On Thursday, photographer Phil McKenzie sat down for an interview with Sammy Adams in anticipation for his show in Denver on Friday night. Here’s what he had to say:
Phil McKenzie: Have you performed in Colorado before?
Sammy Adams: I have. I was at Global Dance Festival. And I’ve played the Fox Theatre in Boulder several times. And Cervantes once before as well.
PM: Is there a reason that you don’t have a stop in Boulder for this tour?
SA: We wanted to get a change of pace from what we have already done. Like I said, I’ve played the Fox Theater several times, so it will be nice to do another show in Denver.
PM: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
SA: It depends. On a long tour, like the one I am on right now, it’s really important to get your space. For me, I just clear out a room 45 minutes or an hour before the show to get in my zone. No crazy rituals though. No sacrifices or anything.
PM: What has been your favorite part of the tour so far?
SA: I mean my favorite part of touring is going to new places, and weather it’s a sold out 2,000 person crowd or, you know, 180 or 200 people, it’s just amazing. I’m from Boston, so when you’re in Santa Cruz and you’re selling a bunch of tickets it’s really a dream come true. I just love waking up in a different city every day.
PM: Do you have any advice for a person trying to follow in your footsteps?
SA: Yeah, don’t care at all what people think. You know, now that there’s social media, and the easy access to fly your own opinion on Twitter, it’s easy as an artist to get brought down by the bulls— that can come your way as you progress. It’s really important to stay the course and really believe in what you’ve got going. I always tell people, “Make a song and make music that you wanna hear, that you wanna listen to.” I have friends in the music industry that have top 40 singles and they are so over playing that one song over and over again. It’s important to remember that [when a] song you made goes huge, you have to be the one that sings it every night, so you want to at least enjoy the stuff that you play. And just putting the work in too; go play shows, it doesn’t matter whether there’s six people there or 600, just do your thing and it will build.
PM: On the topic of making music that you as the artist love, what is your favorite song to perform live?
SA: My new song “Where You Are” is really fun to perform. It’s probably my favorite one right now. It’s just very upbeat, there’s a good build and a drop, so the crowd always enjoys it. And my other favorite is “All Night Longer.” It’s a staple of my live shows. We usually end up ending with that.
PM: Any shout outs to the Colorado fans?
SA: First off, shout out to the Buffs, Boulder and Colorado in general. I wish we could’ve squeezed in a show in Boulder on this tour, but hopefully we will still see plenty of the Buffs on Friday because we’ve got a round trip bus to the show that leaves from Boulder.
Contact CU Independent Photographer Phil McKenzie at Phillip.Mckenzie@colorado.edu.