Bombay Bicycle Club released their fourth studio album So Long, See You Tomorrow back in February. The band have come far since winning the Virgin Mobile's 'Road to V' competition back in 2006 which led to them playing at V Festival when they were just 16. They started releasing music in 2007 then their music was indie rock. 2011 release A Different Kind of Fix introduced electronic elements and frontman Jack Steadman solo work shows he has a soft spot for electronic music.
My favourite of the album is 'Feel', it's got Bollywood sampling from Steadman's travels through India.
Opening track 'Overdone' has rattling cowbells, this and 'Carry Me' have prominent lively elements.
'Home By Now' starts of with a hip-hopish beat and transforms to a stunning duet with Lucy Rose.
'Luna' is gorgeous, featuring vocals from Rae Morris who joins the band in their tour. Listen to a remix Steadman has done of one of her songs.
Final track 'So Long, See You Tomorrow' is initially a down tempo instrumental but blossoms to an upbeat piece. This is how the entire album feels, it will have some melodic, chill-out segments and then there will be a dance beat. The North London boys and their ever-evolving sound show no sign of slowing down and are doing well for themselves at the minute.
What was it like live?
They played stuff from their older work too which was great, I was left in buckets of sweat reaffirming their ability to play energetic shows.
There are some catchy moments and the music they make is unique and playful, this album has heavier basslines. The band obviously work well together as they continue to write delightful music with lovely lyrical content and interesting sounds. ★★★★★
Sam Wills is a 21 year old singer-songwriter based in
Hastings. He studied at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford and has played
plenty of gigs in the beloved hangout, The Tubman. He’s covered Bob
Marley’s Jammin’, recreating it with vocal loops and his delightful
voice. Also collaborated with the South Soul Project on 'Broken', which was released on Black Butter Records. Currently in the process of putting
together his first EP - although he hasn't settled on a name, he hopes for
it to be out by the summer. Apparently it’s going to be a mixture of neo soul, synth
sounds and some acoustic stuff. I chat with Sam on how he’s finding life as a musician.
Is neo soul a
style you really enjoy?
My voice lends itself to it and I've enjoyed listening to
Do you write your
I write the initial instrumental either on logic or piano
and then with a producer either completely re-write it or work on it. For this
EP that's how I'm going to do it.
Have you been
singing your whole life?
I didn't really notice that I was singing and being all
musical but I watched back some baby videos and I was singing all the time. I
started properly when I was around 12, I'd play around on the piano. I wrote my
first song when I was 12, it was utter rubbish.
I first came
across your cover of 'Jammin'. Do you enjoy re-inventing a song?
I do. If I'm going to do a cover I either want to strip
it down or build it up. Make it my own, somehow. With 'Spoons' I thought it'll
be nice to put some jazzy chords on it and make some of the vocals more
elaborate. I do covers in my sets sometimes but only if it's been rearranged.
Have you had any voice coaching?
Yes. I had classical training as well as doing my own stuff.
Is beat boxing and
looping something you experiment with often?
Used to, not so much now. It was good for solo sets to
add variety, rather than just having keys with vocals. I'm planning to get a
band behind me soon in conjunction with the EP release, which I'm really
On performing - playing
your own stuff and covers. Do you do a mix of both?
I do mainly originals and chuck in the odd cover. Some
people may not of heard some of my material so it's always good to have some familiarity.
What is your
favourite song to perform live?
Changes all the time. I do enjoy performing my song,
'Just Say'. I can play around with the vocals a bit and it gets a good response
which is promising as it'll probably end up on the EP. Got a couple of working
titles but haven't found it. Mid-summer release.
Are you managed by
Not currently, have a few people up for it but still
choosing. Going to wait until I've finished the EP as much as possible then
going to send it to a bunch of labels at that point.
What label could
you see yourself signed with?
I'm really up for working with Tinie Tempah's label
Disturbing London. It's got loads of sweet people on it, Sasha Keable for
instance who sung on Disclosure’s track 'Voices'.
What is the music
scene like in Hastings?
Wicked. There’s loads of good musicians down there and
venues that support original live music. Blair Mackichan, who writes for Liane
La Havas and helped write Palamo Faith's number 1 single 'Stone Cold Sober',
he's really good to know.
Who were your
massive musicals loves at 12?
Ever since I was 5 Michael Jackson has been my top
inspiration. My mum bought a tape of his and I was hooked. For writing, John
Legend and Jamie Cullum are influential. My influences and style has changed,
back then it was sort of pop.
How did you end up
on Forren’s track ‘This Time’?
Think he just dropped me a line. He said he had this
track and if I liked it to jump on it. I sent him some vocals for it and it
went down fairly well. It got uploaded to this YouTube channel 'MrSuicideSheep'
and it got thousands of views overnight.
Was it exciting?
Yeah it was great, never experienced anything quite like
that. That led to working with Shogun Audio, a drum & bass record label.
Worked with a couple of things with Spectrasoul. The first one I sang on that
got a release was 'The Gift' and 'The Curb’, which is on their album. I had a
track on a Shogun Audio complication, worked with other labels as well.
What is the
hardest thing about being a musician?
Personally, it's biding time. You've got the raw songs
and you want to make sure they're produced by the right people. You write songs
and want everyone to hear them but you have to make sure they're the best they
can be. In the meantime you've got to wait around for people to get back to you
and write new material.
Do you get nervous
It's still nerve-racking. I find it easier to do it live
but it's always going to be part of the career.
A quick chat with Ralphio, he's just starting to put music out there. The beats are fit for a summers day listening in your car.
What did your school report say as a kid?
Doj beats will be made one day. No they said I was the class clown, always talking.
Who do you draw inspiration from?
Is that why you did the Bound 3?
Was it a homage to Bound 2?
And him in general.
Can you tell me about Bound 3?
I chopped and screwed up Bound 2 with some of my new kit.
What other influences do you have musically?
Cashmere Cat & Mr Carmack.
What piece of equipment do you need in your life?
Mashine mikro, a drum machine and my mac.
That you don't have right now?
Haven't given it much thought, I'm pretty happy with what I've got right now. I guess the never ending supply of samples that you can get online. You played the drums for Laura Marling once, did you keep the rhythm?
No. The guy didn't turn up and I just had to fill in for someone. It was only one song, I didn't do a bad job but was really nervous. I don't really love playing the drums live.
How would you describe your creative process?
For Bound 3 and this new London Grammar one, I sample first then go in with the drums afterwards. It's really difficult having no musical experience, to match it up and make it the best it can be. The whole production side is a whole science that is really difficult but if others can learn it so can I.
Where is the best place you have skated?
Around Paris. Where?
The river Seine, with that penny on deck. Why is that the best place?
Just the feeling of sun and skating with homies in the middle of summer. You couldn't really ask for more and the concrete is so smooth along there.
What is 'doj'?
Short for Doja, Kanye West uses it to describe marjuana. I use 'doj', basically a word to describe something that's good. Has it caught on?
Hugely around work and other people are using it. I do own full copyright to it though so if anyone wants to use it you have to pay me.
'Ready For Your Love' was finally released today, if you've been under a rock and somehow not heard it it, you can check out its music videohere. The production comes from Gorgon City and features vocals from MNEK. I'm a big fan of the producer duo, always providing a hook with bass elements (way to my heart). MNEK has previously worked with Rudimental a bit, on 'Spoons' for instance as well as helping write and produce for them and other musicians. Definitely one to watch, he's got a really good voice. He provided vocals for Duke Dumont's 'Need U (100%)', probably the most memorable element of the song being that "mmmhmmmm".