Surprises up Sam’s sleeve

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Sam Concepcion has something up in his sleeve. Aside from the occasional foray into acting, Sam also released his third studio album Bago this year, and it boasts of a tracklist featuring original songs.

?According to Sam, he feels like his contribution to the industry is bigger this time around. He explains it’s because he was able to eschew covers in favor of songs no one else had recorded yet.

“There are only so many songs you can cover, and I think for this industry to be able to thrive, us artists have to keep trying new things. We should always come up with something new to bring to the table. I think when we’re able to do that, that’s a sure sign of growth. Not just for artists but for the industry as a whole,” he says.

Sam has definitely grown since he joined showbiz. That growth is reflected in his music and how it has evolved over the course of one EP, one repackaged album, three studio albums and one video album. Bago saw him expand his sonic palate like never before. His fans are used to hearing him sing pop and R&B, but they didn’t know what he would sound like backed by a full-on dance track until that album came out.

?Like its carrier single Kalsada, the seven other cuts on Bago still feature Sam’s trademark pop and R&B sound, but listen closer and you’ll find a healthy amount of EDM (electronic dance music).

Some of his biggest influences at the moment are up-and-coming EDM artists, such as the British music producer Alex Crossan, better known by his stage name Mura Masa.

“I don’t really have a Tagalog EDM song, so I decided to put one on this album in order to show that side of me. I really wanted to try it out, so Kalsada does have an EDM component in it, but I made sure to keep it sounding like me pa rin,” he says.

?Sam says he’s lucky his label Universal Records was supportive of his decision to switch things up. He also wants to thank his loyal fans, the Samsters, for embracing his new sound. They’ve been great about buying Bago, going to his mall shows and voting for his music videos on MYX. Sam appreciates their efforts because he sees their enthusiasm as a sign that he’s making all the right moves.

“Actually, it really wasn’t hard for me to convince Universal to go with it. I’m also quite happy that my audience liked my original songs. I don’t think they would want me to keep covering songs for the rest of my career. That’s why I really think original songs and new sounds are the way to go. Everyone’s heading in that direction,” he says.

The new musical direction he has embarked on is a sign not just of his maturity, but also of Sam’s eagerness and willingness to stretch himself as an artist and person. In fact, Sam reveals that he’s already looking forward to recording and releasing even more new music soon.

“I do have that mentality of continuously learning and trying new things because I don’t think you should stick to just one thing. At the moment, I’m still in the process of experimenting, but people will get to hear the results of those experiments in the next batch of songs I’m going to release. I’m just not sure yet if I’m going to do an album or an EP, or release them one by one as singles,” he says. —With reports from Almed Garcia and Julian Mauricio

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