On the streets of New York, it wouldn’t be unusual to hear songwriter Samuel before you see him. As a bike messenger, the 20-year-old spends plenty of “alone” time during the day and manages to get some of his best songwriting done during those hours. “There I’ll be, singing at the top of my lungs,” the Manhattan native says.
Sidewalk-bound passers-by aren’t the only audiences privy to the vocals of Samuel’s brand of beat-laden pop. Mark Ronson has spun Samuel’s track “Say Goodbye” featuring Wade Oates (the Virgins) twice on his “Authentic Shit” East Village Radio show, as has Roxy Cottontail and Jesse Marco.
Thus far, Samuel (born Samuel Hindes) has collaborated closely with Ben “B-Roc” Ruttner, who runs HeavyRoc Studios in New York and is one-half of production duo the Knocks. The producer helped lay down the hip-hop-influenced dance tracks behind Samuel’s innocent, self-described “emo” croon, resembling an urban Postal Service.
Friend Andrew Keller, an A&R rep for Columbia, has already flown Samuel to California to work with producer Dave Trumfio (Wilco, My Morning Jacket, OK Go). Trumfio is helping Samuel craft his debut album, “I Heart New York,” on spec. Having roared through six tracks in just five days, Samuel is confident the effort will be finished and ready for release later this summer, with plans for intricate packaging and an expanded live performance set. (He currently performs solo.) “It certainly helps to have friends in the arts,” he says.