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The Eighth Note: Sam Cullen

Last edited: 09.08.19 | Comment? | By











‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.
A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music. Invercargill born pop singer/songwriter Sam Cullen, played upwards of 60 gigs across New Zealand in 2018 and has quickly established himself as one of the country’s hardest-working young performers. Sam placed 3rd in New Zealand’s SmokefreeRockquest competition in 2018 out of over 800 acts while having been named Southland’s Junior Entertainer of the Year in 2017. He performed at the NZ Parliament (Beehive) in August 2018 and also played at Cromwell’s highly successful River Range Music Festival in 2019. Now based in Wellington he released a new single & video earlier in the year.


Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:
My name is Sam Cullen, I’m a solo alt-pop singer/songwriter bought up down south in Invercargill and now based in Wellington. My music focuses on emotional intensity, based on anthemic guitar-based hooks combined with dance music grooves and some songwriter flavour.

What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
I’ve got a bunch of new tracks in the works that I’m really excited about. They’re all very close to being ready to go so I’m looking forward to throwing them out there and following up my last single ‘Shut The Door‘.

Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
My Facebook page is my main output in terms of socials along with Instagram and Youtube!

What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
I was bought up on Fleetwood Mac’s The Dance on family road trips. Classic! Discovering Radiohead’s OK Computer when I was about 15 was also a bit of a turning point. More recently, The 1975’s A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships has been my go to.

Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
I’d love to sit down with my friends Arjuna Oakes and Connor Moore (who I adore) to see what comes out. I’ve been lucky enough to spend some short time with Neil Macleod who is an exceptionally talented and forward-thinking dude. I went to see Solomon Crook play a gig a couple of months back which blew my mind as well. I feel privileged to be rubbing shoulders with so many great musicians.

What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
Playing at Caroline was a super cool vibe. It’s such a unique space and has had some fantastic musicians through in the past.

In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
For me it’s never the same. Sometimes the music comes first, sometimes the lyrics do. It’s nice to have a couple of different ways of writing. Lyrically, things can often come from a personal space and musically a lot of the time it’s happy accidents where something will spawn from a certain moment in time. I’ve found lately that sitting down with nothing but a guitar and stripping things right back has been really productive.

Where/when is your next gig?
I’m opening for Auckland act Menino at Caroline on August 9th along with singer/songwriter Sofia Machray.

Posted in: GeneralInterviewsThe Eighth Note

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