Sammie Hall Interview
Rising star Sammie Hall has been making waves within the drum and bass scene for the past few months. Honing her live performance skills as an acoustic singer songwriter, her original songs and compositions have seen her booked for events ranging from intimate artist showcases to festivals nationwide.
Her voice and vocal style has been described as “captivating” and “truly unique” by the artists she has recently worked alongside, and her recently released tracks have had huge support from radio stations; Flex Fm, Kool Fm & Rough Tempo.
Growing up in the south east of England, Sammie was a regular at raves in and around London feeding her passion for electronic music and drum and bass!
We at JDNB can see that Sammie Hall is making huge moves in the drum and bass scene. So, we thought it would be a great idea to invite her in for an interview. We are happy to announce that she has accepted.
Hello Sammie. Thank you for taking the time out to chat with me.
How has 2020 been treating you so far?
It’s definitely been a strange and difficult time for everyone. I’m usually out with friends and family all the time so the lack of social life has definitely been the hardest aspect of lockdown for me to adjust to, needless to say there have been a lot of virtual parties via zoom! I’m fortunate as I have really been able to throw myself into my music and that has helped bring some normality to the situation for me. So many producers and vocalists work remotely anyway these days so there hasn’t been too much disruption to my workflow as an artist. There were some upcoming gigs that had to be cancelled including live PAs that I was meant to be performing at Breakin’ Science at the Concorde in Brighton and SASAS at the O2 academy in Islington. I’m also in an acoustic covers duo so all those gigs had to be cancelled as well. I really do miss live interaction at gigs, live-streaming has given artists an outlet for creativity during lockdown but it can never be the same as performing in front of a live audience so the sooner I can get back to that the better.
It’s good that you’ve managed to keep busy.
Can you go back a few years and tell me a bit about the music you liked and listened to while growing up, and what first attracted you to drum and bass?
I grew up in a very musical household, my mum would always have old 60s and 70s rock n roll blaring out so my very early memories of music are from artists like Buddy Holly & the Rolling Stones. My Dad used to be a club promoter in London in the 60s and he introduced me to other styles of music such as blues and psychedelic Rock (Pink Floyd was always on heavy rotation as well!) I have been into drum and bass and jungle for many years and began listening to it when I was a teenager. It was the first kind of electronic music that I really fell in love with and I think it has a kind of unique energy you don’t find in other genres. Probably like most people my first experiences of drum and bass music came from listening to tape packs and pirate radio stations but it was my early clubbing trips to places like fabric, the end & SE1 that really cemented my love for the music and the scene around it.
Old tape packs. That takes me back a good few years!
Do you have a favourite drum and bass sub genre? Can you name some of your favourite tracks?
I love all genres of drum and bass. It depends on my mood and setting and time of the day. For day time listening it has to be liquid, but for raving it has to be neuro.
Some of my favourites are;
Monrroe Ft Emily Makis - Never Too old
Ed Rush & Optical - Chubrub
Konflict - The Beconi
Konflict - Messiah - (Nosia Remix)
John B - Up All Night
If we ever - Unglued remix
Good to me - Friction
Shy FX ft Jenna G- Feelings
Logistics - The Trip
Great selection there Sammie!
What made you want to write drum and bass?
It was never really a conscious decision but I think it was inevitable. Drum and bass has been such a huge part of my life so when I started to properly write my own music it was only a matter of time.
You’ve recently released your collaboration with SiLi, “I Need You Ft. Sammie Hall”, on Skankandbass. This is a huge label. Are you excited to be on their list of artists and producers?
Yes definitely, it’s great to have music out on a well respected label like Skankandbass and its testament to the amazing job that SiLi did on the production of the tune.
“SiLi - I Need You Ft. Sammie Hall” is pure quality! Could you tell me a little about this track? Did you write the lyrics yourself and/or have a hand in the production?
The track had already been named ‘I Need You’ prior to me coming onboard so that’s where the main inspiration came from! Some of the lyrics I had previously written for another track but they were never used. The loop kept getting stuck in my head so I knew I had to use it somewhere eventually. As soon as I heard the instrumental for ‘I Need You’ it all fell into place.
Prior to your release with SiLi; you released “Run” - collaborating with Complex. This is another quality track! Could you tell me a little about this track too?
Complex was the second producer I have worked with so this was a while ago. It’s a part of his first album ‘One Earth’ which came out on Down2earth Musik. The lyrics just came to me as soon as I heard it. It was selected along with 5 other tracks from the album for a vinyl release (due out in the next couple of months) as well which is great.
What aspects of producing your own tracks do you love the most, and what keeps you going?
I just love the creative process and seeing a track coming together over the days and weeks working on it. Also writing music for me can be a really cathartic process.
What do you find is the most challenging thing when making your music?
There are times when I'm trying to write vocals for a track and the inspiration won’t come. That can be really frustrating! You just need to walk away, take a break, and come back with a different frame of mind.
It’s definitely working Sammie, and great advice for others too!
To those that are new in the music industry, and may feel the struggle when starting to produce their own tracks, what advice would you give?
There are so many options at your fingertips to learn things online these days, and such a wealth of knowledge, with tutorials in all aspects of music production.
Hard work pays off, and I really believe that you get out what you put in. If you’re passionate about something and you give it your all, then good things will happen.
For me in particular as a vocalist I have found networking to be invaluable. Specifically for vocalist, networking and introducing myself to producers is what I’ve been doing.
Effective networking is about building relationships with others who can refer me once they've come to trust me, have confidence in me and feel loyal to me. This truly is the key to my success.
More great advice there Sammie.
What is your all time favourite drum and bass track?
Tough question, not sure if I can pick just one. Un-cut - Midnight (Marcus Intalex Remix) because of the memories it holds for me but I could easily pick another 10 at least! I have to mention Ebony Dubsters - Ra as it’s my favourite running tune!
Most artists start off as DJ’s. Did you?
No, I have never been a DJ. However my husband is a DJ and has been teaching me during lockdown. He’s got thousands of old records so I’ve been crate digging for old jungle tunes.
Crate digging for old jungle tunes; start as you mean to go on.
DJ Sammie Hall
Have you appeared on or hosted any radio shows?
I haven’t performed any live PAs on radio as of yet (again due to corona!) but I’m booked to perform on Rough Tempo radio in a couple of month’s time. My tracks have been getting a lot of radio support though which I am really grateful for. I did used to present a D&B radio show on Radio Reverb in Brighton back in the noughties. It was a drum and bass breakfast show that went out 3 times a week. I think our audience were probably still up rather than just getting up but it was a lot of fun!
I’m glad to hear you’ll be appearing on Rough Tempo. It’s a great and very popular show.
Which festivals and/or clubs have you performed at, and where would you like to perform in future events?
I’ve only performed at festivals for acoustic sets. I have always wanted to do a live PA at Sun & Bass, Innovation In The Sun/ Dam/ & Glastonbury.
Who would you like to perform with, and why?
I’d be happy to do live PA’s with any of the producers I’m working with at the moment, but if we are talking about the dream line up it would have to be Chase & Status!
Yes, Chase & Status are always killing it.
Do you prefer festivals or clubs, and do you think each have different energies?
Absolutely they do have different energies and I enjoy performing at both for different reasons. All the festivals I’ve performed at so far have been acoustic sets so I can’t wait to do a live D&B PA on a festival stage. Clubs definitely feel like more intimate performances. The sound quality is always better and the sound systems also tend to be louder, which is definitely the most important thing for me!
I know that you play the guitar, write and sing your own songs; a little birdie tells me that you may be working on an acoustic album this year. Is this true? If so, can you tell me a little about this?
Yes, I have been writing acoustic music for the last 2-3 years and I am now at the point where I think I have enough material to create an album. We’re still in the early stages of development but keep an eye on my social media for updates in this later in the year.
I look forward to that Sammie.
What are your goals for the rest of 2020? Alongside your acoustic album, can we look forward to any more releases from you and or collaborations?
I would love to say that I want to appear on as many live stages as possible before the end of the year but unfortunately I don’t think that’s realistic at the moment. I’m going to continue writing and recording as much music as I can as well as finishing production on my acoustic album.
I’m working on so many drum and bass collaborations at the moment I’ve had to start a spreadsheet to keep track of them! So hopefully there will be a lot more releases on the way before the end of the year. One of the projects I’ve recently finished has been picked up by a huge label, in terms of drum and bass it doesn’t get much bigger than them so I am incredibly excited for that one.
Picked by a huge label? Intriguing?
Ok, last but not least! What three things do you love most about your life at the moment?
The same things I always love about life. Family, Friends and music!
Thank you for taking time to chat with me Sammie. It’s been a pleasure. I wish you all the best with your new release. Is there anyone you would like to mention? Any shouts or thanks?
Thank you to everyone who has been supporting my releases and all the artists I’m currently working with. Also thanks to you Brenton for this interview it’s been a pleasure!
Thank you Sammie
Buy “SiLi - I Need You Ft. Sammie Hall” Beatport
Buy “Complex - Run Ft. Sammie Hall” Beatport
Follow Sammie Hall:
Interview conducted and posted by Brenton Clerkin