Local singer-songwriter and guitarist Samuel Walwyn’s unique style, which blends elements of folk with melodic pop hooks, has earned him slots supporting established and legendary acts including Gabriella Aplin, Newton Faulkner and Sir Tom Jones.
With performances at iconic venues Ronnie Scott’s and the Notting Hill Arts Club under his belt, Samuel has recently made the move to London to pursue a career in music. Before he flew the nest, we asked him a few questions about his path into music and how an ArtHouse Jersey Seed Funding grant has helped him on his way.
How did you get started in music?
From day one I was born into a musical family who loved so many eclectic genres, one day we would be listening to The Rolling Stones and The Who in the car and the next we would be listening to Son Cubano (cuban dance music), so I couldn’t help but always be influenced by music. I started to take a real interest in music when I was around 12. I had always seen my dad play the guitar while I was growing up and then one day in summer I asked him if he could teach me something, and that’s when I became completely infatuated with music and wanted to write my own.
How has Jersey shaped you as an artist?
This lil rock has such a great and supportive music scene. Jersey really nurtures younger performers and I’m very thankful for the people who have helped me and given me the opportunities that have made me confident enough to perform and pursue a career with music.
How has an ArtHouse Jersey Seed Funding grant helped you?
The grant has helped me take some essential steps forward in my career. ArtHouse Jersey has enabled me to start the process of recording and releasing my music to industry standard. Knowing that I will be releasing music to a quality that I am happy with and will be proud of makes me feel ecstatic!
What inspires you?
Genuinely anything and everything! Could be the rhythm of spitting rain, a phrase I hear someone saying on the phone, the sound of turning a page in a book, stillness, dancing, silence or someone else’s happiness. As long as you’re open to it, anything around you can be a catalyst for a song or a piece of music. I always have a notepad with me or notes open on my phone in case an idea comes around.
What do you love most about music?
When I don’t know the words to say, I say them through music. I love the fact that there are so many ways you can write a song. The lyrics can add meaning and direction to the music being played, or the music can accompany the lyrics being said and can completely change the dynamic and intention of the words being stated. There are so many compartments to music, you have dynamic, timbre, texture, melody, harmony, structure, voicing and many more. The fact that there are so many variables means that no one plays exactly the same and I love that, it’s so individual!
What have you been most proud of achieving in your career as an artist so far?
I’m very lucky to have been offered a few very cool opportunities, but something that I am personally proud of is to get to the stage in my playing and singing where I can convey what I mean. That may sound like a weird thing to say, and there is always room for improvement, but I can pick up my guitar or start singing and feel confident that I can convey the message or idea that I have in my head. I know where the notes are before I pick up my instrument.
If you could give a piece of advice to an aspiring musician what would it be?
Practise what you love and what gets you fired up! If you start there then you can branch off and start challenging yourself and growing as a musician. Don’t be so fixed on doing grades, I refused to do grades for ages, I only took my grade 8 so I had the piece of paper to get into music college. Always feed your passion and the genres you love the most, if you do that then you will never lose interest.
What do you hope for audiences to feel when they engage with your work?
I hope for them to feel as I do when I perform the music .. a lil sense of escape.
Through its Seed Funding programme, ArtHouse Jersey provides financial assistance to local, professional artists working across all disciplines. If you’re an ambitious artist looking for funding to create new work, develop your creative process or to pursue a career in the arts then an ArtHouse Jersey Seed Funding grant could be for you.
Applications are considered every quarter. The deadline for the next round of submissions is February 1st.
To find out more and apply visit arthouse.je/seed-funding.