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Interview: Stockport’s Samuel James Routledge discusses first radio play, Glastonbury and Manchester gig

By Paul Berentzen

It can be lonely work breaking into the music business as a solo artist, but Samuel James Routledge is going from strength to strength and insists this is just the beginning.

Here he talks to MM about his first ever radio airplay, recording his EP and playing an impromptu set at Glastonbury.

Fresh from his biggest gig to date, at Academy 3, and featuring on BBC Radio Manchester, Samuel seems excited for what he calls his ‘first proper interview’.

You get the impression it won’t be his last.

Although he’s been playing in various bands for years, the Stockport-based artist only started playing under his current stage name eight months ago. And now he’s gearing up to release his as-yet untitled debut EP at the end of the month.

“I’m really excited about it,” he said. “It’s a very easy listening EP. It’s all nice melodies, and little hooks. People in the studio were all singing along — it’s catchy, poppy music.

“I’ve got the songs back now,” he added. “Now it’s just a matter of getting the artwork finalised and then printing it.”

Those already familiar with Samuel’s music will be pleasantly surprised by the EP, he says.

“People who’ve seen me play will recognise the songs, but they sound very different on the record. You can really hear my wide range of influences in the songs, which I think is a good thing.

“I don’t think I’ve quite found a genre yet to slip in to. I’m hoping out of this I’ll find a real good sound that I can stick with.”

But despite the recent developments, including playing live with Wythenshawe-based urban outfit Coldside, Samuel’s most memorable performance came last year when he was at Glastonbury.

“I came across this little teepee where a girl was playing and she asked if anyone wanted a go. So I put my hand up and she loved it.

“She asked me to play with her during her set at one of the smaller tents. I mean I love Glastonbury and although it wasn’t a pre-booked gig it was really good fun. And it’s great to say I played at Glastonbury!”

Now he’s hoping he can build on his recent successes and work his way up to one of the bigger stages.

“A few weeks ago I had my first ever airplay on BBC Introducing — my new track ‘Love So Sweet‘ — and then a week or two later I went back to record a couple of live acoustic tracks,” he said.

“Hopefully the EP gets a bit of hype around it and, you never know, maybe one day I’ll get signed to a label and get some bigger gigs off the back of it.

“I’m supporting Irish singer Wallis Bird at Jabez Clegg on May 10 and I’m playing at Thank Folk For That Live! on April 23. That’s at the Castle Hotel which is perfect for me, really intimate.

“If, in a few years time, I could be playing Glastonbury on one of the bigger stages that would be brilliant. I’d be a happy bunny.”

Samuel James Routledge’s debut EP is scheduled for release on April 23. It will be available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.

For more information, and to hear some of his music, visit www.samueljamesroutledge.com

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