Sam Wills digs deep
As part of our round-up of all things bright and beautiful at the UK’s premier new music festival, The Great Escape in Brighton, Hannah Jolley checks out young guns Sam Wills and Tom Misch.
Twenty-three year old Sam Wills took to the New Road Stage on Thursday afternoon to provide a set of summery electronic soul. As the sun shone down on Brighton, Wills created the perfect festival vibe with his velvety vocals and solid keyboard/drum combo. Since the recent release of his debut EP ‘So Bright’, the soloist has gained over 300k plays on Spotify and sold out his first ever London show. And, having collaborated with Karma-Kid on the production for his debut track ‘Electrified’, the Hastings-born musician has clearly worked hard to be able to do live performances that mirror the talent and production quality heard in his recorded material. He effortlessly got the crowd swooning at his voice and dancing at every beat drop, whilst remaining humble and grateful in between songs.
It’s clear that his hard work is paying off as his list of live shows becomes longer and having featured on tracks such as Tom Misch’s dreamy ‘In The Midst of It All’, audiences are being drawn in by the combination of those deep synth bass lines and beats underneath RnB and soul-inspired vocal melodies.
On the second night, Coalition on Brighton’s seafront was starting to fill up with people ready to witness the 20-year old producer/DJ/guitarist/composer prodigy that is the afroementioned Tom Misch.
The exciting buzz of the venue reflected the crowd’s anticipation to hear the fresh sounds of jazzy guitar improv and dreamy melodies grounded by hip-hop beats. Misch graced the stage alongside his violinist and drummer, guitar in hand and kicked off the set list with instrumental track ‘Home’ from his album ‘Beat Tape 2’, released in August last year. People struggled to stand still to the sleek beats and guitar solos and, in awe of how effortlessly his fingers moved around the fret board, he received an abundance of cheering and took them gratefully.
Having collaborated with other fellow new artists, it was an extra treat for the crowd as he brought singer Carmody and virtuoso rapper Loyle Carner on stage to join him for tracks ‘Release Me’, and ‘Nightgowns’.
A premiere of his new single ‘Watch Me Dance’ also featured on the set list and didn’t disappoint as it provided the catchy choruses, smooth guitar chords and carefree beats that Misch is known for. The 45-minute set was a definite highlight of my weekend and I couldn’t help but leave with a feeling of inadequacy having seen someone of the same age as me showcase talent like he did.