‘It’s about freedom’: Samm Henshaw reveals gospel truth behind his ‘soulful’ sound ahead of Manchester gig

British singer-songwriter Iniabasi Samuel Henshaw is coming to The Deaf Institute this Saturday and while people should be excited, they should also be jealous.

He seems to be living the life that every young boy dreams about, making a band with your mates and travelling around the world.

But the 21-year-old South-Londoner is not your average rocker.

He doesn’t drink, he’s not a party animal and only went to his first festival this year when he was in the line-up at Parklife. He’s a bit of an enigma.

But this all adds to the performance and the aura which he carries with him on stage, as you know you are seeing something special.

Fresh from touring with James Bay, Samm has had his first taste of what it is like to have fans come out in their droves to see you play.

He told MM: “It was amazing, he’s a really nice guy. It was such a great experience and I learnt so much.

“[The crowd] was crazy, you look out and there are all these people and all this space and you get nervous at first but eventually you get used to it.

“The nerves always kick in before you do it though.

But let’s hope he can keep the butterflies at bay on November 7 when he plays in Manchester.

He said: “I can’t wait, Manchester was fun the last time; it should be cool to go and do our own show up there.”

But if supporting James Bay gave Samm anything, it was surely a taste of what he could achieve himself over the next twelve months.

His first two singles, Better and Autonomy (Slave), have received rave reviews and have seen him tipped as one of the stars of 2016.

But with a voice well beyond his 21 years, Samm writes about subject matter which can be quite rare for many artists in Britain.

His second single Autonomy (Slave) is one such example where he talks about pressures and restrictions that many young people can relate to.

Samm said: “I wanted to talk about freedom and being able to have the choice to do what you want and not feel restricted or confined to living a certain type of life.”

He is an artist with a voice and which can be difficult to find in the mainstream music industry, but which Samm feels is at the heart of what music can do.

He said: “I think people are starting to talk, which is great because I think music is the best way to communicate with people and talk about things that need to be spoken about.”

It can sometimes be easy to categorise Samm as being a soul singer, but this would be to do a disservice to the subtlety of his music.

He said: “At the core of it is definitely soul but that it’s infused with other styles of music like rock and folk.”

And when you look at those he sites as musical inspirations, it’s easy to see why.

He said: “I grew up listening to gospel music, people like Israel Houghton, Helen Baylor, Alvin Slaughter.”

And in terms of contemporary artists he looks to Leon Bridges, Paolo Nutini and of course James Bay.

These eclectic styles are all present in Samm’s music which stands him out from the crowd.

This will surely be a night to remember for every Mancunian there and will be something to talk about.

This is only the beginning for Samm and The Sound Experiment.

For tickets visit here.

Image courtesy of SammHenshawVevo via Youtube, with thanks.

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