Sam Roman

One to watch in 2011

Sam Roman

FAULT: How was 2010 for you Sam?

Sam: Really hectic! I received a deal right at the beginning of the year, which effectively turned me from a singer/songwriter to the owner of an active record company over night. It’s been full of mad deadlines, delays and tantrums, but it’s nice to finally be properly busy.

In 2011, how hard is it to set yourself from other artists and stand out?
The charts at the moment are dominated by synth based electro music. It all goes around in cycles, now everyone’s jumping on a slightly different bandwagon and hopefully my music will stand out stylistically. In my opinion there’s always a gap in the market for decent pop music and we’re going to notice a resurgence of 70’s influenced music in the 2nd part of 2011.

FAULT: We know you grew up listening to the greats, such as The Beatles and The Stones. Are you inspired by modern day artists?

Sam: Definitely, there are some fantastic artists out there, but nowadays I’m inspired by different aspects of performance. It’s hard to watch someone like Michael Buble and the way he commands an audience and not be inspired. It’s obviously part of the gig, being reminiscent of Sinatra, Dean Martin etc, but to hold an audience’s attention in-between songs as much as during them is an incredible feat.

FAULT: What was the creative process of Born to be king?

Sam: It started with a long period of writing. I knew the basic sound that I was after but there was definitely an element of trial and error. I wrote a whole bunch of songs, some on my own, some with other great writers, then picked the ones that worked together and got straight in the studio. Strangely enough the album didn’t actually take that long. We used fantastic musicians, which limited the amount of editing. I recorded and edited all the vocals in my little studio in the basement of my house over a week. All in all I’d say that once we had the songs, the whole album took just under six weeks.

Your first single off the album is Man on the Moon, why did you choose to release this track first?
Man on the Moon was the first track that we wrote. Sonically I think it shaped the rest of the album. Everything before that point was good but it was after we sat and listened to the complete Man on the Moon demo that I knew we were really on to something. The album is diverse and has a great mixture of sounds, but Man on the Moon binds everything together, that’s why it’s always been the obvious choice for single 1.

FAULT: Did you have a creative input with the video?

Sam: No not really, can’t take any credit for that! The director Iain Titterington sent us a fantastic treatment for two videos to be filmed in LA and we jumped at it (Man on the Moon and also a track from the new album called Gone). We didn’t want to change a thing, they were perfect. Also I loved the fact that they would both be in LA and have that polished Hollywood feel but be completely different videos.

FAULT: Where did the title from the album stem from?

Sam: “Born to be the King” is the name of one of the tracks on the album. I generally don’t tend to write about myself, that’s why I call myself a Singer/Storyteller. This track was a rare exception. People usually laugh at the title and think it’s arrogant, but it really is the complete opposite. The song is about looking back on myself at 16 years old after I’d left school. I was convinced that I was destined to be a superstar and was in for an easy ride, then I experienced the harsh realities of “the journey to becoming an artist”.

FAULT: You have been asked to perform at MIDEM in Cannes, are you excited about this opportunity?

Sam: I’m really excited, it’s a fantastic platform and the fact that the particular event that I’m performing at has been set up to showcase emerging British talent makes me very proud! It’s funny how in the modern world of Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, a networking event like Midem can still survive. I think there’s still a certain amount of prestige surrounding it. Looking forward to playing some golf out there too!

FAULT: How is it being a musician based in London?

Sam: I love London, I’m very passionate about it. I don’t really have any basis for comparison, having only briefly worked in places like LA, New York, Stockholm etc. I think the familiarity factor will always wing it for me. Also culturally it’s very hard to find a city that’s had such an iconic effect on all art forms. Places like Carnaby Street, Camden and Notting Hill have almost become cultural monuments.

FAULT: How did the collaboration with Tom Felton come about?

Sam: I’ve known Tom’s girlfriend for many years and knew that she was working on the Harry Potter set. At this point it’s probably worth noting that I’m an obsessive, bordering on dangerous Harry Potter fan and have been since the first books were released. I knew that Tom had written a few songs and recorded some youtube videos. We started writing together for fun, and then all of a sudden we were in Metropolis Studios recording a 12-piece string section. It was a great process, nothing better with working for someone who just wants to make good music regardless of what they’ll do with it afterwards.

FAULT: Is there anyone else you would like to work with?

Sam: I’ve always wanted to work with Elton John. I know it sounds like an obvious choice but I had an almost identical musical upbringing to him. Not only were we both born in Pinner, but we both trained to play classical music and decided to move into rock, we both played our first gigs in the Northwood Hills hotel. I seemed to unintentionally follow the same route as him, so I’d love to one day have the honour of creating some music with him.

FAULT: What has been the highlight of your career to date?

Sam: I have absolutely no idea! That’s kind of like asking for my favourite song. I’ve had so many amazing opportunities and experiences through my short career. I’ve been able to meet and in some cases work with my idols, I’ve played some great gigs, stayed and worked in glamorous locations. I couldn’t pick a winner.

FAULT: What can we expect from Sam Roman in 2011?

Sam: You will finally see my foot wedged firmly in the door! I’ve been working way too hard for nothing to happen so with a bit of luck, the general public will get a chance to finally listen to the album I’m so proud of and hopefully see me live.

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

Sam: Not being proactive enough at a younger age. If I knew then what I know now etc etc etc. Part of me thinks that if I didn’t waste a few years being young and stupid I wouldn’t be where I am now, the other part wonders where I would be now if I hadn’t.

“Sam Roman’s single “Man on the Moon” is available to buy on CD single and digital download from 28th February. His Album “Born to be the King” is released in the Spring.”