Sam Bradley had an interesting life growing up in London, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Nashville. His inner circle of school friends included fellow musician Marcus Foster and musician-turned-actor and international heartthrob Robert Pattinson with whom Sam collaborated on a track for the soundtrack to Twilight and which launched him into the international spotlight upon its release back in 2008. Afforded the room to develop as an artist as so few young musicians are, Sam has recorded two EPs in two years and spent most of his time playing tour after tour around the world. Buzzine caught up with Sam in the Hollywood Hills for an interview on the day after his rousing recent show at Los Angeles' El Rey Theatre…
Stefan Goldby: Perhaps, for a lot of people, as with us last night, they start off seeing you play live and having a fantastic time…but as we now have the chance to find out more in the bright light of day, can you begin by telling us about your musical starting points?
Sam Bradley: My mom is a musician. Her name is Lee Lindsey and she had a music night in London, and myself and my friends worked there. We were waiting tables and got to be around all these singer-songwriters: a very influential time, even though I didn’t play. I was maybe 14 or 15… My mom bought me a guitar at 16. I didn’t play it still. I was intimidated…one of my friends, a guy called Marcus Foster, he was really good at guitar, and I just didn’t think I would ever really get into it the way he could, so I backed away. But when I was 17, I started feeling left out. [Laughs] I wanted to be part of the jam more than just singing, so I started learning guitar and I just sort of taught myself - picked it up, watched my mom… My mom had a boyfriend at the time and he was a bass player but also a really talented guitarist, and he kind of gave me the whip and taught me proper form, which I still don’t have because that too is a reaction [laughs] and I just started writing… I wrote my first song, which was shit [smiles].
Then, as time went on, I started recording in my bedroom, just trying to get as much experience as I could before I went out and played in front of people, and when I started playing in front of people, I was 18 or 19 maybe, and I had a really nice little fresh face, and I wasn’t very good, so I could literally silence a crowd. It was amazing. It was the most incredible feeling. I would play these quite mediocre, sort of sweet songs, and I’d silence an audience. Then, as time went on, I started drinking more, maybe smoking a little bit more, and my voice wasn’t as fresh and sweet - it became a little more hoarse, and it was harder to silence a crowd, so my writing had to get stronger. I started listening to great songwriters. I started really researching the craft more. I liked country music a lot, and I love the stories in old country…Then I recorded an EP with an old boyfriend of my mom’s—he was like my stepfather for the crucial years, and I hadn’t seen him in seven years. I went to Paris, he lived in Paris, and we did this recording, which is “Sea Blue” which is on the old EP and the new EP because it’s really good… I mean not me - him, because I don’t do that. And it kind of just kept developing.
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