What is your name?
What is your genre of music?
Give us a little bio about you.
Sam Handy made his first appearance in a small bar in Reading at the beginning of 2016. Since
then, he has been gaining traction by regularly performing in his local music scene, as well as
impressing online radio giant ‘Best of British Unsigned’ and gaining the support of Berkshire’s
BBC introducing team.
With a background carved out of soulful dance music and blues, Sam Handy has brought to life
his blend of passionate vocals and expressive sounds to create his ‘soul rock’ style. Mixing his
relatable lyrics with memorable melodies, and outstanding guitar sounds that leave you
craving for more, Sam shows off a variety of music that you can laugh, dance and even cry to.
During 2016, his debut single ‘Early Light’ came runner-up out of 750 tracks for ‘Best Unsigned
Song of 2016’ at the Best of British Unsigned Music Awards. In December 2016, Sam premiered
his next release ‘Maple Syrup’ on the BBC introducing radio show where he was interviewed by
host Bridgette Tetteh, becoming one of the BBC’s ‘hot picks’ for 2017. After the show was
aired, Sam was invited to headline the BBC introducing show at the legendary Purple Turtle
venue in Reading, where he continues to be a regular performer.
Are you signed?
You are releasing a new single ‘Behave’ whats the story behind the track?
This song is about getting away from everything and having nothing to worry or complain
about. It explores the experience of meeting someone during such a time, and enjoying
everything together without really knowing how to behave, and that’s the fun of it. Then the
time comes to snap back to reality. All of a sudden you’re cut off from each other with not a
lot to say, and you’re now pretty much dead to them. This song is all about reminiscing and
looking back at the good times. Memories which are enough to make that typical mundane
work-day a little brighter!
How long did it take to write?
I came up with the idea for this song over a year ago, and did a lot of tweaking, rearranging
and rewriting until I finally found a version I liked. I believe I started it in July and finished it
around late September. I then took the demo to a friend who was a producer at the time, and
we arranged to record it with a real band in November.
What was the writing and recording process like?
The process was not too bad! We were in a very laid back and comfortable studio in the
country and it was well away from everything! The band were on point and my friend and I
kept getting new ideas all the time and everybody was bouncing off of each other, it was
Will we see an EP or album this year?
Probably not an EP or album, but definitely another single (and maybe a b-side) either
towards the end of this year, or very early in the next year!
If so what will we expect?
Expect something a lot more upbeat and even more catchy. I’m thinking outside the box
whilst trying not to destroy the box in the process. I’m working with new sounds and new
melodies in the hope it all comes together perfectly!
Do you have any gigs coming up or maybe a tour of your own?
Wednesday, 20th September – BBC Introducing; I’ll be supporting Olly Chamberlain at the
Purple Turtle in Reading.
If so where will you be heading?
I am currently looking in to booking a small tour. We’d looking to visit London, Brighton,
Bristol and my hometown Reading. We’d also love to go up North and play a few shows in
places like Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds! If anyone would like to have us, or would like us
to visit their town, then please do get in touch!
Did you collaborate with anyone on the track?
Most of the song I wrote at home, but at the time I could only really play guitar and sing.
When I felt the time was right, I introduced a demo to a group of musicians I knew from
college, and they fed it with a few ideas of their own and brought the track to life with their
playing! I have to mention them! Jonny Thwaites (Bass), Ted Hayes (Keys) & James Compton
(Drums). We also worked with a great friend called Dan Bartlett. He is doing extremely well
and is an amazing songwriter & producer.
Where is your dream venue to play in the uk?
Gosh, I’ve not even thought that far ahead! I would love to perform at Abbey Road Studios for
a session. I am still dying to play a Sofar gig, I love how niche and intimate they are! I’d also
love to play the Royal Albert Hall, Wembley Stadium (duh) or even Wembley Arena! The O2 in
London as well. So yeah – not just one dream venue unfortunately haha..!
Where is your dream venue to play anywhere overseas?
I’d love to play the Microsoft Theatre in LA mainly because one of my heroes/gods performed
and produced one of the greatest live albums ever recorded there (Where The Light Is: John
Mayer)! I’d love to play Red Rocks in Colorado and The Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington,
because they’re beautiful stages and definitely something to tick off my bucket list!
Do you have any collaborations with any other artists in the planning?
I have been working with the band Alive by Night. They invited me to sing on a couple of their
tracks in the studio. The guys at the centre of it all are Jack Craig, and Luke Burnet-Smith
whom of which are two wickedly talented musicians. I can’t wait to hear the finished
material, and hopefully they will publish it too! If you’re into your 80’s inspired disco/funk
music, then they’re the band you want to be listening to!
Would you consider collaborating with any other artist? if so how could they contact you?
I am always up for collaborating! If you think we have similar tastes, then you can always
contact me through the email on my website, or even message me through one of my social
What made you go in to music?
I got into music because it felt so good. Just listening to music made me feel great, and one
day I wanted to create music, and that felt even better. All I’ve ever wanted to do is
entertain people, and music was the perfect outlet for me to do it! There’s no greater feeling
that walking off the stage after a gig knowing you had given it your all. There’s always room
to grow and learn, and best of all, there are no limits to what can happen!
Do you play any instruments?
I mainly write and perform with the guitar, as well as sing. I dabble in bass, piano & drums in
order to aid and expand my creative thinking & process, but I’m probably not ready to
perform live with those instruments just yet!
Who are your influences?
I religiously listen to Prince, Michael Jackson & John Mayer. Whenever I am confused or lost
with my music, I listen to them for inspiration and answers.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
It’s different every time, but I always start with a chord progression or melody, and I try to
figure out what kind of song it wants to be. It eventually all falls into place, but a lot of the
inspiration I find is extremely hard won, and is hardly ever instant!
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Signed to a major label and performing main stage at Reading Festival.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Besides the full-time job, I love to get-away and escape, even if for just a little while! I love
to travel when I can, and at home I love to binge-watch tv-shows like Game of Thrones and I
am quite the Anime fan. I read a lot of Stephen King, and I’m quite the gamer. Other than
that I tend to see friends & family as much as possible and enjoy the little things!
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music
The song was Purple Rain by Prince. It has been one of my favourite songs for a very long
time. Just listening to that song reminds me of all the good times, as well as all the bad
times. Hearing Prince put his all into that song inspired me to do the same. It inspired me to
chase something, even though I knew very little about it. Heck, everything is borrowed
anyway, so what’s the shame in going all out? Even if you don’t get to where you want to be,
then at least you can say “I tried!” and then you have all those amazing experiences and
memories from along the way to hold on to, and perhaps even share!
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
“There’s always someone who’s going to be better than you at everything you do, but there’s
also always someone who’s going to be worse than you at everything you do – so do it
anyway, because they’re sure as hell looking up to you, so don’t you dare disappoint!” –
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an
Keep learning, keep improving, keep creating and keep listening. Go out and speak to people
– go to gigs! Go to conventions and networking events, let the World know you exist! There’s
nothing worse than spending years writing the greatest song ever written if there’s no one
around to hear it!
You are also working with Forever PR, how did that come about?
During May, I was in London recording and filming a couple live performances for Reload
Sessions. A few weeks after the videos were published, I received an email from one of their
representatives explaining how they saw my performance on that YouTube channel. They were
super-friendly and extremely helpful, and after a couple of phone calls, we got started!
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Denzel Washington gave a speech at the NAACP Image Awards and it really hit home. “Without
commitment, you’ll never start. Without consistency, you’ll never finish. Fall down seven
times, get up eight. Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. So, keep moving,keep growing, keep learning – see you at work!”
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
1) Guitar 2) Voice 3) Pants 4) Spare t-shirt 5) 2nd plectrum
You are away from home on tour for ages and you get back, where is your go to place in
First place that comes to mind is this amazing bar/restaurant called Cuba de Revolucion. I
love the latin vibe and music, especially when there’s a live band performing.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
I have a website which is samhandy.com which has everything you’re looking for! I also have
a Twitter, Instagram & Snapchat (if that’s your thing) all with the handle @samwellhandy – you
can also find me on Facebook and Soundcloud! 🙂