When I first got an inbox from Sam on my Facebook profile asking me if I would mind 'mentioning' his new CD if he sent me a signed copy I thought to myself, 'oh, what the hell, why not?' so I immediately said yes. What I didn't know at the time was that it was 'house' music and when the CD arrived I nearly had a mini-meltdown. I mean really? What the fuck does my old ass know about 'house' music?? Talk to me about the 80's and I'll have plenty to say but house/trance music? Not so much. When I opened the CD there was a hand-written message from Sam inside that said: 'Hi GeeGee! I really hope you enjoy my Dance CD! Pump it up!' with a smiley face and kisses. He had me at the kisses and the brushcut hairdo on the smiley face... As luck would have it, the same day the CD arrived we had some friends over in the 'Rabbit Hole' and along with his CD Sam also sent me one of those plug in thingies (what can I say, I can never remember what they're called) that had the whole album loaded onto it so all I had to do was plug it into the iPod speaker and off we went. Very cool by the way, the colours match his CD sleeve, which is right up my OCD alley... Anyway, one of the peeps that was here that night is a very well-known guitarist who plays in a South African band and he loved it! I can't in all good conscience tell you exactly what he said because amongst other things we imbibed that night, we also made short work of a bottle of Poncho's tequila. We all know what tequila does, so my memory is very vague and so is his. What I do remember is that we took a 'poll' between everyone that was here and the average mark came to a 9/10. I listened to it again after my 4 day long hangover wore off and I was very pleasantly surprised. His CD has 3 parts to it: Dance Set, Trance-House Set and Psytrance Set. The way he's laid it out really takes you through a whole night of partying... From the shaking your booty part, right through to feeling like you're chilling out with a few cocktails watching the sun rise somewhere fabulous. Consider me converted! And more educated on house music too... I only 'met' Sam when he sent me that inbox message but we've chatted quite a bit since that initial email and I can honestly say he is one of the sweetest, most humble people I have ever met. And so polite! His mama sure raised him well. Anyway, after listening to his sound and realising what an amazing talent he has I decided he deserves much more than a mere mention. So, here it is. Introducing Sam Jensen! And remember, you saw it here first! ;)
What inspired you to compose and record ‘Day Dreams Last Forever’?
Yay an interview! Well I’ve enjoyed making music since I was a small boy playing with broken tape recorders, to now with my little studio setup with computers, synthesizers and recording instruments and equipment. For my last album, Daydreams Last Forever, I listened to some of the music around me that inspired me, like some of the successful Dance and Trance DJ’s like David Guetta, Avicii or DJ Tiesto, and made some music of my own. I’ve always been a dreamer, so I thought the album name Daydreams Last Forever was appropriate for that Trancey Dancey ‘let-the-music-take-me-away’ sound I was going for. Each song I listened to many times over and went back to my studio to keep changing it until I felt 100% happy with every moment. So I hope people listening feel the love I put into each note.
Where does your passion for music come from?
I don’t really know. I guess it’s partially genetic. Lots of music genes in my family. Or maybe it started when I was 5, when my dad would sit me in front of the record player and play classical pieces and we would imagine stories to each piece of music we were hearing. And as the music got more intense, so would our imagination! Also in High School when I remixed the sacred school song into a disco version for fun, and sang it in assembly on the last day of school, seeing the whole school stand up and applaud and cheer, made me think I want more of that in my life!
When did you start dj’ing and how old are you now?
I’m 28. They say I look 24. Although sometimes I feel 42 when work gets hectic. I only started DJ’ing recently. I always thought DJ’ing was ‘too easy’ because you just play other people’s music. But now I’m learning there’s a skill behind reading the crowd and playing the right songs at the right time.
Where do you see your love of music taking you?
I’m hoping for a hit on the radio one of these days, and hopefully someday I’ll tour around if people like my music. And if they don’t, I’ll just work harder.
What equipment do you use and do you have a studio at home?
I have a home studio, where most of the work is done on my computer. I use Reason 4 to make the drums, bass, synths and other music sounds. Then I have keyboards and guitars which I use to add layers of extra music, and I use Protools 9 to record the singers and do the final mastering.
Do you have any advice to give aspiring composers/dj’s like yourself?
Yes. “Just start!” So many composers are “waiting for inspiration” or waiting to buy some piece of equipment or software first before they start. They love to call themselves “Producers” at the pubs and have blingy profile pics on Facebook, but they’ve never finished one song! The truth is: your first song will sound crap. But your 99th song will sound brilliant, no matter what gear you’re using. So you just need to get cracking . . . today!
Do you have a day job or do you dj full time and where can your fans hear you play?
I’m a qualified electrician by day. I work for myself. That pays my rent, and has been paying for the music production up to now. That’s right. My last CD cost me thousands of rands for singers and CD printing etc, and I had to do it in the evenings after long days of electrical work. So people who say they want to also make music “but they have JOBS” don’t really have an excuse. I’m DJ’ing next on New Year’s Eve at the Worcester Yacht Club. Going to be a blast!
Are you available to play private gigs?
I’m always contactable on my email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and my DJ’s gigs and range in price depending on how much equipment and lights I must rig up, or if it’s already provided.
Where can we buy your new cd?
It can be ordered through me directly via my email, or on my Facebook, and I’ll post a copy.
Some of your new fans want to know if you’re single?
Haha. Yes, I’m single. I’ve been in a few relationships, but people struggle to relate to me because I’m such a dreamer. And I don’t want people holding me back. So single for now it is.
What are the top 5 songs you listen to on your iPod right now?
1) Psy - Gangnam Style
2) Avicii – Levels (ooh ooh sometimes I get a good feeling . . .yeah!)
3) Mark Knight – Downpipe
4) One Direction – What makes you Beautiful
5) Taio Cruz – Dynamite
What’s your favourite cocktail?
The Sam Jensen Cocktail, at this point in time, is Brandy and Coke with lots of ice and a dash of Monster Energy Drink in it. Not sure if you can call that a cocktail, but it sure works for me!
Thanks for your time to interview me, GeeGee. Was great fun!
Sam also sent me 2 links for your listening pleasure with the message 'That'll get 'em bouncing...' Hehehe... Gotta love him, right?
For a Dance song click here: Living in the now
For a Trance song click here: Dew Drops
Follow Sam on Facebook: Sam Jensen
Contact Sam at email@example.com
Contact Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org
No review would be complete without some feedback so I asked a few people for their opinion on his music and this is what they said:
'We love to party and we love dance music, we also have a soft spot for local DJ's and hot new talent and what Sam Jensen has to offer definitely didn't disappoint! He's got talent, and buckets of it! We look forward to seeing what's next from Sam!' - The Modern L
'I had the opportunity to listen to Sam Jensen's "Living in the now" and it reminded me of a very special New Year's Eve I had on the island of Madagascar. It's rare that music that you have never heard before can take you on a journey and allow you to reminisce and recall such incomparable memories. I will definitely buy this CD and thank you Sam for taking me back' - Warfare: The Delightful and Dreary sides of Gay Life
'It's not hard to listen to at all... Very summery, on the beach. I could also imagine it as part of a movie/TV soundtrack.' - Author Devon Marshall
'His sound is unique, certainly a fresh sound coming out of South Africa. Not copying music from what I have heard locally or internationally...' - Dj LeatherSatyr
'Very cool, I'd be interested in hearing some more of his stuff, I personally like it a bit harder and darker. I am also looking for someone to write some new dance music for me and Sam will be hearing from me' - Terry Tiger Victor
'Sam Jensen is so one of the best upcoming young dj's I have heard in a long time... I talked GeeGee into loaning me that CD for the 'weekend' and it's stuck in my car radio. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it! I just wonder who's going to pay all the speeding fines I'm sure are coming my way - Sam's music has a way of giving me a lead foot!' - Shannon Stacey
'A very fresh and clear cut sound. Its high tempo that is easy to listen to and at the same time, great music that gets your heart pumping and your feet moving.' - Rowan Pounce Poole