This week at Fresh Fridays, our free pop-up performance event, we have VNS live music with artists El Sam and Naomi Dawes. We had a chat with them to find out about their style and musical influences ahead of their live performance this Friday.
How long have you been performing?
El Sam: I’ve been performing since I was 17. I started writing music at 16, I started with short poems that evolved into songs.
Naomi: I’ve been performing since 16 when I was at college. I always took part in school plays but I’m not sure if that counts.
How did you get into music?
El Sam: At the age of 15 I was living in the Middle East, and as the Syrian war started, my family decided to send me back to the UK, my birth country. I was going through a very lonely period of time, being away from family, losing my friends, so I started writing all my stories, my feelings, my emotions into poems, it all developed into songwriting, then singing.
Naomi: I’ve always loved music, I used to absorb the music my mom and dad would play to me as a child. But I really found my love for music when a secondary school teacher started teaching me songs and vocal exercises after school.
Describe your style?
El Sam: I’d say I am an Independent, Alternative 70s themed artist. I like to describe myself as an Arabian Prince who sings Sadcore Pop.
Naomi: I describe my style as Indie Soul. I don’t think any artist wants to be pigeonholed into one style so for me, I feel like my voice is my genre. So I just create in the style that feels good to me.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
El Sam: I grew up listening to the likes of David Bowie, Marc Almond, The spice girls, Dusty Springfield who my mom adored. All these artists shaped my definition of music as a child. I still listen to all these artists.
Naomi: I am massively influenced by Roy Orbison, Freddie Mercury, Joan Armatrading, The 1975 and Florence and the machine. I have so many influences but these are the musicians that really changed me musically!
What has been your career highlight as an artist so far?
El Sam: I’ve been very lucky the last few years to have achieved so much during my journey in music, I’ve been able to perform for a blogging magazine twice in London which pushed my career and my online following very high. I’ve also performed for TEDxYouth@brum at the Hippodrome itself, a show I’ll never forget due to the incredible feedback and amazing vibe of the show. This year I have also been named in the top 25 artists for BBC introducing artists to watch out for in 2019, so definitely a career highlight.
Naomi: Getting on BBCWM Introducing was a massive thing for me. To have my music played on the radio was always something I’ve dreamed of. So that was a really massive achievement for me.
Are you looking forward to returning to perform at Birmingham Hippodrome’s Fresh Fridays?
El Sam: Absolutely, Fresh Fridays is a start to something very special, and I’m so pleased to be one of the first to start up with this project. The environment of the set and the chilled vibes really gives me the intimate atmosphere I like to perform in.
Naomi: Having this opportunity is incredible and to perform in such a well-known venue is such an honour. So yes!
Where can we find your music?
El Sam: I’ve released two albums and a few singles so far, all of which you can find on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Deezer and all major music distributors. Anyone can also follow my social media platforms to stay updated with my music, it is @officialelsam.
Naomi: @naomidawesmusic on all social platforms and my EP MUSE is on all major streaming platforms.
Join us in our foyers for FREE on Friday between 6pm and 7pm to enjoy live music from El Sam and Naomi. Grab a drink and soak up the atmosphere… Find out more on our website.