We caught up with Sam aka TCTS to chat musical inspo, career highlights and what’s on the agenda for 2017…
Tell us about yourself…
My name is Sam and I make music as TCTS. The name came from the initials of a band I played in as a kid with my friends from home – I kept meaning to change it initially but it stuck. I grew up in North Staffordshire and went to uni up the road in Manchester where I became obsessed with club music and wanting to create my own.
When did you first realise you wanted to make music?
In some form or other I’ve made music since quite young, whether that was in angsty teenage bands at school or trying to figure out how to programme beats in Fruity Loops at college. Where I grew up the music scene was very much band oriented so it was all Stone Roses and The Smiths in the clubs. Some mates a couple years above me started showing me what was going in french house and labels like Ed Banger, and that was my entry point. Manchester is an incredible city for all music, but hugely important in house music, and once I’d moved there all I wanted to do was get involved.
How would you describe your sound?
House music with soul
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
I’ve been lucky to play some special shows over the last few years. A big one for me was the first time I played Glastonbury, absolute bucket list moment. Another fun one was playing after Fatboy Slim on the terrace of Amnesia in Ibiza last summer, quite an artist to follow, I was shitting myself haha, can’t wait to do it again this year.
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?
Diana Ross, because is there a more perfect song that Upside Down? In the studio it would be me, Diana on vocals, and Daft Punk and Armand Van Helden would roll through for some additional energy.
Who did you listen to growing up?
My parents raised me on things like Simple Minds, Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen. I spent my teens listening to Deathcab for Cutie, early Jimmy Eat World, The Postal Service, that sort of American indie stuff like you’d hear on the OC haha. When I was a kid, my uncle gave me a copy of Moby’s Play that was a really important album for me as an introduction to club music, alongside Prodigy’s Fat of the Land and The Gilted Generation. The biggest musical moment tho was probably my dad giving me Michael Jackson’s Bad and Thriller albums.
What’s your guilty pleasure track?
Ariana Grande Into You
What’s the last album you listened to all the way through?
Maribou State – Portraits, it’s a work of art.
What’s been your career highlight/proudest moment?
When I quit my part time job and moved to doing music full time
Who’s the coolest person you’ve worked with so far?
Kelis is a pretty cool person
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Today it’s been…
– Bob Moses’ Days Gone By album
– Boston Bun – Missing You
– Marquis Hawkes – The Basement is Burning
– Solardo – On the Corner
What advice do you have for aspiring artists trying to break into the industry?
Remember that the music always comes first and speaks for itself. It can be a pretty daunting and ruthless industry at times, but if the music is great it will work. Once you’ve got your head around your sound and what you want the project to look like, get it online somewhere. Even as a preview or snippet or something, just allow people to check you out. If you’re a DJ, get out there and talk to promoters, play tiny clubs to 15 people for cab fare and learn how to work the room, those shows are important learning curves.
You can only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what is it?
Daft Punk – Discovery
Where can we see you perform next?
Creamfields, SW4, and in Ibiza this summer!
What’s on the agenda for the rest of 2017?
More music, more remixes, and more shows!
Follow Sam on insta @tcts and listen to his summer hot list here: