Tompkins.
How was your experience in the studio with Justin Bieber?
It was wicked. Hanging out in the studio with him and watching him work was really special. He’s been my favorite artist ever since I was 14 and I guess watching him work was a testament of how far I got. We come from completely different places and for us to meet and be able to see him work… I just felt so lucky! Not everyone gets to meet their hero. I was in awe, but it was also a very natural connection which made me feel comfortable. Overall it was just very cool, a very cool experience.
Who are your biggest music influences?
I am very inspired by R&B , artists such as Usher, Chris brown, Justin Timberlake and Kanye West who are a big influence, especially in “The College dropout” era. I think it was a very raw and honest project, and I liked that it touched social issues. Overall, besides R&B, I appreciate any other artist that makes very good storytelling songs. I feel like they’re fantastic because you can visualize the situations, you can see everything happening in your head by just closing your eyes.
What would you be doing right now if it wasn’t for music?
I'd like to think that I'd do something else creative, if not, I really like being a decorator, working on houses, especially in the summer. I find that really fun. I'd like to think I'd be down for that but I’m not really sure if I’m actually good at it.
If you could invite 3 famous people, dead or alive, who would they be?
I would invite Stevie Wonder. Of everyone alive, he’s my fav artist that's still here to this day and he’s such a legend, funny and I just love him. Leonardo Dicaprio is my absolute favorite actor. Michal Jackson would be invited as well, cause it’s MJ!
What's the best piece of advice other musical ever gave to you:
I'd say that the best piece of advice given to me was at 16. I wasn’t very confident at all. I was not in a good place . I was worried about people having opinions about me as my following started growing and he just said to me “What other people think of you it's their business and not yours - ever since then, this advice helped me compartmentalize. For example when I see a bad comment or I’m having a bad day and see the wrong things online, I always think about that. It helps me to get through it. At the end of the day it is really their business and not mine cause if that kid in his current mind state had been given the platform that I have now all of a sudden, he would be totally unequipped for it, Not me, I’ve had a gradual process to this and things have come naturally step by step and I have been able to compartmentalize it as I’ve been going ahead.
How would your friends describe you? (His friends Cameron and Alphie took over the call and swears to me that he hasn’t paid them to say these positive things). “Sam is very caring, a loving guy, generous who takes care of all his peers and he’s very fun to be around.” Says Cameron “He’s very caring. Sam is easy company, lots of laughs and jokes.” Says Alphie.
Listen to the new album “Who Do You Pray For?” here.