A regular #1 artist on Beatport, Sammy Porter’s singles such as ‘Talking Like Friends’ and ‘Let Your Love’ have taken him to over 50 million career streams, 5 million video views and 2500 plays on UK radio. Now he teams up with Karen Harding for his new single ‘Celebrate’.
Boasting punchy piano house keys, a dynamite drop and the not-so-secret weapon that is Karen’s Harding’s soaring soulful vocal gift, ‘Celebrate’ has everything it takes to become a crossover dance anthem. Not only does it look set to become Sammy’s biggest track to date, but it sees Karen Harding adding to an epic year in which she has featured on major tracks from Galantis, Shift K3y, Hook N Sling and Felix Cartal.
We caught up with Sammy Porter to learn more about “Celebrate” came about, his preferred DAW & more.
Aditya – Hey Sammy! Glad to have you for the interview. How’s 2021 been for you so far?
Sammy Porter – Yeah it’s been a roller coaster to say the least. The first bit of the year in lockdown was by far the worst lockdown we had here in the UK, the weather, no clubs, but since everything opened back up its been unreal, probably the busiest I’ve actually ever been with gigs, sessions and events.
Aditya – Your latest release with Karen Harding sounds exuberant! Could you tell us how the track came along?
Sammy Porter – Exuberent is a good word I might steal that! It actually come about through an acapella idea from Karen that my manager sent me ages ago. The topline is written by Karen, Lewis Tompson, Charlotte Haining and Rob Harvey. Working with them and the A&R team at Speakerbox & Insanity has been a dream, although it did me take an unreal amount of versions to get this one just right. Think it’s something like version 47 of the production that finally saw the light of day, could be a new record for me that.
Aditya – The piano stands out in the track! Could you tell us how to achieve such a punchy piano sound?
Sammy Porter – Had to just open up the session to see what I’d even done. It’s just an Korg M1 piano layered with a Keyscape VST preset. its super saturated and the chords have 7th’s in which give it a richer sound. It’s also really stereo and there’s a plugin in there called Surfer EQ chucked in too, really helps it cut through the mix. Feels dead nerdy typing this out but wish someone told me how to make a piano sound like that when I first started out!
Aditya – Are there more collaborations in the works with Karen Harding?
Sammy Porter – Not currently, but working with the whole team there has been great so would love to jump back in on some bits in the future. Although saying that, Im struggling to keep up with my current schedule of sessions at the moment, people are pinging me asking where our session is literally as I’m typing this, so if you are reading this interview, I’ll send you them stems in a minute I promise.
Aditya – What’s your creative process like? How do you begin producing?
Sammy Porter – I try not to be too set on what I’m trying to make when I first start a project and just see where it ends up. Usually starting off with something vocal and then working backwards. This can sometimes be great and you can really quickly get something going but also means you end up with a lot of completely random shite. I also end up going 3 hours down a complete rabbit hole and end up with something that sounds more like techno every now and then. This isn’t so great when you have projects to finish and some record label is asking where their remix masters are.
Aditya – Which DAW do you use and why?
Sammy Porter – I use Ableton for production and Logic for vocal sessions and recording, although I just see that Ableton 11 has a vocal comping feature which I need to learn how to use. Ableton for production is just a winner for me, I spent years learning Logic and then jumped ship after trying Ableton for literally a few days. Just feels more fun to me and I work a lot quicker in it.
Aditya – You have a ginormous catalogue of releases! Tell us some of your favourite works.
Sammy Porter – That’s just under my actual name, for years before this I was doing Dubstep under a completely different name! Back in 2015 I had a track out with Jessica Agombar called “How You Feel” – It sampled Groove Theories – Tell Me”. I done a remix of it myself that I labelled as (Chilled Remix) – It’s so random and doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve ever tried to do but for that I’ve always loved it.
Aditya – How do you sort your music for gigs? How do you name your playlists?
Sammy Porter – I name them badly being honest. For each gig I try to make one folder of what I think I’m going to play for that gig. But then in reality it never works out like that and end up going wherever I think it needs to stylistically. Sometimes I’ll spend ages nailing a playlist for a specific gig and then get there and play completely differently.
Aditya – Tell us about the radio show’s you’ve hosted in the past.
Sammy Porter – I’m a resident on Rinse FM and have done guest mixes for god knows how many stations. I really enjoy Rinse as there is literally no boundaries musically, I can play whatever I want for 2 hours and I feel the station is really respected for that.
Aditya – Lastly, what’s on the shelf for the last weeks of the year?
Sammy Porter – A winter that we aren’t in lockdown! Have been waiting for this. As much as I love festivals and outdoor summer shows, I do love a indoor club show and I’ve got more of them than ever lined up this winter. Really big one coming up at the end of this month with LoveJuice as we take over Studio 338 over two days in a row, for the first time ever, across Saturday 27th + 28th of November. We’ve got some massive headliners in too, Wiess, KC Lights, Martin Ikin, Jamie Roy alongside myself, George Mensah, Joshwa & Rennie Peters and more.