When you’ve pretty much lived in the same place for 30 years, the world is that much bigger. So talking to Singapore’s The Sam Willows made me very interested (and jealous). Googling pictures of where they call home, I was as much surprised at what that place looks like as I was by how The Sam Willows sounded.
An amazing pop sound from this quartet. Mirroring what tears up the Top 40 here in the states, The Sam Willows have already proven themselves overseas opening up for the likes of Little Mix. Now I cannot wait for them to take over the rest of the world as they continue their musical escapades. Now let’s get to know more about them from the whole band, a true treat!
Kendra: You never know what you’ll get when you press play, and when I started listening to “Keep Me Jealous,” I was like okay…this sounds like what is killing it over in the states on the charts. With a very mainstream US sound, did you grow up with a lot of American influences?
Benjamin: Western programming and music have been pretty big on our local TV networks ever since I was a kid, so it doesn’t feel disingenuous to write music in that style. Our challenge is to be able to blend our own local culture into the mix and not have it feel weird.
Narelle: Yeah, most definitely!
Sandra: Exactly what Ben said!
Jonathan: Yeah, we grew up with a lot of western music. From blues to boy bands, EDM to hip-hop. In Singapore, we’re very globalized when it comes to culture, food, and music!
Kendra: You’ve toured both at home and in the US. How are the audiences there compared to in America?
Narelle: I feel like Americans are genuinely interested in not just the entertainment aspect but in getting to know the artist and talking to us, and they’re very vocal in expressing what they love about the performance or music.
Benjamin: We came from a pretty heavy blues/folk background, multiple harmonies and the like, so I reckon we’d always have a small element of that in our live shows no matter where we push the sound. If you dig, come through!
Jonathan: American audiences tend to let loose and have fun more than audiences at home. But that’s just a personal observation.
Sandra: I think in Singapore they kinda know what to expect from us but in America, they don’t really know what to expect so the response is pretty much always very welcoming. And it’s nice!
Kendra: You’ve also gotten the chance to open for Little Mix. What other act’s fans do you feel would appreciate you guys like theirs did?
Sandra: Yeah, the fans were awesome when we opened for The Script and Little Mix.
Jonathan: We opened for them in the Philippines and Singapore, and the audiences reacted quite well. Especially in the Philippines! We felt really welcomed.
Narelle: Probably acts like The Script, Coldplay, etc.
Benjamin: But the post-gig digital responses is intense, not just in our home country but in the region too. We really love our social media platforms.
Kendra: When you do head overseas, do you miss any traditional Singapore foods?
Jonathan: All the time. We miss our chicken rice, bak kut teh (pork rib soup) and others.
Benjamin: I give us a maximum of three days before we cave and Uber to the nearest Asian food joint.
Sandra: All the time!! Nothing warms the soul better than a bowl of soupy noodles
Narelle: Best thing about Singapore is its food. Hands down.
Kendra: Now let’s circle back to “Keep Me Jealous.” What’s your best advice for dealing with a jealous partner?
Benjamin: Deal with it. It means they’re invested and they care! If they couldn’t give a shit it means they’re not wholly interested, or they’re up to something shady themselves. I sound like the jealous type.
Narelle: It’s all about communication, I believe everything can be reasoned out logically. And if you can’t come to an agreement, there are probably way more problems in the relationship than just jealousy and maybe it’s not the right person for you
Sandra: Have a healthy open communication system. A little jealousy is important. But if that jealously stops you from growing as a person, and it starts to get toxic, maybe it’s time to move on to fresher air.
Kendra: Now other than the new album coming later this year, any other plans for 2017?
Benjamin: Travel the world and make musical noise! We’ve got a couple of stops planned around Asia but we’d love to come state-side again.