INTERVIEW: Sam Bluer

Delivering a continuous string of strong singles, Sam Bluer has made himself a newcomer that you should definitely get well acquainted with. Over the past two years the Melbourne singer-songwriter signed to EMI Music Australia and has toured with the likes of Vera Blue and Handsome. Gaining a strong online presence through social media engagement and streaming play-listing, he’s done a great job at creating important traction. His new single ‘Naughty’ is a fiery pop track about the idea of infidelity and romanticising the sexual implications of cheating. 

I recently chatted to Sam Bluer about the cheeky nature of his new single ‘Naughty’, what he learnt about playing his first string of shows and explored the importance of having a strong LGBTQI+ presence in the local music industry. Check it out HERE;

TB: ’Naughty’ is quite a provocative song that pushes the boundaries on the idealism of relationships, where you’re exploring cheating on your partner. Is there a risqué story that is behind the inspiration of this song or was it more of a dreamy/what-if storyline?

SB: It’s definitely a what-if storyline! I was in the studio with Phebe Starr, Sam Sakr & Muki and we were talking about our favourite pop songs. Someone said ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ by Robyn and we all decided to write a song from the cheaters perspective. We wanted to explore a narrative that is usually quite taboo.

TB: Did you contemplate the opinions people may have around the idea of the song or were you more tackling the release in a tongue n cheek and playful attitude?

SB: Tongue and cheek for sure. I mean it’s pop music, it isn’t that serious. However I will say that I think it’s important for artists to write from different perspectives and not always stay in the “safe” zone.

TB: Sonically this track hears a bold pop growth in your previous DIY production, so what was sonically inspiring you while you were working on this track?

SB: Sam Sakr produced the track and his sound pallet is incredible. I was inspired by SOPHIE especially in production. Something super new age and fun and Sam really new exactly what to do.

TB: Last year saw you playing your first run of shows with the likes of Vera Blue and Handsome. So what was the biggest thing you learnt about yourself as an artist and live performer from playing those shows?

SB: They were really fun shows! I feel like you grow every time you perform. Those shows were my first time performing in like five years which is insane. I learnt a lot about the tech side of things to be honest, in ears and such, which was super helpful. I love performing to a crowd so it was a great time!

TB: When you were establishing your live show and how you wanted to represent yourself as an artist, did you think about how you wanted punters to walk away thinking or feeling after a Sam Bluer set? If so, what is it?

SB: I definitely know that I’m super “pop” sounding so I really just want people to have a good time and sing along! It’s a fun show with a lot of bops to dance to *laughs*.

TB: As a proud LGBTQI+ artist, how important is it do you think to create more of a presence for our community in the local music industry?

SB: I think it’s really important to have LGBTQI+ representation in the Australian music scene, as well as in mainstream media. I think it’s slowly getting better but we can always do better. Seeing more diverse LGBTQI+ acts getting recognition is really exciting for the industry and for our community. If just one teenager or young person sees representation that they can relate to and be inspired by then we’re doing our jobs.

TB: Your previous releases ‘Shift’, ‘Body High’, ‘Bite My Tongue’ and your Oh Boy collab ‘Love Me Right’ all had a DIY feel to them, so when you’re working on new music what do you focus on first; the lyrics or the production layering?

SB: When creating music I always start off with a chord progression or pre-made beat from a producer that I’m working with. Then I focus on lyrics until we have the song fully formed. From there we usually go back and focus on production and getting it to sound like a “Sam Bluer” track. Production can really make or break a song, so I’m super specific in what I like and what works for my songs.

TB: Your visual aesthetics that have gone along with your previous releases and artwork have all had a bright vintage and retrospective feel to them. So how are you stylistically inspired by visually?

SB: The 80s and 90s are super inspiring to me! Shows like Degrassi Jnr High and Buffy The Vampire Slayer are aesthetically what I’m looking for visually. Also growing up in North side Melbourne has impacted my aesthetic a lot. I’m also super obsessed with artists like Petra Collins. We always try to get everything to look vibrant but grungy to fit my music style.

TB: Let’s play a little game of rapid fire questions where I’m going to ask you some questions that you just need to answer with the first thing that comes to mind.

SB: Okay!

My morning pump up song is… 

SB: At the moment it’s ‘Do Me’ by Kim Petras

TB: If I could have written any song, it would have been… 

SB: ’Holy Water’ by Sakima – It’s one of the most stunning songs I’ve ever heard.

TB: Pineapple on pizza is… 

SB: Amazing! and the only way to have it!

TB: The emoji that best describes my new single ‘Naughty’ is… 

SB: The smiling devil face *laughs*

TB: If I could have any superpower it would be… 

SB: Being able to be invisible.

‘Naughty’ is out now