With a sound reminiscent of Majid Jordan and Honne, paired with the songwriting sensibility of LANY, Sam Setton provides heartfelt vocals over warm electronic-infused production. His debut EP Renegade was released in Summer 2017, complete with a Billboard premiere. With strong support coming in from industry tastemakers, Sam is quickly becoming a buzzing new artist to keep an eye on. We got a chance to talk to Sam about his new track “Wine”, what is coming next musically, and about his relationships. Take a read below.
MAOD: Thank you so much for talking with us today Sam. Let’s get right into it. Tell us about growing up in NYC, and who that has made you as a person and the effect it has had on your music.
Sam: Growing up in Brooklyn, I definitely had to mature quicker. I was crossing big streets, riding subways and learning to navigate through the city at a young age. I was also exposed to a ton of different cultures, which kinda sparked my interest to start writing and traveling.
MAOD: New York City will bring that out of you for certain. Where is your favorite place to record music?
Sam: If you asked me this question a few years ago I’d probably say my bedroom. But now, I tend to record a lot of music in small intimate studios in either NYC or L.A. and I really enjoy that.
MAOD: Last year, you released your debut EP Renegade. Tell us about the process of making that project and how it is effecting your current project your working on.
Sam: I actually had written the Renegade EP while in college, and once I graduated I looked for different producers to help me bring the project to life. Being new to the creative process really helped me figure out what recipe works best for me to make the music I want to make, and I most definitely found my groove for this current project.
MAOD: We can’t wait to hear what you’ve been working on. What can your listeners expect from you with this new project?
Sam: This new project is full of more introspective, emotional, break-up and travel inspired songs. I’ve developed a lot and come into my own as a songwriter on this project so I think my listeners can expect a more confident (but still moody) Sam Setton.
MAOD: This sounds good! Speaking of new music, your new single “Wine” is really great. Can you tell us about the process of this song and what it means for you?
Sam: Thank you! I wrote this song back in my first apartment in NYC after graduating from college. I was thinking back on my first fights and break up with my ex, about how we were so in love, and about how she would always get high or drunk to avoid confrontation. The recording process was pretty magical, it was awesome seeing this song come to life. “Wine” means so much to me because it captures the moments and feelings at that time so perfectly.
MAOD: Wow, so “Wine” is really personal to you. Break ups can be really tough. So what is “Love” for Sam Setton?
Sam: I guess I’m still trying figure that out, ha.
MAOD: Understandable. As we all are. So musically, who are some of your biggest influences and in what ways have they influenced you?
Sam: I’d say the top 3 are John Mayer, Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) and Frank Ocean. John showed me how to convey my emotions through my vocals. Alex taught me how to craft unique melodies, and Frank helped me to realize I can say whatever I want in my music and taught me how to craft a song that’s easy to listen to passively, but can have a deeper meaning when you give it a close listen.
MAOD: Those are three great picks! If you could record with any one person in the music industry now, who would it be and why?
Sam: Probably Mura Masa. We could make some heat together.
MAOD: Truth. That would be a dope collaboration. We’re curious, how do you plan on evolving musically? Do you believe in consistency or changing up your sound in music?
Sam: That’s a great question. I’m a believer in both. Right now I’m going for consistency. I’ve found my sound and I’m running with it. But that’s not to say small things don’t change in my songwriting or production as my music tastes evolve and I experience new things. I plan on evolving by just staying on the pulse with what fresh independent artist (in and around the world) like myself are putting out.
MAOD: That’s awesome. What advice would you give to up and coming indie artists now, or for those that want to get into music?
Sam: Easy. 1. Stay true to your sound. 2. Keep working on all facets of the music, writing, live set, etc. 3. Finish things and just execute.
MAOD: That is great advice. What is Sam’s world without music? If music wasn’t an option what would be your next career path?
Sam: Not sure, I really don’t think about that because music is the sole focus. But maybe graphic design or something else creative.