In collaboration with Apple Music, ‘EMERGE:UK’ is a playlist dedicated to putting you onto the best upcoming sounds bubbling under the UK’s surface. Every Month we’ll have a chat with our chosen featured artists so you can get a deeper dive into some of the talent that should be on your radar and discover even more through the full playlist here.
SamRecks – the Rapid-rising wordsmith hailing from Thamesmead – is this months ‘EMERGE:UK’ featured artist. His effortless flair and finesse on the mic paired with his relatable lover boy rhetoric give him the kind of classic, cool and smooth aura hard to come by. His latest single ‘BACKPACK’ is a testament to just that and it’s featured on our ‘EMERGE:UK’ playlist – have a listen and you’ll know exactly why. In a nostalgic game of 21 Questions, we get to know the man behind the music; unpacking Sam’s earliest musical memories, How he weaves his experiences with love into his sounds, dream collaborators and more.
1. Do you remember the first song you ever made?
I remember the first ever song I release and put out there properly, the chorus went like this ‘ ride ride round with my homies, long long time they been phoney now I’m moving hella hella lowkey, hella hella lowkey ‘ it’s funny cause I hate that song now lool.
2. What’s your favourite part of the process of making music for you?
It’s got to be when I’m in the studio actually creating the song, I love the process of stacking up the vocals not knowing what it’s gonna sound like. Each song to me is like a capsule, when I listen back to every song I’ve ever made, it reminds me of how I felt in that moment in time and certain things that happened around that time which inspired what I say in the studio on that particular day. I like to just get in the studio and write about events, conversations or things that happened to me.
3. You’re hosting a house party with 5 musicians dead or alive – who are they?
Skepta, Chip, Kendrick Lamar, Asap Rocky, Brent Faiyaz.
4. What song do you play to open the night and what song do you play to close the night?
To open the night, I’d play Kendrick Lamar – Poetic Justice ft Drake. And to close the night, J Cole ft drake – In The Morning.
5. What is something that not a lot of people know about you?
Believe it or not, I used to breakdance when I was younger.
6. What’s one thing you can’t leave your house without?
My phone, it’s definitely the most-handy device about. I can almost never get lost, and I’ll always be able to write down concepts for videos, songs & content ideas on my notes app, when I get a burst of inspiration.
7. What’s the earliest musical memory you have?
My mum playing old school Nigerian Fuji music when she’s cooking food for the family, my mum would always be singing her native songs and it’s something I remember very vividly, she still does it today.
8. If you could describe how your music feels / sounds in one sentence what would it be and why?
I’d say it feels like an episode of Fresh Prince of Bel Air, no matter how many times you watch it, It never gets old. I’m making music about real life everyday experiences, things I go through, and other people go through. We’re all human, we feel happy, sad, inspired, angry and so on, I want to capture all those emotions with my music.
9. Your music at the moment often touches on love, romance, relationships etc – why do you think you gravitate towards those themes?
It is based on my experiences and things I have learned over the years. I’ve had a couple relationships that made me realise a lot about myself and what I want and how other people think/behave towards certain things. I put these experiences in my music because I know someone out there will feel each and every word I’m saying.
10. You also have a hand in directing a lot of your own visual content – is directing something you also see yourself exploring in future?
Yes, I direct all my videos. I’ve been doing this before I even knew what directing a video was, now I’m even more hands on with every last detail and aspect from what camera is used to the colour palette of each scene. I love creating, especially creating a visual representation of what my music is about because if the words don’t catch you then I’ll make sure the visuals do. I wouldn’t say I see myself as a director but if the right project comes my way, I might be tempted to take it and make it REKKI.
11. You’ve gained a lot of popularity through tiktok and your videos on there – what are your thoughts on the platform and how it’s impacting music?
Tiktok is an amazing platform, it allows creatives to really express themselves to an audience they might not have reached on other platforms. It has had an impact on my music, as I have been able to reach so many people. The quick form content is almost like snippets of what you could get if you come on my profile and decide to take in what I’m offering, which is my music. I decided about 2 years ago that I would make sure everything I do on that app is eye-catching and true to me. So, I’m very grateful to the people that have engaged with me and started listening to me from seeing me push my music on TikTok, if you’re one of those people reading this now, THANK YOU!
12. What was it like for you – seeing the reception your songs got on social media?
I just couldn’t believe it; I’ve been making music for a long time and always felt like it might never get anywhere but I kept pushing because I love music and couldn’t see myself doing anything else and now, I am here and hope to keep growing. I am very grateful to the people that listen to my music, they keep me going.
13. In your eyes, what does final form or peak form SamRecks look like?
There is no final form for SamRecks. The way my mind works even if I achieved everything I could possibly think of right now, I would find something else to add as a target. I’m not focused on the end goal anymore; I’m focused on enjoying each and every moment as it’s happening right now.
14. If you had all your listeners in the room right now and you could ask or tell them anything, what would it be?
I’d ask them what made them keep listening to me & thank them for listening because they’re helping me one day at a time to achieve something I’ve been praying for since I was in primary school.
15. You have yet to drop any collaborations – who are some dream collaborations of yours?
I’d love to work with Dave, Sir, ASAP Rocky, Central Cee, Skepta, Brent Faiyaz.
16. What are you listening to right now?
A lot of R&B, there’s so much inspiration, from the way they sing the harmonies, stack the vocals, the vibe, it’s amazing. I’ve got a lot of SIR and Brent Faiyaz on rotation right now though.
17. What’s one song you wish you created and why?
J Cole ft Drake – In The Morning. I just feel like this is the perfect song, from every bar, the meaning, the vibe it catches, everything about the song is amazing. The first time I ever heard it, I knew this was a classic and all these years later I still listen to it almost every day.
18. You’re from Nigeria – do you feel like your heritage impacts your approach to music at all?
Yes, I feel like it impacts my flow, sometimes I listen back thinking if I was from another country would I sound the way I sound or flow how I flow. It’s the lingo and diction. I love where I’m from, it’s made me who I am and how I express myself.
19. Your afro is an iconic part of your image – take us through the haircare routine?
My afro represents being proud of your natural form. I don’t need a shape up or anything when I got my afro out. I’d love to see more people with their natural hair out more often. In terms of my routine, I’ve never relaxed or texturized my hair, I keep all my products natural and avoid chemicals. I use natural oils and I oil my scalp at least 2 times a week.
20. For someone who’s never listened to your music before, what song should they start with and why?
I’d say start with Love & Attention, the message in that song is very deep, it might take a couple listens to catch everything I’m talking about, but that song is something I feel a lot of people can relate to.
21. What can we expect to see from you this year?
My Debut EP. All the experiences from this section of my life are poured into this project. I hope everyone who listens really takes it in because I’ll never be able to make these kinds of songs again, as this chapter of my life is a season and it’s on to the next one. I hope the next one will be even better.
Discover more from GUAP’s Music section here