Sam Chaplin


Sam Chaplain

Professional Jazz musician for the band Jazzbomb, Sam Chaplin takes his songwriting to another level with a quirky harmonic twist, paying full attention to lyricism and taking care over every word and every phrase. With a deep and personal connection to his music that resonates with listeners, his storytelling displays an honesty and vulnerability in each song where his listeners are invited into the story that speaks of love and loss and finding joy. Working alongside celebrities such as James Corden, Jack Whitehall, Hugh Bonneville, Hugh Dennis, Stephen Mangan and Rob Brydon, Sam has always felt at home on a stage, engaging an audience, bringing the joy. After many years writing his own material, Sam now feels and it’s now time to start performing them and presenting them to the world.

Now, influenced by artists such as Rufus Wainwright in ballad format, the jazzier energy of a Jamie Cullum and the sheer joy of the early sound of Maroon 5 in his Funk/Pop compositions, Sam sings straight from the heart.

Based in Hertford, here in the UK, multi-instrumentalist and /singer/songwriter Sam Chaplin has been delighting audiences far and wide for the past 4 years, with a large concentration throughout the city of London performing at the Pheasantry Jazz Club in Chelsea, The Hideaway in Streatham, the famed Ronnie Scott’s club, the 606 Club, and The Vortex, along with conducting a 1500 strong school choir at the Royal Albert Hall in performance of one of his compositions. But his abilities don’t stop there, and has since got a hall of 2000 people singing in harmony for a TEDx Talk at The Royal Festival Hall and led the Choir With No Name in performances at the Brighton Dome and The Cadogan Hall, and performed twice with Bobby McFerrin at the Barbican.

Along the way, Sam has worked on stage with James Corden, Jack Whitehall and Rob Brydon in award ceremonies as band leader of Jazzbomb, resulting in high commendations from James himself. Further to this, Sam was delighted to perform for Miranda Hart’s 40th birthday celebrations surrounded by a host of celebrities from the world of comedy.

In 2013 Sam was approached by the The Spear Programme for their 10th anniversary celebrations and annual fundraising ball. But deciding to go the extra mile, Sam put together a choir made up of graduates from their courses, who later brought the house down. The choir was told that there was going to be a celebrity present, and with Miranda Hart being an ambassador for the charity, one of their most prized singers got the chance to sing with her. This was taken as the Celebrity Moment, and of course was hilarious. But it wasn’t until the mystery guest singer was announced, and the spotlight was turned to the back of the room, that the crowd erupted, as Gary Barlow started singing We’ve come a long way and later Rule the World with the choir.

Performing since he was 12, Sam’s interest was spurred on further after his father bought him an Amstrad stereo system complete with record player, radio, double tape deck, and a built in 4 track recording studio complete with four microphones. Although in reflection this was bad quality to today’s standards, this and his Casio keyboard formed the starting block to what was later going to be a shining career in music. By 14, Sam joined the school Swing Band, which went on to perform at various Dinner Dance evenings.

Now, as the choir director for the Choir With No Name, which is set up for people whose lives have been affected by homelessness, Sam regularly meets with them every week, starting the evening with tea and biscuits, before leading them in a choir session, whilst volunteers prepare them a hot meal. Inspired by the members and their stories, Sam can see first hand, their strength in fighting many battles every day, which lifts his spirits to fight battles of his own.

As a performer, inspiration falls on the late, great Freddie Mercury and his ability to hold a crowd in the palm his hand, his consuming and consummate showmanship and his soaring voice. Other influences lean on Rufus Wainwright and his heart-on-sleeve writing and harmonic skill and Jamie Cullum for his centeredness, combined with his passion in performance. As a Jazz musician, Sam also holds the musical genius of Jacob Collier in high regard, along with his beautiful playfulness as a performer.

In a recent interview with Sam, I asked him what drives him as a performer, he told me;

“I love to engage and communicate with an audience, whether it’s leading a Choir, performing in a Jazz club or singing my own songs. With this new solo project, there is a new facet to my engaging which is through vulnerability, sharing something personal, and letting it resonate with my audience.”

I went on to ask him about his songwriting process, and how he would overcome any creative blocks, he explained;

“For me, there are two processes. One involves the song coming to you, this normally happens when I’m out and about, maybe on a walk or a commute. Then it’s a case of reaching for my phone turning on voice memo and catching it before it flies away! The second process involves looking for the song, setting aside time to write. It’s a meditation exercise and trying to dive in deep so I can bring up something of weight, a pearl from the depths that can touch and speak to other people’s depths. Then letting it flow out on the piano or on my guitar. And then the honing starts, chipping away at the song until it’s ready. As for any block in creativity, I usually go for a walk and a hum. Read a stimulating book or chat with the wonderful colourful people in my choirs. Failing that, I carry a notebook and try not to try too hard.”

I followed this up by asking Sam if he had the same persona on and off stage, and what he enjoys most about being a performer, he added;

“I couldn’t live at that level of intensity and passion that I have on stage!! However, I don’t wear a mask on stage, my aim is to present an authentic, unmasked self. As for enjoyment, I love feeling the music. I love working with amazing musicians and getting a front row seat to their mastery and passion. I love the chance to create, bring things that never existed before to life, and connect with the audience and see them light up with joy.”

Finally, I asked Sam what he has learnt about himself as a performer, and if there was anything he wished he had known before starting a career in music, he told me;

“I feel alive on stage, something switches on and an extra sense goes into overdrive, feeling the audience’s emotions and reading where they are. Recently I’ve been focussing on feeling the music in the moment. When you’re leading a band, it’s often easy to be thinking about what’s next. This journey to perform my own music has involved me digging so deep. I’ve had years of having great fun performing Jazz and not really had to reveal myself to the world. This has been a great challenge, I have felt the fear and had to step up so often. I’ve built up a really satisfying portfolio of work as a professional musician, but it does leave me spinning many plates. In the middle of it all is the call to be creative, to be brave, and dig deep. I’ve been setting aside quite a few of those spinning plates to get this album up and out, and listen to that creative call. Iv’e felt the fear for too long, and now it’s time to launch it to the world.”

And that brings me nicely to the single in question, Sing It Out.

With an album looming on the 21st of November, this second single in the collection is perfectly placed to cause enough of a stir to the album’s pending release, and leave fans excited of what’s to come.

Doing exactly what it says on the tin, so to speak, Sam projects a vision of hope to us all, especially in these uncertain times, giving listeners the chance to hit play and let off steam for but a moment.

With the perfect groove throughout, this joyful single speaks of opening up to music and simply letting go and Sing It Out, and at the same time leaving the listener the ability to tailor the song to any situation in their lives, making the lyrics very relatable to the masses.

With simplicity the order of the day, this single is a perfect example that less is most definitely more, and although musically proficient, and packed full of a rich tapestry of sound, this song works perfectly with its short and sweet message as seen in its title.

After going viral on YouTube over the lockdown, Sam now treats us all to the very same collection of songs that are neatly packaged in his debut album, ready for release on 21st of November, and showcased at his launch party at the Bush Hall in Shepherd’s Bush London.

In all, this single won’t gather dust in any collection, and no matter your genre, will find yourself ready to Sing It Out far and wide with him, as it will definitely keep feet tapping and hands clapping from sofa to stage.

Star Rating – 10/10

To close, I asked Sam if there was anything else he wanted our readers to know, he wrapped things up by telling me;

“Thank you for taking the time to read all about me and listen to my single. You can follow me on any of the links listed below or even get your very own tickets to my album launch.”

So why not clear a space in your collection and give Sam Chaplin a try for 2021.


                                                                                                               © Stargazer Music Magazine 2020

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