It doesn’t happen too often that you come across someone with Sam’s composure and artistry at such a young age. 22 year old Sam De Nef has been in music for a while as lead singer of indie outfit ‘Danny Blue and the Old Socks’, but It wasn’t until last year he started thinking of a solo career. Influenced by a generation of songwriters he listens to every day, Sam felt an urge to follow his own path and write genuine songs he could play all by himself and at any time, unadorned and without pretense.
He started recording demo’s during the March lockdown, swiftly landed a record deal and started recording his debut with Nicolas Rombouts (Dez Mona, Ottla, Stef Kamil Carlens) and PJ Decraene (Rhinos are People too) – also his live band – in an old house in the French Vosges mountains. We were instantly struck by his stunning vocals, his versatility and maturity as a songwriter, embracing the classics but never without transcending their influence.
Sam De Nef’s first solo project is a vehicle to tell his own stories and write songs that come to him in the most natural way. His debut mini album is an inspired collection of visceral folk and singer songwriter tunes, drenched in nostalgia. He’s inspired by the likes of Dylan, Jack Kerouac, Leonard Cohen and Karen Dalton, but displays a unique voice and decidedly steers clear of platitudes.
“On my first trip to Serbia, visiting my girlfriends family, I discovered a whole new world in music. People played their songs around the dinner table. What I saw was a family sharing food, alcohol and stories everyone could relate to. This experience opened up a new window, the wind blowing inspiration. I want to tell stories and touch people with simple songs and colorful language.”
There is a directness and intimacy throughout each of the record’s 23 minutes, which both sparks universal melancholy and makes Sam De Nef’s debut very personal.