Interview - Pedro Samp

Today we have a little chat with Pedro Samp, an artist from south/west London.

- Hi Pedro and welcome to this interview. Tell us about your latest release Fireworks.
Hello! Thanks for having me – It’s my absolute pleasure!
Fireworks is about Mental health – more specifically about Anxiety – seclusion and the moments lost and never regained.
This song is an open letter – an apology to my family, friends and fans – but mostly to the ones real close to me – for my HFA (High Functioning Anxiety). It’s a constant struggle where you’re never at ease, never fully present in the moment. Always thinking, always grinding, always preparing for what’s next and always being somewhere else inside my own head.
And because of that, you miss out on a lot of important stuff. Small, beautiful and delicate things tend to go unnoticed – moments that can never be fully experienced nor retrieved as time goes by.

- How would you describe your sound?
Cinematic – an experience. I started my career recording movie soundtracks, later on interning for Big Music Foote + Sound in NY and I guess it's something that profoundly influenced me. I’m genuinely fascinated with movies.

- What do you write about?
Relationships, personalities, stories I’ve seen, stories I’ve lived – as well as abstract ideas.

- What do you listen to when you are home?
Oh is just impossible to narrow down. Anything from Jack Johnson to Ella Fitzgerald. Mac Miller to Foals.

- Your favourite live performance so far?
I am genuinely not sure whether you’re inquiring about mine’s or somebody else’s?
Mine: HAS got to be when I played at Heaven nightclub in London back in 2018.
Such an incredible venue, incredible atmosphere and sounded so good!
An artist: John Mayer at the O2 Arena in London as well back in 2017. It was utterly magical. He had the entire arena under his spell. He was phenomenal. His band was surreal. On top of that, I’ll make a personal confession: it crushed me hard. By then I blindly believed that never in my wildest dreams I’d be able to sing or play any instrument other than electric guitar. I always dreamed about writing and performing my own music as I do today – but by then it just seemed so impossible. And there he was – one of my heroes at the very peak of his career with an utterly brilliant performance. Most likely it was a pivotal point in my life.

- Tell us a funny story that happened in studio or on stage.
Back in 2017 I was touring in the UK with an indie band called ‘The Crooked Kings’ and we were playing in Manchester on a Saturday night. Then there was this drunk bloke who managed to get on the side stage, and he simply decided he was going to have a conversation with me at that very minute about my gear whilst I was performing a song with the band – ha ha bless him! We were just coming off the chorus and he was so amazed with my guitar (I think it was an EVH Wolfgang by then) – a bouncer came by and promptly shown him the way out and that was it. By the end of the song the singer couldn’t help himself: “Looks like Pedro is making new friends!”

- Your favourite albums?
Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Swimming – Mac Miller
Can’t buy a thrill – Steely Dan
Play - Moby

There are MANY more, but these were the first ones I could think of.

- A musician you would like to meet for a beer?
Can it be more than one? For several different reasons I’d pick various.
-Anthony Kiedis from Red Hot as my main inspiration for singing and songwriting
-Yannis Philippakis from Foals for his surreal inventiveness
-Bill Dess from Two Feet as a personal hero & saviour who showed me the way
-Rayland Baxster because I love his style!

- What would you ask for backstage, if you were the most important band on earth?
That’s easy. First and foremost, the fans that have been loyally accompanying me since day ONE. They never let me down and have always picked me up whenever I was feeling down and overwhelmed with the obstacles in my career. If ever gets to that point, I’ll very much owe this to them and will insist on having them watching the gig from backstage. They’re a very important part of my life and I hope they know that.

And if we’re talking about things... Well, a proper espresso machine & Chipotle’s burrito. My absolute favourite.

- What are your plans for the near future?
I do have several new singles lined up for the next months to come and I most sincerely hope to book a few gigs around Europe if the pandemic allows me to.

Massive thanks for the opportunity, it’s been an absolute pleasure being interviewed by Given to Rock. Cheers!
Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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