101 with Sam Bangura

Sam Bangura is a UK based producer, DJ, and record label owner. His style cannot be defined in one word, neither categorized as easily. Subtle sounds grow together into a hypnotic rhythm to build what can be described best as a story. That is the general aim underlying every set of his, to take people on a journey and then back to earth. As a  Half Baked resident, Sam managed to grow alongside stellar names such as Fumiya Tanaka, Vera, Thomas Melchior, and others. 

London favorites Half Baked will celebrate 10 Years on 30th November & 1st December with a two-part Anniversary event across three venues in London, welcoming the likes of Sonja Moonear, Move D, Praslea and more for the occasion. We invited Sam to share some insights with us prior to his performance at the 10 years of the Half Baked.

What was the funniest / most bizarre request you’ve ever had while playing?  

I’m not sure how bizarre this is because I think most of us have had something similar, being asked for “something with words in it” is the most recent bizarre (if you can really call it that) request.

Can you describe your studio setup for us? 

I’m very happy with my setup at the moment - a Korg Minilogue, Emu Orbit, Korg Er-1, Moog Minitaur, and an Elektron Digitakt, which I record into Ableton. I feel like I’ve got my workflow down just how I want it with this setup currently, each piece of equipment has its own place and use and I know how to get what I want from each part of the setup. I think it will stay like this for a little while until I set my eyes on something else I want to add anyway!

Could you tell us the story about your first gig? 

If I remember rightly my first gig was a friend's festival themed birthday party in their garden back when we were 15 or 16 haha. Apart from that it was at a small spot back in Liverpool called Lemon Lounge, not sure if it still exists but two friends did, I think, their first and only party there.

Name three artists that currently inspire you. 

Harry McCanna - a super talented producer and DJ! Being one of my best mates I’ve learned a hell of a lot from Harry and he’s always pushing me and inspiring me to do more. He taught me a lot of the production tips and techniques that I use day to day now.

Zip - The way he builds and structures his sets never ceases to amaze me. He’s been a big favorite of mine for some years now and still inspires me to this day.

Ricardo Villalobos - Lots of people probably say this one but for obvious reasons, he’s an incredible artist, always exciting and interesting, completely with his own sound and never following the crowd - always inspiring!

Recall the worst experience of ‘killing the vibe’ in the club. 

I remember playing an afterparty one time in Canning Town. Just as the set was starting to take off, some guy who must’ve lived in the building and clearly wasn’t too impressed with the sound and having a bunch of people in his place, decided to cut the power! Needless to say, that killed the vibe pretty fast!

What do you do before and after your set? 

Before a set I like to get down a little early to get the feeling of the club, this allows me to build some idea of where I want to take the set myself. After a set you can usually find me on the dance floor if the party is still going, that’s my favorite spot!

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? 

Probably the paper round I did whilst I was in school. I’m not a massive fan of mornings so getting up to deliver newspapers at 5 am on an icy morning wasn’t exactly my idea of fun!

What are your favorite labels at the moment? 

I mean I should definitely give a mention and shameless plug to NorthSouth Records which is my label with Dale Mussington & Harry McCanna, then, of course, Half Baked Records

In terms of other favorites, there’s so much good stuff coming out at the moment its pretty hard to round it down to just a few. Big fan of the Galdoors stuff, Flash As A Rat has a consistently high-quality output, I really like the Automatic Writing releases, great little Parisian crew. The list could go on and on, to be honest, it’s hard to name just a few but these instantly sprung to mind.

I’ve got to give a mention to Perlon here which will forever be a favorite of mine…

Imagine a cold winter, a fireplace and two glasses of wine—what song would you play? 

Pile - Noshow [Perlon] 

Often played on repeat on a wind down with a glass of wine in my house. Just love it, makes me feel warm inside whenever I hear it!

Last but not least. What's the best advice you've ever received? 

Always be humble - we’re very lucky to be in the position we are as DJ’s, doing what we love. We play the music we're in to and hopefully, people enjoy it. The moment you think you’re better than the music or the people coming to hear you, that’s game over.

By Saša, edited on 27 November 2019