Having a famous Jazz musician dad and discovering the piano at the age of 4 created the perfect environment for twenty-two-year-old Sam Shure’s native talent to evolve, making him stand out among artists on the rise this year. Experimenting with cross-genres, Sam pairs electronic sound design and jazzy oriental scapes with natural flair.
This month, Sam will be releasing his second EP on Stil Vor Talent, with five exotism-infused tracks in his signature style, including one collaboration and one remix with label veterans Niko Schwind and Oliver Koletzki. We had a talk with Sam about his new EP, his influences, and his views on music. Here’s how it went:
1. Your father Basem Darwisch is a very famous Egyptian Jazz musician. How have your oriental roots influenced your music today?
I guess the fact that I grew up in this environment – surrounded by all different kinds of oriental, middle eastern, and jazz music – had a big impact on me. I remember playing on my dad’s Tablas or Oud when I was a kid. He took me to his concerts in Cairo and I constantly visited his friends’ studios and heard him rehearsing and writing new productions. Back then, the music sometimes sounded kind of strange to me. I didn’t really like Arabic vocals too much and preferred western music. As I got older, my interest in what my father did grew and I more and more understood the scales and how his music transports emotions you don’t get from western music. Today I try to musically combine Orient and Occident. I find it interesting to play with different scales and experiment with cross-genres using classical piano, jazzy parts and an oriental touch.
2. You’ve always had a passion for playing the piano. How did you decide that electronic music is your calling in life?
I still have that passion for the piano and will definitely have it for the rest of my life. I just bought a new real piano and I enjoy playing and practicing classical pieces by interpreters like Chopin, just as much as I love to improvise and just lose myself to the keyboard. What I love about electronic music is that your options are infinite. Using a DAW like Ableton feels like being a conductor of all the sounds of the planet. You have to imagine that you can use every single sound file ever recorded in the history of humanity and combine it with any instrument that comes to your mind to create a new piece of music! Not to mention all the different ways to modulate the sounds and crazy effects out there. It’s insanely fun and truly beautiful.
3. Your music is a symbiosis of several genres. Tell us about your creative process. How do you build your tracks from the ground up?
I really have no fixed way to do it. Sometimes, I just sit in front of my keyboard and mess around. Sometimes, an idea comes to my mind while I am on the subway and I keep repeating and looping it in my head until I get home and record it. Sometimes, I find a nice sample I’d like to use and build a track around it, and sometimes I record with other musicians like my crazy talented friend Temple Haze, who is one of the most inspiring artists I know, or even with my dad and his band. I can also get inspired when I hear someone else’s music and an idea pops ups. It really just depends I guess.
4. Being only 22 years old, sometimes it’s hard to be taken seriously. What are some problems you’re facing to be able to achieve your success?
Actually I feel quite lucky. Most of the people I meet don’t care too much about my age. I guess many people don’t know my age as well. I am rather happy about the plenty of future time I have rather than seeing my young age as an obstacle. I am glad that I am able to learn new stuff from more experienced musicians in my environment as well as acquire important lessons about the industry from my agent Friedrich, who is very caring and patient with me.
5. You’re releasing your second EP on the renowned Stil Vor Talent label this June. Tell us a bit about that. What influenced it? What is the story you’re trying to share?
Well, it’s is a five track EP including four originals and one amazing remix by labelboss Oliver Koletzki. One track called Shams (which means sun in Arabic) is a collaboration with Niko Schwind and Temple Haze, who did the vocals for it. In this EP, I focused a little more than I did before on the happy/good vibe music, maybe because I produced most of the tracks during springtime. For the title track Nandoo, I recorded some Oud stems with my dad a few months ago. Nandoo is the name of a white elephant from India from a fairy tale I often heard during my childhood, which is also the reason for the cover motive. Theben and Simsim are quite friendly tracks with a blend of acoustic and electronic instruments that focus on driving you to the dance floor.
6. Music is about perception; people may understand a different message than the one you’re trying to send them through your melodies. In your opinion, how is that an advantage, and how is it not?
That is an interesting question. I guess there is no right, wrong or different message to understand. Everyone interprets a unique “message” from a song that you can’t put in words. Maybe person X experiences a song as aggressive and driving, while person Y hears a rather emotional piece which touches his/her feelings. Your mind can connect such a complex cocktail of emotions and feelings with just a sound. So I’d say my personal feeling while I produced the track is quite irrelevant for the consumer as everyone experiences music very differently.
7. Name a few artists you’d like to collaborate with.
Sabastien Leger, Red Axes, Acid Pauli, Rampue and Switchdance
8. Tell us about 5 non-electronic albums that have shaped you as a person and a musician.
I actually never listened to albums a lot and I can’t name five as hardly two pop up in my mind. I love classical music and mostly the Nocturnes by Frederic Chopin. Currently, I am playing Nocturne no. 19, Op. 72, which is one of my all time favorites. A real album which shaped my perception of music is probably the soundtrack of “Jenseits Der Stille” by Niki Reiser. It’s a very emotional and powerful soundtrack, with a very special atmosphere.