By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On July 10th British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Samuel J Tellam, best known simply as Samuel J, released a new EP entitled, Brasil Live Project. The five-track work is a preview of an upcoming full length album that features more than two dozen guest appearances by Brazilian musicians.
The collaborators join Samuel J as he blends acoustic, folk, soul, electronic and hip hop elements together with warm impassioned vocals to create unique songs that pay tribute to the country of Brazil and joyfully celebrate the beauty of life and love.
“These songs are deeply inspired by the people and vibrancy of a nation that changed my life,” said Samuel J in a statement about the new EP.
“The full album (due out with Sony [Records Brazil] in December) was created over three years and involves collaborations with over thirty musicians from every corner of the worlds most colorful country. After an exciting and at times immensely challenging journey I am pleased to present the first selection of songs from the project.”
Samuel J launched the EP at Tom Jazz in São Paulo on July 10th and guest musicians Gabriel O Pensador, Tato, and Fernandinho Beat Box were on hand to perform during the launch party show. The three also appear on the EP, along with Dani Black, Falmansa, the SP Orchestra, and musicians of Olodum.
“I think what makes [Samuel J] such a great musician, besides his obvious skill and great voice, is his ability to connect with people and approach things with an open mind,” Botafogo Social Club resident DJ Tee Cardaci told The Rio Times “I’m sure he went in to each session looking as much to learn from each Brazilian artist he played with as anything else.”
Samuel J started as MC, and began to compose and produce his music by combining acoustic sounds with electronic elements while blending the genres of hip hop, folk, acoustic and soul.
In August 2011, he released the full length album, Colorful Vibration’s and received radio play in Canada, the U.S., the UK, Australia and Brazil. Playing acoustic sets and using a loop pedal during live performances, he continued to build his following by appearances at numerous venues around the world.
He performed at festivals including; the UK’s Secret Garden, The Big Chill, Ocean Fest and Sahmbhala, and opened for artists including Marcelo D2, Ben Harper, Alice Russell, Zero 7, Jurassic 5 and Donavon Frankenreiter. He has also performed as a vocalist with groups including Massive Attack, Giles Peterson and Fat Boy Slim.
He spent five years in Brazil and played many festivals and shows, including an appearance at the Billabong Rio Pro 2013, World Surf Championships in Rio De Janeiro. During his time in the country, Samuel met, befriended, was inspired by and collaborated with some of Brazil’s countries major artists including; Maria Gadu, Armandinho, Antonio Eudi, Natiruts, Jota Quest, and Leilah Moreno. Many of the artists are included on the upcoming full length album and EP.
“The three years he spent making this EP really shine through when you have a listen,” said Cardaci who is also Director of Music Marketing Consultancy at Strategic Sounds Rio.”His positivity and his deep musicality are on full display in equal measures.”