From busking on the streets of Brighton, to signing a contract with Universal Island Records, 24 year old UK singer/songwriter Sam Tompkins has become a renowned musical sensation. He is set to release his new EP ‘who do you pray to?’ on March 18th.
His music, influenced by early 00’s R&B, is honest and raw, and covers themes such as mental health and relationships with family. His songwriting aims to make the listener feel heard and shows a degree of vulnerability, making the meaning behind his songs more personal. His ability to connect with his audience makes him a well-rounded artist of extreme talent, and he is clearly deserving of all his success.
Sam rose to fame after his cover of ‘To the Moon’ went viral on TikTok. He recalls finding this moment “surreal” and the excitement he felt as his career began to take off. “Looking back, I would tell my younger self to keep believing and to enjoy the journey”. His rise to internet fame built him a loyal fan-base, ensuring the success of his original music releases.
Not only is Sam an amazing musician but he also is an able actor with skill for production, as shown in the stunning visual concepts of his music videos, most notably in ‘hero’ where he plays the role of his Dad, a huge role model in Sam’s life.
Sam’s EP ‘who do you pray to?’, reflects his raw songwriting style and is about what gets you through the hard times such as coping mechanisms and family. It includes tracks such as ‘bloodline’ and ‘my brother’, as well as his personal favorite ‘hero’.
Having the opportunity to interview Sam and ask him a few questions really gave an insight into how he makes music, and of his extraordinary talent. When asked how ‘To the Moon’ going viral affected the way in which he writes music now, he said:
“I’ve never really set out to make one of those viral TikTok hits, because I don’t even know where I’d begin. I’m a bit of an old man so I don’t really know what kids are into these days or what they like doing. I guess it really helped me realize the grandness of what it can do for me. I spend more time on TikTok now trying to figure out what other artists are writing about and how I can sort of fit that into what I’m writing and try and make things for more people. A lot of the stuff I write is really personal, so personal that it’s almost niche sometimes, so it’s trying to find a way of writing with the same sort of subject matter, but making it more broad, which is where TikTok comes in. It’s an insane app, and that song going viral - I can’t explain how insane it is when something like that starts snowballing. You’re just watching it and thinking, how are there so many people caring about what I’m doing?”
When asked if he ever sees himself making a different genre of music in the future, Sam replied:
“I grew up really into R&B, so as my career goes forward, I’d like to lean more into styles like that. I also write for other artists, and I really like writing for other people because then I’m not exhausting my own emotions. Writing for other people and writing from their experiences and chatting to other people is really cool. When I go over to LA, I’m able to do that more and write with some of my favorite artists. I guess that’s how I’d express that for the time being, but I’d also really like to make different music as time goes on. I don’t want to be like one of those artists that suddenly jump from sound to sound; I want people to know that any style of music I make comes from a point of really appreciating the history of it and that it’s a part of who I am as a person. It’s letting people know that I’m not just jumping into certain sonics just to benefit myself, and that it’s coming from the fact that I really want to make that kind of music and I want to prove to the people that it’s because it’s part of who I am. Sometimes those things are a slow build, and I don’t want to take things by surprise and (not that I’d ever do this) go from making singer-songwriter music to doing a heavy metal album!”
Listen to their latest music: WHO DO YOU PRAY TO