These folks put on a solid set at Bandwagon's Music Market (BTMM) last year that commanded the attention of all those who were there. Returning again for the second Music Market - this time at historic Hard Rock Cafe Singapore amongst the hallowed walls and paraphernalia of rock 'n' roll's greatest - The Sam Willows will even be debuting a couple of new tunes that you probably haven't heard anywhere else. We get to know the fun bunch a little more as we ask them about their creative habits, geeking out on YouTube and more.
Hey guys! What are you up to these days?
Jon: We've all been busy working on our new album as well as exciting material for our youtube page! Apart from that, I've been working in a financial institution learning some traits and skills!
Narelle: I'll be filming for a telemovie soon before Jon and I head back to school.
Ben: What Jon said. In the meantime, Narelle and I are wrapping up filming for our Channel 5 sitcom, Do-It-Yourself, and I'm doing a couple of writing projects too!
Sandra: I'm working on a new collection of Fabric Phone Covers and a new line of accessories branching out from my online art collective, RileyArt, and also coming up with new episodes of The DIY Project on my YouTube channel.
So you'll be returning to play for The Music Market again, can we expect something new for this set? Tell us a bit more.
Jon: We all lost some weight cause of a healthier diet and exercise.
Ben: We're gonna be premiering some new songs that might or might not be coming up on the album. Also, we're going to dance a little.
You've pretty much attained YouTube celebrity status but what are your own favourite videos on YouTube, and why?
Jon: I'm quite the guitar geek, so I watch guitar review videos all the time. I also really enjoy watching NBA highlights on youtube!
Narelle: Videos of dogs! I can watch those for hours. I really like watching weird ass documentaries too... I also love re-watching my favourite covers and vloggers like Pentatonix, SUPERFRUIT and Clothesencounters.
Sandra: Cats. Definitely cats. And also science experiments and Ellen.
We see that 2 out of 4 of you are on telly now - fess up: are you both DIY in real life too and how so?
Narelle: I'm pretty handy. I can make my floor into a clothes hanger cum rubbish bin. And my table into a clothes hanger/make up holder.
Ben: Truth be told, the most DIY person in this group is Sandra. Hands down. I couldn't operate a saw to save my life.
The Sam Willows are such a creative bunch - you write and play your own songs, Ben dabbles in spoken word, Sandra is a design master, Jon is a guitar pro... what's the next creative endeavour you'd like to take on?
Jon: I wouldn't go as far to say I'm a guitar pro. I still got lots to learn from the veterans like Simon Yong, Daniel Chai etc. But I'm personally interested in audio production, and I've been dabbling in it for a couple of years now.
Ben: Same - music production. I'm also writing for a song cycle (a musical without a distinct storyline) that's slated for mid next year. I'd also love to direct films in the future.
Narelle: Narelle can't do anything. She can't even sing.
Sandra: Apart from music, I'm starting to get my hands dirty with a bit of production design and art directing for short films. I'm looking forward to doing more in that area, so that's exciting!
What are some takeaway lessons you've learned since starting out in music?
Jon: Sacrifices have to be made, like time with loved ones. And rejection comes very often. But all this makes you a stronger person.
Ben: You have to keep learning, keep getting better. It's a life-long process.
Narelle: You control your own happiness.
Sandra: Like Theodore Roosevelt said, you've got to keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.
There will be a gaming station at BTMM again, any requests?
Jon: So we kinda dominated Ping Pong last year, due to our competitive nature. So whatever you have, we'll be the noisiest for sure.
Ben: Mud wrestling.
Narelle : Cow-tipping. If you can get those arcade basketball things, we have an ongoing competition within the band members.
Sandra: Doesn't matter the game, pretty sure we'll still go crazy with it.