Bunch Of Fives: Sam Dickinson | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newcastle’s Sam Dickinson releases his new single, Diamond Skin, a precursor to the album, Off Script, which is scheduled for release later this year. Here, in reverse order, he tells us of his top five destinations and how they’ve played a part in his music.

Algarve, Portugal
I was writing my first album, actually, I’d almost finished it. I had one more song to write and a friend of mine who has worked with a lot of artists in Europe sent me a track. It was this anthemic pop song. I’d had it for about six months and I couldn’t work out what I wanted to do with it so I went to Portugal one January, and had the track on repeat one evening whilst sitting on the balcony to the apartment. I needed to finish this song and all I had were the lyrics “Now I see, painted dreams, lost memories.” I didn’t have a theme; then I thought about my relationships, thinking of where they could have gone, those were the painted dreams. The end was the lost memories because they never happened and that’s when the song came to me.

I always think Portugal to be the underdog in terms of European holiday destinations, even though so many of us go.

New York, USA
The city that never sleeps had me needing sleep! New York is an amazing city but don’t expect a relaxing break. What I like about New York is that whilst being a modern city there’s still a lot of history to be seen. I only went for four nights, which was enough, however, I felt like I missed out on so much. It all depends on what type of visit you want; there’s sightseeing, shopping, theatre and most importantly, there’s MUSIC. The best bit of advice I could give about New York is plan your trip before you go otherwise it all becomes quite overwhelming and you’ll not see everything you want to. My favourite moment of the whole trip was visiting BB King’s Soul and Jazz club where I went to see a gospel choir. It was two hours of pure gospel music and that’s when I fell in love with New York. They even came over at the end and asked if I was a singer, I must have got into the moment too much!

I’m a terrible sleeper. When I was in New York I’d be awake at 2am and couldn’t sleep. I was writing my new album at the time and instead of just lying there I would put my headphones in and work on a song or listen to music and decide which cover song I wanted on the album. I was listening to Mica Paris’ Black Angel album and decided to cover the funky ‘Carefree,’the song is full of energy, just like the city I was in.

Lake Garda, Italy
I’ve watched far too many Gino D’Acampo documentaries and this made me want to go to Italy. I booked a part of Lake Garda where many tourists don’t visit, so I could chill and enjoy the sun. The issue was, there was no sun! I went in May and the full week was full of clouds. I always associate my time in Italy as my return to music and before I got on the plane, my Pledge Music campaign went live. I was so nervous about doing it as I wasn’t sure if people would ‘pledge’ and back my return to music after so many years away. Then, by the time I got off the plane and got into the taxi, I’d hit 60% of my target. I couldn’t believe it. I celebrated with Italy’s finest Gavi that night. I do like my wine!

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The last conversation I had with my grandad was about my grandma and Zimbabwe. They’d visited in the 80’s and said it was one of the most beautiful countries in the world that they’d ever been to. They weren’t wrong as there’s hundreds of miles of unspoiled scenery, then you visit Victoria Falls and wow. Victoria Falls, is basically an English village in Africa. You can be walking down the street and an elephant passes you on the other side of the road, or you have to walk around a warthog, it’s as crazy as that.

My new album finishes on a song called ‘No One in the Room,’ which is about my grandma dying and not being honest with her about my sexuality. It’s about the regret I have. When I went to Zimbabwe I put photos of me and her into the Zambezi River and filmed the video for ‘No One in the Room;’ my grandad could never bring himself to listen to the song until the day he died.

Cape Town, South Africa
My favourite place in the world without exception. The place is simply stunning and there’s so much to do! You can go wine tasting, whale watching, climb Table Mountain, even go and visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent the majority of his time in prison. Then there’s the food! If you love seafood then Cape Town is unrivalled. There’s one issue I have with South Africa though, it’s the fact that the wine is too good and so cheap.

The first time I went there I went to escape. I was going through therapy for anxiety and depression and I wanted to visit somewhere I’d always wanted to go that was as far away from everything, which was South Africa. My therapist told me to get back to writing music as a way of healing, that’s when I wrote the song ‘Therapy,’ whilst looking over the Atlantic Ocean and is where I began the process of becoming the person I am today. Now, when I go to Cape Town, it’s to show friends and family why it’s such an amazing place.

Diamond Skin is the first single from the upcoming album, Off Script, and will be available to download from all usual outlets including iTunes, Apple Music & Spotify on January 31.

Keep up-to-date with all things Sam Dickinson via his website http://samdickinsononline.com/ as well as Facebook and Twitter.

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