Exclusive interview with Sam Dickinson

KettleMag interview North East’s answer to soul music, Sam Dickinson. After being away from the music scene, Sam is back to make more great music and take it on tour for the eagerly awaiting fans to hear.

Hey Sam, long time no see. The North East has missed you – are you glad to be back?

Hey! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I can’t believe that 2016 will mark the third anniversary of the release of my debut album, The Stories That Occurred. But I still don’t feel like I’m “back” per say. Yes, I’ve performed a couple of shows and I have some more lined up, and started writing my next album but I don’t feel like I’m back properly yet. I don’t think I’ll feel like that until I’m properly touring and releasing music again, I have the itch! It’s a pleasant itch I must say!

What was the reason for your return to the limelight?

Well, once I’d released the last album and toured it all around the UK in so many cities I started going through some personal issues, which I’m quite open about. I was putting so much pressure on myself to do this and that, that I wasn’t feeling myself. I went to see a counsellor, the first of two actually, and then a doctor. I was suffering from anxiety and depression. Leaving the house became difficult and going on stage just wasn’t an option.

It took me a good year to work through it, come on and off medication then change it and come off it again. I had to get to know myself again, learn to love myself and only then did I really feel like I could do this. I started writing again, so many great songs. I’m comfortable with who I am and where I’m at and only now do I feel like it’s the right time to come back. I’m not going to compare myself to anyone or feel like I’m in some race to do better than other people. I have a new lease of confidence.

I was impressed by your recent gig, there was a mix of jazzy and soulful music to a refreshing change of acoustic sets. Are you going to go down the acoustic route with your new music?

Thanks! No, I’m not planning on making my new music acoustic, although it will be varied in the type of tracks on this new record. There’s going to be the ballsy Anastacia-esque tracks such as ‘Foolish You’, ‘True’ and ‘Lost and Found’ but also the more mellow, emotional side, probably slightly more acoustic driven tracks such as ‘Hold on High’ and ‘Why I Left Your Mind’. It’s going to be soulful, as I always am, but the sound is going to be much more modern. I want something less niche which will appeal to a lot more people.

There have been talks of a tour; can Kettle readers expect to hear Sam Dickinson live any time soon?

I hope so, I’m gobby enough! Obviously, I’ll be playing in and around Newcastle but I’m also talking about shows in Liverpool, Manchester, London and I’d love to add cities such as Aberdeen, Glasgow, Birmingham onto that list too.

One show at a time I’m thinking, so I can really focus on it and increase my profile in those cities. I’m quite happy that I can do that in those places, so it’s a good place to start. I’d like to tour before the next album is released and after it too. Being unsigned it’s all about being strategic and not wasting your hard-earned cash on something self-indulgent.

What does it feel like to be singing again?

A-MAZ-ING! My voice feels stronger now than ever before. I couldn’t sing a single note last winter when I was ill, like literally, I could not sing. So to be able to do it again makes me incredibly grateful and makes me realise that this is something I should always be doing, whether people like it or not! I’ll probably end up singing in the shower using the shower head as the microphone!

I can’t think of many artists that have such a great voice and sing in the style of music that you do. Who are your musical inspirations?

Aw thank you! I have many artists, I could give you the answers everyone gives, Aretha, Etta etc but whilst I love them, they didn’t make me go “oh! I really want to make music.” that’s reserved to artists like Anastacia, Gabrielle, and Beverley Knight. I’ve always been heavily influenced by female artists and the strength they put into their character and songs. They helped me through the exploration and discovery of my sexuality so I’m forever in their debt.


What is it about live shows that you love?

The live music, the audience, the lights…everything. It’s as simple as that really.

What’s the plan for your future music career?

I want to tour again and again and again, as well as record and release the new record and keep doing it for as long as possible. It’s hard work but everything in life worth having isn’t easy, right?

And finally, is there anything that Kettle readers should know about?

Yes! They should download the free Pride Radio app on their smartphones and listen to me every Saturday morning from 9am – 12! It’s great fun being on the radio and talking about whatever takes mine or the listener’s fancy!

Are you a fan of Sam Dickinson? Let us know in the comments below!