Indie Artist Interview: Sam Phelps

There are so many undiscovered indie artists out there that deserve to be heard. As an artist and A&R myself, I understand the importance of exposure in this industry. And not in the “perform for exposure” way. Independent artists need an audience now more than ever.

I also really enjoy discovering new music and having the chance to hear these artists before they blow up. I want you guys to discover these artists with me, that’s why I have started Le Café Music Blog’s Indie Artist Interview Series. That’s a mouthful.

Are you ready to meet our first indie artist?


Introducing: Sam Phelps

Sam is an independent singer-songwriter out of Brooklyn, NY. He recently dropped his brand new 3 track EP on all streaming platforms. I’ll let Sam tell you all about it.

Photo by Courtney Sultan

Indie Artist Interview Time!

Ryan: Welcome, Sam! Thank you so much for joining us today. Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Sam: My name is Sam Phelps. I’m a singer-songwriter from Kentucky. My hometown is Pulaski County. It’s a dry county…not like, “you can’t buy alcohol on Sunday…?” No, you can’t buy alcohol. Period. Legally anyway. So I got to experience bootleggers and real moonshine from time to time. I threw a backpack out a window at 17 and never really went back. I’ve lived in Brooklyn the last few years and it feels like home for now.

Ryan: Damn, man. I’ve been to little towns in Kentucky exactly like that. Definitely a massive change from a small, dry county to New York City. So, tell us a little about your latest release.

Sam: My latest release is a 3 song EP titled “Talking To A Friend.” It’s basically a nostalgic look at relationships I’ve had the last few years. One ending in a bad way.  And two others that have been over for years.

indie artist interviews sam phelps
Photo by Courtney Sultan

Video tolerated by Courtney Sultan

Favorites and Influences

Ryan: Heartache is a bitch…but it can lead to great music. What is your favorite song you’ve ever released?

Sam: That’s a tough question. Maybe I Can’t Sing, because it was kind of the moment when I found the direction I wanna go in when it comes to songwriting. Or Talking To A Friend, for the simple fact the song came out of nowhere and wrote itself in minutes.

Ryan: I really enjoyed both of those songs. I can feel the personal connection in your lyrics. Who are your musical influences?

Sam: I’d have to say guys like Steve Earle and Tony Rice. I love a good sad song.

Ryan: Sad songs are my favorite. I’m kind of emo like that, I guess. Now, I want to talk about collaboration. If you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be?

Sam: Steve Earle!!

Ryan: Man, I would love to hear that. I can definitely hear his influence in your music. It would be fun to see what you guys come up with. What is your collaboration process like?

Sam: It sounds fun and inspiring, but I haven’t actually done it yet.

Ryan: Solo all the way. Nice. If anyone reading this would like to collaborate with Sam, check his links below! Speaking of “collaborating,” if you could take one artist out on a date, who are you picking?

Sam: Probably Tinashe!! Cutie!

unsigned artist interview
Happy Valentine’s Day to the cute couple

Life Outside of Music

Ryan: What are you doing when you’re not making music?

Sam: I like to read. Try to exercise a little. I kinda keep up with the fights.

Ryan: Nice. I hate exercise. So we’ve heard a bit about your life back in Kentucky. What were you like as a kid?

Sam: Not what I wanted to be. Didn’t get to have a lot of imagination. Had to stay focused. Nerves were a mess a lot of the time.

Ryan: Sorry to hear that, man. Imagination is the best part of being a kid. Being from a strict small town with a strict family must have been hard. I could imagine there were some interesting day jobs in Pulaski County. What’s the weirdest day job you’ve had?

Sam: Probably car salesman lol. I realize that’s not a weird job but it was for me. I hate dress shoes!


Getting Back to Normal Life

Ryan: It’s been a brutal year for all of us…it’s been especially brutal for artists. What are you doing to stay connected to your fans during the pandemic?

Sam: Trying to keep some social media stuff going. I wanna start doing a short IG live once a week or every other week.

Ryan: That’s a great way to do it! What if music wasn’t an option? What would you do?

Sam: Ouch! Don’t say that. But if that were the case I’d like to do something kinda secluded. Work on the water somewhere. Maybe fishing voyages on the ocean!

Ryan: That’s cool. I couldn’t do it. I get super seasick. Worked on a cruise ship for 6 months and thought I was going to die. As much as I hated that, I would kill to perform again. If you could perform in any city in the world, where would you go?

Sam: Probably Rapa Nui! Just to go back there.

Ryan: Ah, Easter Island! I’ve never been to Chile, but it’s on my bucket list. I’d go for the food alone.

Food

Ryan: If you had to pick your “last meal,” what would it be?

Sam: Sushi. Sushi for sure. I had never had sushi before I moved to New York ( don’t know if I’d ever heard of it.) A girl took me on a date to a sushi restaurant and I plowed through a piece of sushi with a fork! She laughed at me and I was so embarrassed. It was definitely a “fresh off the farm” moment. But I loved it and eat it whenever financially possible now lol.

Ryan: I hear that. Sushi isn’t easy to figure out the first time haha. So you’re in New York…I gotta ask, what’s the best pizza in Brooklyn?

Sam: Oof. In Brooklyn I don’t know, but Proto’s in the lower East Side is clutch.

Ryan: I just looked at the menu and started drooling. Then I saw the New York prices. Yikes! Money is tight these days.

Final Questions

Ryan: So, here’s a deep question. What keeps you awake at night?

Sam: Wow! Regret. Nostalgia. Concern.

Ryan: All valid reasons. Good answer. What’s next for Sam Phelps?

Sam: Recording more music. Hopefully a little touring. Hopefully no more 9-5!

Ryan: Preach it, brother. Do what you love. One last question for you. Is there anything you want to say to our readers?

Sam: Anyone who’s ever been encouraging, I really REALLY appreciate it. It means literally everything to me. It’s what I want to do. It’s the only thing I know of passion and love.

Ryan: Awesome. Thank you so much for joining us today and for being the very first artist in Le Café Music Blog’s Indie Artist Interview Series! Congrats on the EP!

Follow and Listen to Sam Phelps!

Here is Sam’s new EP, Talking to a Friend. Tell us what you think in the comments!

https://www.samphelpsofficial.com/

Follow Sam on Instagram

Subscribe to Sam’s YouTube page!

I also want to give a shoutout to Courtney Sultan for setting this interview up. If you ever need to organize your life…look her up.

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