Annie Mac

SB.TV Interview – Sam Sure & Giacomo.

You may have heard about Sam Sure & Giacomo this week after the release of their interactive new video. The groundbreaking Dark Inside is a much watch for fans of music and technology alike, it can be viewed on their website here. Our blogger Dan Kemp caught up with one half of the act, Sam Sure last week in Hoxton.

How long have you been going?
With Giacomo about three and a half years gigging and going for it. We’ve made music together for longer than that. I wouldn’t say we didn’t take it seriously, we wasn’t as ambitious as we are now. We were just making hip-hop records; it’s a bit broader now.

Your sound is a hard style to describe…
We got referred to as a dubstep duo. I don’t think we’ve got anything dubstep. We’re really influenced by all music really, obviously the music you like but the music I listen to is really wide. I listen to a lot of folk music, a lot of pop music I guess. I’m not ashamed of the word ‘pop’, it’s not a dirty word. Pop music these days is of a high quality, we’re not talking about Spice Girls. Not that I’m dissing the Spice Girls, girl power! At the moment you’ve got to say that Mumford & Sons are pop music, Tinie Tempah is pop music. I wouldn’t go as far as to say The Streets were pop music but it’s all popular.

On your website you’ve got your influences listed which are quite broad, but you’ve got Lily Allen, Jamie T and The Streets and there is direct musical correlation between your music and there’s. Are you motivated by their success?
Obviously you’ve got to take your hat off to the artists that have created a slightly new genre. No-one thanks Lily Allen for doing what she did, she changed popular music. She made it cool to be English. Mike Skinner is an absolute don, what he’s managed to do is do it without having to change. It’s never seemed like it anyway. I’ve got massive respect for them and that in turn affects our music. I think Jamie T is massively underrated, he’s incredibly talented.

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Like you say you have other influences which are completely unrelated. What sort of stuff do you listen to? Because I can see that whole sort of Souls of Mischief, De La Soul kind of vibe.
That’s wicked, I’m really glad that’s coming through. That’s the music I listened to all my life and still always go back to. That’s really relevant because we make happier, more positive hip-hop. When I rap on a record I’m thinking of A Tribe Called Quest or De La Soul because it’s bright and slightly more obscure lyrically – it’s not so egotistical. Don’t get me wrong I love all hip-hop, it just doesn’t feel natural or fit my personality to be really braggy. It’s more about creating a vibe than being really aggressive and saying how good I am.

Tell me about FREE AMUK..
Amuk is a really good friend of mine that I did graffiti with for years. He unfortunately went to prison for 18 months which was a ridiculous sentence for a young person who was studying at university. Obviously he did a lot of damage but I don’t think it warranted 18 months. If Banksy can be a millionaire but he gets prison then I don’t know. He’s out now though and he’s doing well. It must have been a horrible time for him, I wouldn’t want to say what it was like but he took it on the chin and he’s managed to come out the other side just as creative. That record is one I wrote about graffiti and thought I’ll get this out on YouTube and raise awareness about Amuk’s situation.

Click for the player

You played with Xzibit. How was he?                       

Legend, obviously.

And how was your reception at the gig?
It was a tough crowd but we won them over. At the end of the day your average Xzibit fan isn’t interested in big English hooks or even English sounding music necessarily. They like big American hip-hop. We played two dates with him: London and Bristol. The London show was busier and in some ways a harder reception but we had some of our fans come in as well. You only have to hear a few cheers to get you going and every gets into it. Our set doesn’t really make people hate us, we’re not being egotistical. Just have fun because that’s what we’re doing. The Bristol show wasn’t as busy but I got to hang out with him backstage quite a lot. That was a buzz, he’s a dude. I’ve been listening to his records since I can remember. We got on really well and he was really complimentary about our music which was really nice.

How has The Edits mixtape gone down?
Well yeah. We haven’t put any music out so we just decided to bootleg some stuff. Giacomo literally ripped it off YouTube and we did it in three weeks. It’s done as well as we thought it would. Good downloads and good traffic. It’s good to give people who’ve been waiting for us to release some music something for free. The Lana Del Rey edit was unexpectedly the most popular, I’ve got a feeling Lauren Laverne is playing it Monday. (She did play it on that Monday)

Is The Edits just something for the fans or are you trying to build hype for a record?
We’ve got an album pretty much finished and our single comes out Monday (Dark Inside was released on 20/02/2012). It’s as different as our record gets.

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I’ve heard it and it is very different, especially when you listen to The Edits.
When you listen to some of our popular records it’s different. It’s just the vibe at the time. We’ve shot one of the best videos you’re ever going to see without sounding like a bighead. It’s literally amazing. We’re very lucky to have an old friend of mine who I hadn’t spoke to in years. He just said to me he had this great technology and it would have cost us a lot of money to shoot this video. It shoots in 360 degree panoramic angles, you can click and drag on the screen. We’re really excited to see the reaction it will get. It’ll be on our website, which is being built today. It’s a bit annoying because the player doesn’t work on other websites, people will have to watch it on our website. Hopefully we’ll get a good enough write up people we will get a lot of traffic. Professor Green has actually done a video using this technology [Coming To Get Me] but it sort of went under the radar because it was like a Doritos sponsored thing.

What’s been the highlight so far in your three and a half years?
I would say Reading and Leeds really, it came out of the blue. We uploaded our stuff on the BBC Introducing website and then someone came to see us live. Then they were sending us emails but I hadn’t looked at the email account for a while because it was a band email. We then got a phone call saying we were the only band who hadn’t confirmed they wanted to play Reading and Leeds. We got a really good slot, 6pm. We went to Leeds and it was pissing it down with rain, it took five hours in the car. It was a bit of anti-climax. But Reading was sun-setting, I don’t want to exaggerate how many people there were but I may as well have been playing the fucking main stage man as far as I’m concerned. When I looked out I could just people jumping and dancing and yeah, that was a highlight. Playing Koko is a highlight too, we’ve played it twice now and it’s just a jumping venue. When you’re on stage it’s the best thing in the world, looking up at those balconies with everyone just watching.

What are your aims for the year? If there are any?
We’ve got goals, we’ve achieved so much in the last six months. My main goal is to start enjoying what we’ve done rather than keep thinking about what’s next. That’s my personal goal, but as a band we’ve got to get our record out there and play bigger and better gigs. If we have a year as successful as the year just gone I’ll be happy. We signed our publishing to Sony, we’re halfway there to making this into a career.

Nice. So you’re doing the festival circuit this year?
Hope so, being from Canterbury, Lounge on the Farm was a no-brainer. We played the first ever Lounge on the Farm with a DJ-ing and rapping set. We’ve managed to get onto the bill most years. But now with an agent you don’t just phone festivals up and blag it, they do that for you. There’s more choice now. I’m hoping we’re going to start with the Great Escape in Brighton in May and then go from there.

click to watch the video on the SBTV player click to play video

Who are you tipping for this year?
Sam Sure & Giacomo (laughs). It’s obvious to say Michael [Kiwanuka] because that’s who everyone’s tipping. I hope it happens for him. Probably Benny Banks is going to be big and that’s proper hip-hop, so hopefully that will make a comeback into the mainstream. As opposed to hip-hop artists having to make big dance records to stay relevant, they should keep their music at 90BPM rather than losing their lyrics and getting the David Guetta sound.

Interview and text by Dan Kemp.

Edited by Natalia

Annie Mac Presents Compilation Mini Mix [Video]

Queen of quivering bass, disco destroyer and general hero Annie Mac is set to release her Annie Mac Presents 2011 compilation on October 17th…

Featuring some of the biggest tunes from the year including artists such as SBTRKT, Toddla T and Jamie XX this is a must have compilation for any dance music fan. Her Annie Mac Presents club nights are nearing legendary status and Diplo calls her night in Ibiza his ‘favourite party on the island’. Since her first compilation in 2009 Annie has been supporting names who have now reached national recognition, including Magnetic Man, Nero and Katy B. This album looks set to deliver all the best dance music from the year and just to wet your appetite here is a video complete with a compilation mini mix.

click to watch the video on the SBTV player click to play video

Words by James Deacon

Annie Mac Presents 2011 Mini-Mix Video

Annie Mac has made a Youtube mini-mix to promote her forthcoming Annie Mac Presents 2011 comp and UK AMP tour

click to watch the video on the SBTV player click to play video

It’s October and it’s time for Annie Mac’s annual review of the hottest dance records of the year that  she has been instrumental in introducing to the nation’s pleasure-synapses through her groundbreaking Radio 1 Friday show and packed DJ schedule.

Since her first Annie Mac Presents compilation in 2009, Annie has supported acts that have gone from being favourites on her show to national stars (Magnetic Man, Plan B, Nero, Katy B) and helped define the dance music zeitgeist.

On this comp, 2011’s finest moments are represented. Azari & III ‘Reckless For Your Love’, Toddla T’s ‘Take It Back’, SBTRKT’s ‘Wildfire’ Jamie XX’s remix of Adele’s ‘Rolling In The Deep’. If you’ve been out clubbing this year this neat comp brings together the highlights as well as pointing to some names likely to be lighting up 2012 (Jai Paul).

Annie has continued to take her signature sound worldwide in 2011; continuing what Diplo has called his ‘favourite party on the island’ in Ibiza as well as gigs coming up across North America and Australia this autumn. Meanwhile the Annie Mac Presents nights remain one of the biggest nightlife brands across the UK, with a run across all four compass points of the country in the coming months to accompany this compilation. See below for a list of the Annie Mac Presents 2011 tour dates. The album launch party is at London’s KOKO on 8th October.

Last year’s instalment of Annie Mac Presents reached the top 5 of the iTunes album chart, 2011’s selection is just as sharp, representing the continuing exuberance of UK clubbing.

The Adventures of Annie Mac – Episode 3 (Glastonbury Festival)

Presenting to you a brand new series that documents all the missions, all the events, all the personalities, all the peaks and ALL the troughs of 5 weekends of her life. Welcome to The Adventures Of Annie Mac!

click to watch the video on the SBTV player click to play video

The Adventures of Annie Mac – Episode 2 (Sonar Festival)

Presenting to you a brand new series that documents all the missions, all the events, all the personalities, all the peaks and ALL the troughs of 5 weekends of her life. Welcome to The Adventures Of Annie Mac!

click to watch the video on the SBTV player click to play video

The Adventures of Annie Mac – Episode 1

Presenting to you a brand new series that documents all the missions, all the events, all the personalities, all the peaks and ALL the troughs of 5 weekends of Annie Mac’s life. Welcome to The Adventures Of Annie Mac!

click to watch the video on the SBTV player click to play video