UTG INTERVIEW: Samual James Talks “Vita”

samual james

In the past year, Australian producer Samual James has been steadily climbing the ranks of the electro house scene via massive track after massive track. With support coming everywhere from Porter Robinson to Hardwell on mainstages across the world, it’s hard to imagine James himself won’t be spinning his tracks on those same stages soon enough. Thus, we decided it was the right time to catch up with James as his ascension continues with the release of “Vita,” the newest rave-ready cut to add to his repertoire.

First off, congrats on the release of “Vita.” How does it feel to officially release the track after having an absolute legend in Pete Tong premiere it on BBC Radio 1 last month?

“Vita” has been a long time coming for my camp and I, it was originally written about two years ago! I ended up opening the old project and gave the track new life by actually simplifying it and stripping it down to its core elements. From where it all began to where it is now has been a very long process and to finally see it get a release and premiered by none other than Pete Tong was very special for this track in particular.

“Vita” has the feel of a main-stage staple through and through. Do you consider how songs will transfer over to a live setting during the writing process?

Definitely. In fact, one of the main changes I made to the original version of “Vita” was to get rid of the long breakdown and replace it with one much shorter and simpler. I have the kick drum going throughout the breakdown to give the crowd something to constantly bop to and keep them engaged as it builds back into the madness, which I think is important!

A lot of producers fall into a lull when it comes to making new music, but it seems like there’s always something new added to your sound when you release tracks. How do you maintain your creativity over time?

I love starting with a blank canvas and I never really recycle older projects or sessions. While each track can sound very different there are a few of my “go-to” sounds and favourite techniques in most of them, which ties them all together. If the creativity just isn’t there when I open up Ableton, I tend to just listen to a lot of music, any genre! Sometimes any little sound can inspire you or it can just get you back in the groove/mood.

You’ve already received support from Sander Van Doorn and Porter Robinson, along with “Vita” specifically being supported by David Guetta, but you seem to take it in stride; has there ever been a time where you were blown away by receiving recognition from a certain artist?

At the top of the list would be when I first found out Hardwell was playing my debut single, “Mega.” He’s a massive inspiration to me and for him to not only premier it on Hardwell on Air but also make it a staple in his DJ sets for so long was very special.

I’ve noticed a ton of rising acts, ranging from yourself to HELENA, hail from Australia; what’s the scene like in your native country, both from a fan and a producer’s perspective?

It’s really blowing up in Australia right now. So many of our talented artists are beginning to breakthrough globally and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down. Kids here are not only getting into the music much younger, but also DJing and producing. As a producer in Australia (particularly Melbourne) it’s becoming harder to stand out as there are now so many others to compete with, however the fans here are almost spoilt for choice when it comes to listening to, or seeing their favourite DJs perform.

What’s one goal you’ve yet to accomplish during your career thus far?

I’m still relatively new to the game, so at the moment there are so many goals that I would love to one day be able to achieve. A main stage slot at Tomorrowland would be one goal in particular though!

Now that “Vita” is out for the world to hear, what do you have in store for the rest of 2014?

Still lots of new music and lots of Australian shows locked in for the rest of the year. In particular, I’ll be a part of the Ultraglow Paint Party tour, as well as Stereosonic Melbourne & Sydney.

Interview conducted by Michael Giegerich (Follow him on Twitter)
Purchase “Vita” on Beatport

Mike Giegerich

Mike Giegerich is a freelance journalist with an affinity for the hip-hop scene. His top-five favorite records of all time are Future's last five releases. Feel free to blow up his mentions on Twitter.
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