Interview with Australian singer songwriter Sam Sparro

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Sam Sparro has the kind of distinctive vocals that just purr out of a radios speaker. Aussie born and internationally bred, Sparro is fresh from the Grammy Awards that were recently held in LA.

Back in Oz to tour the country as part of the Good Vibrations Festival alongside other hot acts such as The Presets, Chromeo and the infamous Fat Boy Slim, Little Sammy Sparro has really spread his wings, soaring through the charts and radio waves of the world.

How has your father’s career as a soul singer influenced your own music?

I think my dad and I have very different music but certainly seeing him do what he does inspired me to try my luck at being a singer and musician.

Is it true that Chaka Khan was one of your early admirers?

It is true – we had a few brief encounters when I was younger and she told me I was a great singer. I didn’t really know her stuff at that time but I’m now a huge fan.

Who would you consider to be an idol in your eyes?

I would say Prince and Björk are two of my biggest idols.

Where have you enjoyed living the most? Sydney, LA or the UK?

I love living in LA – it’s got such a mixture of lifestyles that you can sort of have it all – I’m 10 minutes from Downtown, half an hour from the beach and 10 minutes from the mountains.

Tell us a bit about your new album that’s in the works this year.

Well – I’d really love to tell you all about it but I’ve literally just started on it – so it’s like a little baby that still has a smooched face from being in the womb. It will still be quite dancey but have a lot more guitars on it. I’m very excited about it – I think it’s going to be great!

What was the story behind your smash hit “Black & Gold”?

It’s a song about looking for God – wondering if God exists and looking out into the universe for answers.

If you could live in any century what would it be and why?

I’m very happy to be living in this century – there are lots of exciting things happening – and all though it’s a tumultuous time – some things are better than they’ve ever been

Do you think the 21st century is how you envisaged it to be? I mean, where are the flying cars already?!

I know, right? I don’t think it’s how any one envisaged it to be. When we were growing up I think we believed the year 2000 would bring about some kind of utopian future. Technology moves so fast but now with the economic setbacks, I think it will slow down and we will have to consume less – which is good.

Are you a gadgets man? If so, what is your favourite toy of the moment?

I’m not really a gadgets man but I do love my iPhone – it pretty much does everything. I get lost all the time and I just use the MapQuest function to find myself!

Which acts are you most excited to see at the Good Vibrations festival?

Always excited to see The Presets – Looking forward to seeing Deadmau5 and The Pharcyde!

What is your ultimate music festival outfit?

Something ridiculous –I wore a multicoloured rave cape at Glastonbury and it looked so cool in photos.

What has been your most memorable musical festival moment – as both a punter and an artist on the bill?

I had a great time at my first Good Vibes in Sydney and was blown away by Moloko. At Coachella 3 years ago, Daft Punk totally blew my socks off. It was the most incredible visual show I’ve ever seen! It would be hard to top that. Playing at Glastonbury in 2008 was my best festival gig – the crowd where insane!

Is it true your stage name Sparro is derived from a family nickname?

My uncle just started calling me “Little Sammy Sparro” and I liked it.

Favourite new artist of the moment?

Santagold – she’s doing new and fresh things with various genres and has a great stage persona.

What is your ultimate party track, the one you always have to dance to, no matter what?

Ride on Time by Black Box.

What’s in your fridge?

Hummus, juice, eggs, butter, milk, cheese, tortillas, rocket – the normal stuff.

Ultimate holiday destination?

I’d love to holiday in Thailand.

And lastly, who was your first celebrity crush?

Kylie Minogue.

This interview by Lara Antonelli was originally published on CLEO online.


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