Having already established himself with a string of bright and uplifting releases over the last few years, Amsterdam-based singer and songwriter Samuel Andryk is back once again with the outstanding new single 'Way Back Home'.
Channelling a warm and acoustic-led aesthetic for his latest offering, 'Way Back Home' makes for a beautifully rich serenade. With his smooth and lofty voice layered over a shimmering guitar base, his newest gem will certainly fill your heart and soul with joy.
So with the new single out and about, we joined him for a quick chat to find out more about his origins and inspirations over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
The violin. I started playing when I was 8 years old in my elementary school’s orchestra, and continued playing until age 18. I love all instruments made from wood and string, they feel so organic to me, and the violin in particular always had this nostalgic and romantic sound to it that captivated me even when I was so young.
What kind of music did you love when you were younger?
The music that I used to listen to is very different from the music that I play now- it took quite some time to find “my” sound. I’m a 90s kid, so naturally I grew up listening to boy band pop and rock on the radio. However, I always had such an appreciation for music from the 60s- my grandparents generation. Bands like the Everly Brothers and Kathy Young & The Innocents could be heard at my grandparents house all the time, and I just remembered loving the simplicity of those songs, and how sincere an artist could be with quite basic lyrics.
Then, as a teenager, the alternative rock / punk phase set in, where I dreamed of moving out west to California (being from Wisconsin originally), and listened to bands like All Time Low, Paramore, We the Kings, and especially the band Secondhand Serenade, which truly influenced me to start learning the guitar and singing.
It wasn’t until later that I started discovering old time R&B artists like Sam Cooke, and really got into those jazzy feels with Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and the more recent Amy Winehouse. Their vocal technique is incredible. That + many more pop artists have all inspired my sound and singing voice and made it what it is today.
What was the first album you remember owning?
N*sync’s “No Strings Attached” of course, and then “Goodies” by Ciara, ha.
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
“Unwritten” - by Natasha Bedingfield. That song is my heart, and the words have always been so uplifting and inspiring for me.
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
The more that I focus on the rituals around writing music, the less I write, ha. As in, anything I’ve ever written has come to me in bursts of inspiration that were either triggered by something externally or from something within myself. I will always have my phone, or some sort of recording device on me, that way when a melody comes to me, I record it right away, and then listen later to match the guitar chords and lyrics with it.
I’ve tried to meditate, rearrange my room in multiple ways, light some candles and get all in my nostalgic feels, but honestly, my best ideas have come to me when I put in zero effort to plan around them. In other words, I don’t prepare for my inspiration to come. When I feel like inspiration is coming, then I prepare- I have all the procedures in place to then plan around it, so the newfound melodies get written down and recorded right away.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
At the moment, my favourite artists that I’m constantly listening to definitely would be:
-Billie Eilish - especially her new album!
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
This one is so hard to answer, but if I really had to choose it would either be for Amy Winehouse, because I mean it’s Amy Winehouse, or for Lauv- because I love his songwriting, he’s always felt so relatable to me and I think we could be good friends, ha.
What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?
Just being able to write music and share it with others. The writing process can feel like magic, and there’s nothing better than that feeling when you channel a catchy melody in 20 seconds and it later turns into one of your next hit singles.
And what is the most frustrating part?
As an independent musician, it’s that persistent feeling that you’re alone in your career. Lots of times, it feels like an uphill battle to be heard and seen, not to mention it can get quite expensive if you don’t have another job or two on the side. I used to focus so much on the end result- getting exposure, being adored, having thousands/ millions listen to my music. However, that led me to a black hole of anxiety and depression, and honestly my main focus nowadays is to just fall in love with the process of making music and performing it. It might sound cheesy, but for me that has gotten back to my creative flow, and I know that as long as I keep being true to myself and my sound, and find a rhythm that works for me, things will happen as they are intended.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
From 97% of blogs and playlists I have submitted my work to - “Your sound isn’t quite right for us, work on your voice and production skills a bit more.” Painful at first, it was comments and “advice” like this that made me feel like giving up for weeks at a time. Now, I read a comment like that, and it doesn’t phase me anymore. The rejection has allowed me to truly focus on the creation of music and the enjoyment of the process, and has given me so much stamina and allowed me to believe in myself more than ever. I feel so much more resilient, and let’s be honest, it is that 3% of the yes’s that really count.
Samuel Andryk's new single 'Way Back Home' is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.