RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW AMERICAN ARTIST DISCO SAM
Hiya Sam thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
My mom was a professional opera singer before I was born. She was in the Brooklyn Academy of Music production of Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach and studied with Franco Corelli’s wife Loretta. I had toy instruments when I was a toddler, and I remember vividly going up to my mom in our kitchen with my toy violin, knowing it was a toy, and letting her know I wanted to play the real thing.
Introduce us you and your musical history?
I’m Disco Sam and I’ve been doing the one-man-band thing since I got a digital 12-track recorder when I was 13. I started playing violin when I was 2, and when I was 9 I played one of Meryl Streep’s violin students in the first half of Wes Craven’s Music of the Heart. My mentor for years was Oscar Ravina of the New York Philharmonic so I grew up around some of the best classical musicians in the world. I started piano when I was 8, picked up guitar at 11, and bass and drums shortly after that.
What was life like for you before music?
I really never had a life before music. When I couldn’t even walk I used to take the pots and pans out of the kitchen cabinet, and even pluck the egg-slicer like a guitar, which seems pretty dangerous in hindsight.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
The first song I remember loving was a .45 record of If I Had a Hammer done by Trini Lopez. I had a Fisher Price toy .45-player I used to spin it on along with over .45s my dad had.
Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?
I feel like I’m not at ground zero anymore thanks to the support of some really great musicians who are much more established than I am. The people I respect the most in the game appreciate what I’m doing but at the same time I haven’t even gotten started yet.
Whats the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?
Dâm-Funk always puts out the best gems of advice. The ultimate message I took from him was staying true to my vision and influences, and not caving to the pressure to make music that reflects current trends.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you?
I’m an 1/8 Norwegian, I got more parking tickets from Rutgers Campus PD than anyone in the history of the school, and I’m the Godfather of Soul.
If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?
A private jet with a fully staffed McDonalds restaurant.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Playing to a crowd of high school kids in someone’s garage when I was 13 on a ton of ambien.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about?
When I was young I was pretty good at baseball, and the only other thing I ever wanted to be besides a musician was a professional baseball player.
What makes you stand out as a artist?
I make music that draws heavily on older classic sounds, but my music is also completely now and of this unique time.
I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.
It took me a year to write the songs on Goddess Country. I’ve always written love songs, but this being my first full-length album I wanted it to be a bit more conceptual with how it dealt with the women I’ve been lucky enough to know. Since I was 18, I’ve believed very strongly that the being that created this universe is a woman, so I wanted the scope of the appreciation and love I have for the women I care about reflect the divine feminine. Musically, I focused on writing synth-pop songs, but there’s also authentic disco and rock on it too.
What was the recording process like?
I have a home studio I use to make music in constantly, so it’s very streamlined after having done it for as long as I have. I’ll usually start with programing some drums, then piano chords, and bass. After all that I write the vocal melodies and lyrics, and if guitar’s in the mix it could come before or after any piano.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
I wouldn’t say there was any learning curve, but instead it felt like a year ago when I started writing the songs that are on this album, every aspect of my playing, writing, and singing began to improve exponentially. At the same time though, it took me a little over 10 years to really figure out how to produce music, mostly since I don’t have the patience for instruction manuals or YouTube videos.
Would you change anything now its finished?
I made a bunch of edits to what I thought was the final product and pushed back the release of Goddess Country a few times. At this point, I have 3 more albums finished, and I’m satisfied with this being my first album.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Fela Kuti said it best, music is the weapon of the future.