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Sam Brown - Interview

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 26 / 4 / 2023

Sam Brown - Interview


Acclaimed singer-songwriter Sam Brown talks to Nick Dent-Robinson about her eighth album, ‘Number 8’, which, despite the permanent loss of her former singing voice, was recorded with the aid of new technology.

Sam Brown has released a new album, ‘Number 8’. The 'N' of the title completes the series of seven solo albums and one live album (last year's ‘Wednesday The Something Of April’ which featured archive recordings from 2004) where the first letters of each album spell out Sam's name. This was coincidental up until ‘Reboot’ in 2000 but has been deliberately continued since. Sam Brown's distinctive, powerful vocals were one of the memorable sounds of the 1980s/90s. Daughter of 1960s British rock icon Joe Brown, Sam grew up with people like Beatle George Harrison, Stevie Wonder and Small Faces frontman Steve Marriott dropping in and out of the family home. She later worked with legends including Elton John, George Harrison, Pink Floyd, Jon Lord of Deep Purple, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Spandau Ballet and for years was a key part of Jools Holland's TV shows and tours. Her biggest hit ‘Stop’ sold almost 3 million copies and topped the charts in numerous countries. Sam is also an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer. But the release of a brand new Sam Brown album now - including some excellent songs written recently by her - will come as a surprise to some of Sam's many fans. For, as has been well-documented, back in 2007 Sam suffered what turned out to be the permanent loss of her former fine singing voice. However, with the help of the latest recording technology, Sam, now 58, has been able to make an unexpected return. “Yes, 'Number 8' is definitely quite different from anything I've ever done before,” Sam says cheerily. “In short, it's kind of fake,” she laughs. “The recording process was a revelation to an old hand like me. All done on Skype and Zoom. My good friend Danny Schogger who had encouraged me to start writing again did a lot of the instrumental work in his home using my Melodyne programme. This allowed me to sing something in any pitch and then move it to where I wanted it to be – and of course to tune it! It also meant I could add harmonies, double tracking etc and my brother Pete (Brown) took on the mixing and fine-tuned what I had already done. It has been a way of trying to reclaim my voice.” “Previously I had tried everything. I had two operations and saw the best voice doctors anywhere. I worked with top voice trainers here and in the USA. And I tried speech therapy, Yoga, Reiki, acupuncture, nutrition, crystal healing, hypnotherapy, therapy therapy! - The list seems endless. But nothing changed. I had still lost the ability to achieve pitch and closure simultaneously - a fundamental long-term problem! Though, you know, I still can't quite accept that I have lost my singing voice forever.” “I have had to adapt to a new reality. When I first lost my voice I would spend evenings looking wistfully at my old videos and clips on YouTube with a bottle of wine for comfort. It was heartbreaking. Apart from my children, I loved singing more than anything. It defined me and I couldn't really work out who I was without my singing voice. Subsequently I have had to work much harder at enjoying my life.” “With initial support from my brother Pete who is an accomplished producer and recording engineer as well as a brilliant musician, I produced some records for other people and also started teaching the ukulele. Soon we had a series of different ukulele groups around the country - all really enjoying what they were doing. It was hard work but we all had great fun doing it. Singing remains my great love, though – and I really miss it.” There were tears along the way but self-belief and the power of optimism have really helped Sam now achieve her goal by releasing an ambitious new album. ‘Number 8’ feels very contemporary and her fans will be delighted with the new sound. It is a very satisfying end to the S, A, M, B, R, O, W, N series of eight albums. Sam comments, “I am actually thrilled now that, through technology, I have been able to overcome the loss of my voice and perform some new songs which make an interesting and very different piece of work. I do hope people will enjoy it!”.

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Sam Brown - Interview

Sam Brown - Interview

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Interview 2008 (2021)
Sam Brown - Interview 2008
In this 2008 archival interview, which she believes to be definitive,, renowned singer-songwriter Sam Brown chats to Nick Dent-Robinson about some of the highlights of her thirty year career, including working with George Harrison, Jools Holland and Pink Floyd, the massive success of her 80's single 'Stop' and her then recently released fourth album 'Of The Moment'.
Interview (2014)
Interview Part 1 (2014)
Interview Part 2 (2014)
Interview (2012)

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