Sam Hunter Interview: Releases Testing The Waters

by the partae

Where are you currently based?

S: I’m currently based in the South West of Sydney, living with my band ‘beatnix’

How did you first start playing music?

S: I’ve been singing all my life but it actually came about when I was in Switzerland playing football in 2008. I was injured quite badly and found writing poems and noting my emotions helped me cope. At the time I was at an American international school in Zürich, and I was heavily influenced by the golden era of Hip Hop! So I wrote and rapped everyday for the next 6 years.

What’s been happening recently?

S: Gigs gigs gigs! I recently became a full time musician and am running my own business so the live aspect of entertainment has been flourishing. I am the front man for the trio ‘Beatnix’ so as well as solo and duo gigs, we are starting to make a name for ourselves. I’ve also been focussing on learning piano and exercise.

Your latest single ‘Testing The Waters’ ft Jhelisa is out now, how did you come to work with Jhelisa?

S: I’m so happy with it! Jhelisa had reached out to me via instagram (if I remember correctly), she had only one song out and sent me some references. I think it was mutual that we both wanted to create together, she has a really unique voice to match her incredible writing style!

Please tell us about the collaborative process:

S: The day we met was literally when we booked the studio session with my producer ‘Delipres’. Once we got acquainted there was an open conversation about our experiences. I actually came up with a figure on the keys but they both looked at me and said –
“I thought you wanted to write an upbeat, fun song Sam … those chords sound sad” ? haha!

They were right. It was all too natural after that … Jhelisa and I went back and forth to find the concept quite swiftly whilst Delipres found the right chords and groove. Once he hit that Jamiroquai style baseline I had the first verse written in 10 minutes! We did one more studio session after the draft day and then it went to mixing and mastering.

What influenced the sound and songwriting on Testing The Waters?

S; The positive, nonchalant energy of that original session really set the tone for the song I believe. We all spoke about influences such as Mac Miller, SZA, Dualipa, Gold-link and many more but the overall influence was each other’s skill sets and ability to find a creative process that day. Jhelisa wrote that hook so naturally which gave me so many ideas for my rap verses. Delipres (Patrick Clody) absolutely nailed the musical side of the session and kept that summer feel alive!

Where and when did you record/produce/master and who did you work with?

S: The original session was back in early June I believe, at Delipres’s home studio in Sydney. We always start an early AM session if we are creating from scratch and then take a week or two to listen to the first mix… from there we wrote and adjusted the song as well as the arrangement. Delipres did a marvelous job on the edits and first 3 mixes, that’s when I sent it over to ‘Ben Feggans’ at Studio 301. He has mastered a few tracks for me and is fantastic!

How did you approach the recording/production process?

S: All in that initial session. Jhelisa wrote the hook and bridge plus the call and response, whilst Delipres was swiftly creating the music. At the same time I wrote and polished off my verses and then we recorded it as the track runs so it felt natural. I find working in those environments immensely productive, especially when everybody involved is transparent and understands their role in the project!

What’s planned for future music and music projects?

S: I have a couple of singles up my sleeve that I will bring out in 2023. Delipres and I have spoken about an EP in 2023 but my main focus is getting original music written and produced with my band ‘Beatnix’. The boys are incredible musicians and I believe we are making music and art that is incredibly unique. But you’ll have to stay tuned and see it unfold for yourselves!

Who are you listening to at the moment?

S: This year alone I’ve had to learn over 50 covers so I can work and book gigs, but I’m actually listening to an array of different music. From Chopin recitals to Mac Miller’s whole catalogue. The boys and I got to do a gig back in June with Grammy winner Masego, so I listen to him and FKJ a lot. Tom Misch, Jordan Rakei, Stormzy, Ocean Wisdom, Joey Bada$$, Horrorshow and many more. I’m actually enjoying podcasts lately too! My Therapist Ghosted me and Huberman Lab are my favourites!

What do you like to do away from music?

S: I’m on that learning wave at the moment so plenty of reading! To be honest my life is music so it’s incorporated in almost everything I do however I do normal things like, beach, skate, work out, watch good movies and to be honest … cooking is one of my favourite pastimes! I love caring for people and watching their faces when they try my food. Spending time with my pugs is never a bad time either!

Plans for the remainder of 2022 going into 2023?

S: I’m a workaholic so doing everything and anything I can to keep business coming in and opportunities rolling. I have about 22 plus gigs to go before the year is out but around Christmas time I’ll switch off and spend time with family. I just became a Godfather so trying to get over to France to meet little Georges ❤️

Favourite food and place to hangout?

S: Maaaan, have you been down to ‘Unamas’ at Coogee Pav? It’s exquisite! I’m all about my fine dining and boozy hangs. Give me that European tapas or just a cheese board any day!

Newtown is my Jam though and I could spend my whole day walking up and down the strip supporting all the local businesses … P&V Wine merchants is my spot though!


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