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Samuel Idwal Interview


Samuel Idwal

Samuel Idwal Samuel, son of Gareth, son of David, son of Idwal, son of Llewellyn is an up and coming singer who has only hit the Leicester music scene this year. But with only a limited amount of performances under his belt he is already hitting the right notes performing at various well known venues across Leicester and Leicestershire. I met Sam on the rooftop garden at the Cookie on a rainy day in the middle of the sunshine period and with a cup of tea the interview began.

LM: Sam the first thing I would like to know is where does your surname name come from?
SI: Well my real surname is Jones and Idwal was actually my grandfathers name and banded around as possibly my middle name, which would have been really cool because Samuel Jones is a bit boring. So I decided to take it on as my stage name.

LM: So does having a stage name help you as a performer?
SI: Having a stage name is very important because its a way of taking a step back from myself, because some of the songs I perform are quite personal to me and it makes it easier on me to preform them.

LM: So are you saying that it is a way of separating your musical career from your personal life?
SI: Yes and it also helps me stand out, because there are 10,000 Samuel Jones on Facebook but only one Samuel Idwal.

LM: Who are your musical influences?
SI: I didn’t grow up with any good musical influences, because my dad was a big Simply Red fan. So it was only when I started at uni that I began getting into music. Chiefly I suppose Laura Marling was one of the biggest influences, along with Johny Flyn and Pete Roe. But older singers like Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen I suppose all play a massive part in the style of music I play and I would say they are all story tellers which is what song writing is all about.

LM: Are there any popular artist that influence you?
SI: Well I never really listen to a lot of chart music because I suppose the honesty of it all just isn’t there. Even artists like Ed Sheeran and Paseenger although their ok, they don’t sit on my pedestal of great writers.

LM: What made you want to be a performer?
SI: I learnt piano as a child and this helped me to learn bass very quickly. But it is only in the last few years that I taught myself to play finger style and that is when my musical style became apparent.

LM: What have you been doing so far this year as far as your music goes?
SI: Well since I moved to Leicester in March, I seriously began to consider that maybe music was something I could do. That was reinforced when I played with Pete Roe and Rachael The Musician as they are both artists I really respect.

LM: What other gigs have you got coming up in the near future?
SI: I play the Cookie Jar tonght Blue Rose Code which is a great opportunity and I will be playing with The Lake Poets and Lilliput in August. I have also just confirmed that I will be playing The Tea Party at The Cookie Jar in September.

LM: What festivals do you hope to play in the near future?
SI: Well I have just played Hinckley and that was really good and I have Strawberry coming up but I don’t have any others planned at the moment.

LM: How do you rate the Local music scene?
SI: Leicester has a really good music scene and some fantastic artists and the crucial difference between Leicester and other places is that if you play for example an open mic night, everyone pays attention to you and listens which was a real shock when I first played in Leicester.

LM: Do you have an album out at the moment?
SI: I have an EP on release called Murky that is selling rather well at gigs and is available free on download.

LM: How did the title Murky come about?
SI: Well I couldn’t think of a title that went with all of the tracks, but it acts as a lens to my thoughts and feelings which are cloudy and murky.

LM: Do you feel that an EP is a good starting point?
SI: For a new artist an EP is a great way to find your feet and get an angle. But I hope in a year or too that I will be able to release an album.

LM: Does anyone help you with your marketing?
SI: No I do it all myself?

LM: Do you find it difficult to do all of your own marketing or do you feel it comes with the territory?
SI: Well I am responsible for my own success, but I am also responsible for my failings so doing my own PR makes me want to do better and I find this helpful because I don’t have to answer to anyone other than myself.

LM: You are a young and emerging artist, but there are even younger ones around. So what advise do you have for them?
SI: The ability to self evaluate and critique is very important when developing as a performer. You must be willing to question what you are doing and make changes if things are not going right,

LM: Finally, what is your favorite fast food?
SI: Fast food erm…….. well I have just started working in a Mexican food restaurant and until then I had never really eaten much Mexican food so I am finding that phenomenal at the moment

LM: Well we will wrap it up their Sam, so thank for your time.
SI: Thank You.