Following on from the soaring success of his recent single ‘Changes’, which landed in Spotify editorial playlists such as ‘Pop Brandneu’, ‘Easy’, ‘Pop Relax’ and ‘New Pop UK’, was played on Apple Music’s Radio Show ‘New Music Daily Deutschland mit Aisha’, and highlighted in Billboard’s 10 Cool Pop Songs feature, British singer and songwriter Sam Johnson continues to build momentum for his forthcoming EP ‘Are We There Yet?’ with the release of his latest stunning single ‘Nineteen’ out November 20th.
Continuing the bold and thunderous sound that has become a theme of his latest offerings, ‘Nineteen’ sees Sam combine warm and wistful aesthetics with a truly anthemic production. Channeling his humble roots as a gifted acoustic singer-songwriter, the track quickly shifts gears and delivers a bright and euphoric texture that embodies the multifaceted feel that Sam Johnson has injected into all of his material to date.
Speaking about his new single, he said, “This one is a little more direct than the others. No hidden meaning here. It’s a very literal and biographical throwback to my fairly hedonistic last few years of school. My friends and I seemed far more focused on smoking high grade than we did on getting high grades and it certainly showed in our A level results. Still, they were some of the best days of my life, and this is a regret free ode to them. Interestingly though, I was born in 1995, and certainly not taking my final exams that year. The opening line ‘flash back to ninety-five’ can therefore be seen as a rare example on the EP where I gave myself artistic license to not be entirely honest, but instead allow some ambiguity because I liked the way the line sounded.”
‘Nineteen’ follows up the success of his previously shared singles ‘Changes’, ‘The Kids Are Alright’, the latter of which landed on Spotify editorial playlists Fresh & Chill, Pop Right Now and New Music Friday in the UK, Germany and Switzerland; Apple Music’s New Music Daily in eleven countries, and named Record Of The Week on BBC Radio Shropshire, and its follow-up ‘Peter Pan’, which found a home on Spotify’s Easy playlist.
Taken from Sam’s forthcoming EP ‘Are We There Yet?’ which is set for a January 2021 release, his latest collection is set to see him grow more as an artist and a human being throughout. “I create characters influenced by what I see around me,” he says. “A lot of the lyrics are touchstones of my childhood, and where I grew up… and the people that I grew up around.”
In recent weeks Sam Johnson was announced as a member of the Ivors Academy Youth Council. The newly formed Youth Council is made up of sixteen young creators from the Academy’s Youth Network, acting as an advisory group, which will form a central role in shaping the future of the Academy. The Academy’s Youth Network, which was established last autumn, is a growing and connected community of young creators and a hub of partnerships with Universities, Colleges and other non-academic organizations. The Network aims to empower and educate young songwriters and composers of all genres, and provide a platform at the Academy to voice views on music industry issues.
A driven and relentlessly ambitious artist, Sam Johnson’s story also owes a debt to chance. Fate dealt him an unusual card when Kevin Shields – My Bloody Valentine auteur – crossed his path, taking the fledgling talent into the studio for the very first time. “That was a real moment for me… that developed my backbone. It made me want to have that element of legacy. And he made me realize that it could be done.”
A country boy lost in the big city, Sam’s music has taken him from a rural setting to the London metropolis, but he’s driven by an extraordinary sense of purpose. ‘Are We There Yet?’ is a tightly bound EP, one where each passage speaks to the next. Overseen by My Riot at RAK Studios, the production is left deliberately raw, almost unfinished, so that the songs “could breathe, without over-cluttering it too much”.