Ex-student hits the high notes
Former student and singing sensation Sam Tompkins, 17, has just seen months of hard work and effort finally pay off with an impressive signing to an independent record label.
Sam, who left Y11 in 2012, started making music in the bedroom of his house, uploading cover videos of popular artists such as Ed Sheeran’s Small Bump and Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me a River. The hits mounted up and his voice matured as time went on, gaining more views with each video he uploaded. At the beginning of 2014 he was invited up to Novacane Studios in London to improve and progress. It was around this time Sam also began to stage live performances, his first being an Open Mic event at the end of February, which was a huge success; everyone loved him. It was only a matter of time before his talent was identified. Supported by close friend and now personal manager Connor Hunnisett, he was soon signed to independent record label Blu Mammoth Records. However this has not been easy: frequent trips up to London to attend studio sessions, sheer hard work and dedication to follow his dreams has made this possible.
Whilst Sam worked on finding his style and developing an original sound, his fan base proceeded to grow to an amazing 35,000 followers in just eight months and he currently averages at around 500 plays per day on Soundcloud. From success to success, Sam released two original songs of his own that were playlisted on Reprezent radio (one of London’s biggest radio stations), a great kick start to his career and a chance to really stick a foot in the door when it comes to getting heard by thousands of people.
The record label aren’t the only ones to notice Sam’s talent, someone else who’s been impressed is SB.TV’s founder Jamal Edwards (for those who don’t know, ‘SB.TV is the UK's leading online youth broadcaster that covers all angles in and out of the music scene.’). Sam was videoed for SB.TV – a clip which got a great response and was personally shared on Jamal Edwards' Instagram with the line: ‘Introducing my lil bro @SamTompkinsUK on his debut SBTV. He came all the way down to Brighton to find me at an event I was doing a little while ago and sang & straight away I said I gotta get you on SB. Talented 17 yrs old!’ If that wasn’t already good enough, Amber Rose (popular American icon, model, actress, recording artist and fashion designer) filmed Sam singing whilst she was on a visit to London and later uploaded it to her Instagram account for all of her 2.6 million followers to see. This was great publicity and following this he was followed on social media by MTV gaining many more fans. This has been an incredible confidence boost for Sam as he was then scheduled in for more and more live performances; by further extending his fan base, it resulted in invitations to celebrity football and charity event, Soccer Six, a lovely opportunity for him to interact with his fans and show his appreciation for their support.
Sam has seen interest from a number of labels, including Sony and SYCO. He is described by EQ Music as having unveiled a ‘pop sound to call his own, that still leans with an urban edge through the organic tonal quality of his vocals.’ Trapped Magazine said: ‘[His] falsetto is unforgettable, he has all the ingredients it has to go to the top.’
Now just eight months down the line from his first live performance, Sam took to his biggest stage yet on the 2nd November, performing at The 02 Academy Islington, alongside X-Factor competitors, The Brooks and many other talented artists. He proved his worth and put on a sensational show. He followed this up with good friend Anjelo Disons to headline his own event (The AnjeloTompkins Experience) on 22nd November at Hoxton Hall. Looking to 2015, Sam is set to release his debut EP in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust, this is definitely one not to miss.
Keeping his feet on the ground, Sam still attends Sussex Downs College 5 days a week and busks frequently in Eastbourne, Brighton and London to help fund his travel expenses. Having the right balance between working towards his dream, studying hard in education and living the active social life of any 17 year old can’t be an easy task, but he’s proved so far that it can be done!
His friends and supporters at HCC are full of pride in his achievements and look forward to seeing him make it all the way to the top.