The Sam Willows Interview + [UPCOMING] The Sam Willows Live in Kuala Lumpur

The Sam Willows, a band formed in Singapore and well recognized in South East Asia will be making their way to The Bee Publika, Kuala Lumpur on March 5. Organized by The Livescape Group, this show is a must for fans and music lovers as The Sam Willows is currently one of Singapore’s most popular indie band and their music truly embodies what band's music is all about.


The Sam Willows was formed in 2012 and is made up of siblings, Narelle and Benjamin Kheng, together with their friends Sandra Riley Tang and Jonathan Chua. We managed to catch an interview the group and for the fans to get know the band. In addition to their music, there might be a high chance of possibility to see “The Sam Willows” covering a Korean song! Get your ticket now!

1. When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?
We formed our band in early 2012. What inspired us is that we all really like music.

2. So late last year, The Sam Willows were nominated for the 2015 MTV EMAs Best Southeast Asia Act and have played in international music festivals. How did getting recognized internationally influenced the music and the band?
We are all very honoured by the nomination but I don’t think it influence us to write more globally because I think we all always wrote for a global audience. It’s a very cool thing that we were nominated for the award alongside all those crazy names.

3. Additionally, The Sam Willows is coming to Kuala Lumpur in March. Tell us a bit about the selection process for deciding what songs to perform?
We will be performing our old songs, from the album and the EP. We’ll throw in a couple of covers as well, popular pop songs rearranged by us. It’s going to be a kick-ass show.

4. What can the fans expect for the upcoming show at The Bee in Kuala Lumpur?
It’s our first public show ever in KL, it’s going to be fun. We are usually high energy during our show. We’ll do some crazy stuff *laughs*
I really hope the fans come readily and open and excited to talk to us. Friendly and nice and we’ll do the same.

5. Musically, where do you see The Sam Willows in a year’s time?
We’ll probably be back in Malaysia.

6. What makes “The Sam Willows” different from the other artists?
I guess it’s just us, there’s only one of us. I mean in the end, a band is formed by a couple of people so it’s not much difference, however the songs must be right and we are people.

7. You guys are popular with doing covers on YouTube, do you plan to cover any songs that is not of your native language such as Korean, Japanese or maybe even Hindi?
-Maybe
Yeah, we might cover a Korean song maybe in Malaysia.

8.    If you were out on the street, and promoting your music by word of mouth. Which song would you first recommend and why?
Take Heart! It’s the name of the album. I mean there’s a reason why we chose it to be the first single of the album, it’s representative of the sound and the idea of the album. We all love the songs that would be the first song, and we want you to listen to the rest of the album.

9. How do you keep yourself motivated each day?
Coffee is really important in my life. You just have to really open to all kinds of music yet keep listening to the radio and what’s not on the radio. We just happened to be large lovers of culture and music. Anything that inspire through movies and books, we just have to be open.

10. Would you briefly describe the music-making process?
Inspiration comes from everywhere; it could be one of those “inspired by a single word or an idea”. Usually, the music making process is very collaborative. A creative writing team.

11. What's the most bizarre thing to happen while you were onstage?
When we were playing a school show, and there were stairs leading up to the stage and we were just playing. A girl and her friends decided to run up towards the stage and takes a selfie with Ben. Suddenly, the rest started running up on stage while we were playing a set. That was really scary because we did not expect that, neither did the organizer. We didn’t know what to do. That's the most bizarre thing that happened.

12. When writing lyrics, does it come naturally? For example, maybe jotting down lyrics on napkins. How do you go about writing lyrics?
I think anyone who writes song at least have a journal or some sort that they keep. It could be a voice note or a book with lyric ideas. Bringing ideas together and see what works. Take Heart is actually 2 songs that became 1 because it fits well together. You store them away for a while and put them together.

For the upcoming KL Show, do you have a message for your fans here in KL?
We are so excited to see you, because Malaysia is nearby and we are essentially the same people but we’ve never met any of our Malaysian fans. We can’t wait to meet them and finally see them.