Recently signing with renowned DJ Umek’s label 1605, music producer Sam Wolfe has shared his single ‘Prison Break’ with Andrea Garcia. The prolific artist has received recognition from the likes of Monika Kruse and Oliver Huntemann since he unveiled his breakthrough debut EP Triangulum in 2020. The hype around this fresh talent is no surprise at all, as Triangulum charted at #1 across all of Beatport’s top releases since it was released. ‘Prison Break’ is a playfully arranged track with captivating darkness embellishments that leave the mind engaged and intrigued. We chatted further with this promising talent Sam Wolfe below.
Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?
My mom has been an international women’s barbershop quartet singer since I was in the womb — so from ages 1-7 when we’re really forming our blueprint. Seeing her so happy around music definitely shaped my personality.
Plus I love my mom, she’s a dope lady.
What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?
Success to me is the active realization of a worthy ideal. I want to make people happy, as many people as possible. So getting to create music that makes me happy, and performing that to other people to make them happy is the epitome of success. And by that measure, I am super grateful because this past year was a new level of personal achievement.
What key pieces of gear/software are you using to define your sound?
It’s changing every month but the one I am hot on right now is Gatekeeper by infected mushroom, if you use it right it can sound really cool & add a lot of depth to your tracks.
Outside of music, what inspires you?
I love a good motivational speaker, self-help guru type of guy. Like a Tony Robbins.
I’m a huge believer in not reinventing the wheel…. no matter what you want to do in life, there are people that have already left clues, or are currently doing what you want to do. So don’t have an ego about it and learn from those people. People that live this philosophy inspire me.
What kind of relationship do you have with the internet? How does this inform your artistic expression?
The internet is just a tool to show the world what you’re about, on a global scale. It doesn’t inform my artistic expression so much that I am a lot pickier before I put a song out on the internet for the world to judge. Since it’s such a big audience, I really like to take my time and make sure it’s the best thing I am currently capable of producing.
Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music-making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
Since I launched my first EP in 2020, the realization that you can become a touring artist without the help of a major record label is extremely inspiring. I have built everything I have from scratch, and it’s incredible that any normal guy like myself can do that on their own.
There really isn’t much that is discouraging, because in 2021 it’s easier than ever to follow your passion and build your own brand to a global audience.
If any artists are reading this and have any questions about how to build your own brand in dance music, don’t hesitate to reach out, I love sharing ideas that have worked for me.
How do you market and manage your music career? Do you have a management team or do you control everything by yourself?
I have built my team from nothing, starting with one of my best friends who’s become my manager & mentor, then meeting my friends in the UK who are professionals at targeted Facebook/IG ads. Then my creative agency I met in Tulum who helped me create my brand, from there I have my go-to photographers & videographers, my agent, all of my promoters, label contacts, artist friends, and so on.
I pull from each team member when I need help, but I still control everything on my own, and answer every fan message on my own. It’s a lot sometimes in addition to my full-time job, but I consider myself one of the luckiest people on the planet so you’ll (hopefully) never hear me complaining.
As a performer or as a member of the audience, what single show has been the most memorable for you?
This is a near-impossible one because of so many since 2009… But as a performer probably my first international show (in Ankara Turkey) to a sold-out crowd.
As a member of the audience, probably the first time I saw Prydz in 2012. It turned me off from being just a dubstep/Electro house guy and started the never-ending process of maturing my ear as a dance music listener.
Please suggest an album for us to listen to.
It’s not technically an album; but on that last note Eric Prydz Presents Pryda… love all those tunes, Sunburst is still probably my favorite. I can still close my eyes and remember seeing it live 9 years ago crystal clear.