Interview: Sam Feldt talks touring, marketing, dinosaurs and new music

DSC_6516 copy Sam Feldt Stilez

Interview by Tiffany Lam, Managing Editor. Amidst Toronto’s chilly winter weather picking up, we managed to heat things up a little by catching up with tropical/melodic house producer/dj Sam Feldt during his few days in Toronto. Check out our interview below!

Hi Sam! Can you start off by stating your name and introducing a bit about yourself? 
I’m Sam Feldt, 22 years old and producer from Amsterdam. And I do mostly melodic house music.

And how long have you been making music for? 
Around 4 years, about a year after DJing.

Very nice. So a lot of times becoming an artist is about branding and style and, you know, having a signature trait or routine that people remember. What do you think would be your signature trait? Either musically like a specific instrument incorporation or beat… or something like monthly mixes, etc. 
I feel like what I do with live shows is combine these deep house and tropical house elements with a more progressive house which makes for a more energetic show. I think a lot of DJs just play their style of tropical house, deep house, progressive house, etc. I try to bridge the gap and bring these styles to main stages.

A lot of producers have little side projects where they’ll make music that doesn’t really conform to their main project and artist identity. Do you have any? Are they of different genres? 
At the moment no, but I have made a few tracks that may not completely fit in the Sam Feldt brand. So who knows, maybe I’ll release an EP of a special project. So nothing at the moment but who knows, something might come up.

And I saw you’ve been traveling the world nearly nonstop this past year! Where has been the most amazing eye opening place you’ve been? 
Ooh, I don’t know! Every place I’ve been to has been so amazing and different. I was in Miami for Ultra Music Week which was a big circus. It’s cool to see that and then you come to beautiful places like Toronto here or China two weeks ago.

And in China, I heard you had limited network connectivity and a bit of a social media break or realization…? 
Yeah it’s interesting. On my mobile network I didn’t have anything and I only had wifi at our hotel and some places and only sometimes it worked. It was kind of weird to see and experience how much you’re actually addicted to social media – you don’t know it and only realize once it’s gone, and when you’re used to using every day, you kind of miss it, haha.

So if you weren’t doing what you were doing today – you said you started about 4 years ago – if you hadn’t stumbled upon DJing and creating music, where do you think you’d be and what do you think you’d be doing? 
I used to have my own graphic design company. I used to build websites and stuff. I was the biggest nerd actually, haha. I stopped doing it because the music took off, so if the music hadn’t taken off I’d most likely still be doing that.

Do you find ways to kind of incorporate that knowledge into your current career? 
I think a really important thing about building a music career is marketing. It starts with music but you have to get it to the right people and connect with the right crowd. It definitely helps in every sector in music.

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Touring on the road playing shows every night must get pretty crazy. Do you work on music on tour or just focus on the shows? 
Sometimes there’s time for that, sometimes there just isn’t any time for it. This tour is fairly relaxed compared to the one I did in September; today we have a day off here. The other tour we did 24 shows in a month, so nearly a show every day and that’s when it’s hard to find time for music. I do produce a bit on tour but it’s hard, so I mostly work on IDs since it’s smaller stuff I can work out.

And I imagine it’s pretty exhausting and maybe stressful from all the non-stop action and partying.  What do you do to relax to sometimes get away from it all? 
It’s hard to say one thing but I think just listening to other music, of all different types and I actually get a lot of inspirations from those. I always get good food and exploring places, I see it as a challenge in every city I go to find a cool spot to eat or like, the best hot dogs.

List 4 things you could not live without:
My power bank
My headphones
My neck pillow
My tour manager, Faruk

A song or album you wish you had produced/wrote?
Oh that’s a hard one, I don’t know. A Daft Punk album.

What’s something we’d be surprised to know about you? Either a fun fact, something you really like, or something totally random. 
When I was younger, I used to be really into dinosaurs. I actually worked in a dinosaur museum when I was 8 – I was a volunteer tour guide, taking groups on tour there all older than me. It’s pretty funny. I was kind of a geek.

Name one item on your bucket list to accomplish within the next year? 
I think maybe getting a number one on Billboard.

Anything else exciting coming up within the next few months? 
There’s a lot coming actually. There’s a new single coming this year, I’m working on a track with Jasmine Thompson that’s coming out… [I’m] working on a remix for Years and Years. Music wise, there’s a lot coming out. The rest of the year I’m going to Brazil, India, Asia, Australia – they’re all new countries for me so it’s going to be really exciting.

Photos by @STILEZ.

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