I am excited to bring to my readers an interview of a rising star who is working his way up online and gaining exposure on YouTube with his videos, Sam Wearing. I actually found him by doing a YouTube search on 'Into the Woods'. I then discovered his One-Man 'Into the Woods' Medley video and knew I wanted to interview him for our blog. Sam was obliged to answer my silly questions.
Give us a quick bio.... Mom and dad, siblings, hometown,
Hello! My name is Sam Wearing, I have recently turned 21 years old and I live in a small town in the UK called Swindon with my Dad Mike and my Brother Joe.
Tell us about some of the jobs you've done in the past that aren't music related that got you to where you are now.
I have actually only had one job in my entire life to date. It was my first ever job interview too and I was absolutely terrified! Luckily it went very well, and I was given a job at River Island, which is a fashion store based in the UK (RiverIsland.com). I started working there on a 4 hour contract, which meant I only worked 4 hours a week every Saturday morning. At the time I was living in London too, studying Musical Theatre at the BRIT school Monday – Friday, so I was travelling a very large amount back and forth between Swindon and London on a weekly basis.
In 2012 I graduated from the BRIT school. I was then given the opportunity to progress at River Island and work full time, so I moved back home to Swindon and worked, which I did until September 2014. I then moved back to London to study a degree in Musical Theatre at the London College Of Music, but I sustained a serious knee injury and had to leave the course in November 2014. Before you ask, I was asleep in bed, and injured my knee rolling over. (No word of a lie). So I then found myself needing surgery to repair a torn and displaced Meniscus in my knee. After about 10 weeks recovery and not being able to walk, I am finally up and around again, and it feels amazing! I do plan on studying a Musical Theatre degree again in the future at some point, but I need to focus on my recovery, and getting back to doing physical activity again very soon.
I love questions like these! I think one of the funniest (yet embarrassing) stories is when I was performing in a professional pantomime in Swindon. The show was Aladdin, and of course there is a scene in the 'cave of wonder' which involved a lot of dry ice (Dry ice is the low lying smoke/fog effect that is used in many film/TV/stage productions). The machine that was creating this effect started to leak water all over the stage, obviously we were in the middle of a performance,and also the actual dry ice itself was covering the huge pool of water in the middle of the stage. So unaware of the swimming pool created in front of us dancers, we carried on as normal. Now you can imagine, dancing + pool of water on stage = Not the best situation to be in. By the end of the song, all 12 or so dancers had fallen over at some point and were trying so hard not to laugh on stage! Fun memories.
Biggest celebrity encounter?
A few quite well known people I have been fortunate to work with are: Shaun Williamson (Barry in the UK soap EastEnders), JLS (Former UK boy-band) and Britt Ekland (Former Bond Girl). These were all in professional working environments, and I was also quite young so I didn't fully understand or appreciate who I was working with, but they were all lovely and I have fond memories of working with all of them.
Other than Youtube, where have you performed?
I have actually been VERY lucky with opportunities of live performances in the past. In early 2011 I performed various solos at the 02 Arena in London as part of the “Voice In A Million” concerts, which was a very overwhelming, but so rewarding experience. Also in 2012 I was selected by the BRIT school to perform solo at the Royal Festival Hall in London with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and this has to be my favourite live performance experience to date. Performing with a live orchestra in a concert hall was incredible.
What one artist do you look up to the most and why?
John Barrowman. He is one person I have always admired and been inspired by. He is loved by so many people, and has had a very successful career. He started in Musical Theatre, which is what I really want to do. He then went on to do to a lot of TV appearances, and also his solo albums & concerts, which are also some of my aspirations in life. If I could be any bit as successful as him, I will be one happy guy!
Biggest hurdle of being a musician?
I would have to say a hurdle I have discovered through my personal journey on YouTube so far is being different. You need to have something people will remember, and want to watch again & again. When I started my YouTube channel back in 2011, I started by posting generic pop covers. This was my way of trying to please a wide audience, with as many people as possible. I then started recording acoustic versions of pop songs, versions not many people have heard, and this then started to gain a little reaction from people. For some reason, I was quite hesitant to post musical theatre covers, but when I finally branched out and started posting them I suddenly found myself with a target audience of Musical Theatre fans to focus on making videos for. Since then I have not written off covering pop songs, but I will cover the songs I feel suit me, and that people will enjoy watching. So yeah, make yourself a bit different, and know who you want to reach out to.
Where are you playing next?
I do not have any current plans for live performances at the moment, but it is something I want to do more of in the future. My ultimate goal in life is to have my own live concert, singing songs I love, to an audience that have chosen to come and watch me perform. It WILL happen one day!
I am going to have to say my Mum. Unfortunately she passed away in 2011 from Cancer. When you loose someone so close to you, such as an immediate family member, it just throws everything up in the air. This was the reason I started making my YouTube videos, to give myself something to keep me busy, to monitor my own progress, and also for my own enjoyment. She was the only person who would never tell me to stop singing around the house! She was always encouraging me to take part in performances and really gave me so much belief in myself. Luckily the last time she saw me perform was at the 02 Arena in London, so it's nice to know she has seen me at a highlight in my life, and hopefully there will be many more highlights to come, so that I can continue to make her proud and do what I love.
What can your fans learn from you, or what have you learned from them?
One of the things I have learnt in life, that I would love to pass on to others, is that life is NEVER straight forward. One of my favourite quotes is : “Everything happens for a reason, even if it takes time to understand why”. It sounds cliché but is so true. Everyone goes through struggles and has difficult times, its just what happens in life. The most difficult times are those that give us the opportunity to thrive and come out a better person. I myself, have had set backs, but I can now look at all of these experiences, and know that these have helped me become who I am today. I am very lucky to be in a position where something positive has started to grow from a difficult time in my life. I have even received messages from people who say that I have had an impact on how they deal with difficult situations, which is an incredibly humbling feeling, and one I will probably never get used to. To be doing something I love, and being able to help others too is an awesome feeling.
Rapid Fire: Favourite: (one word answers)
Unicorn (Does that count!?)
My dad supports Everton F.C, so I have to say that!
“Pretty Funny” from Dogfight.
The original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
“Is It Just Me?” By Miranda Hart
Fresh Orange Juice
Favourite music collab you've done? (Or want to do)
I have not done a collaboration to date, but I would love to do a live acoustic cover with someone who can play guitar or Piano. I am working on learning to play the piano at the moment, and I envy those who can play, it takes so much practice.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Do what YOU love. There will be others out there who love it too, whatever it is. Gaining exposure online and also in person is VERY difficult so do not be afraid to reach out to people who may enjoy your material. If you know your target audience, use social media to invite them to watch.
If you think they will enjoy it, ask them, you never know you may get yourself a new supporter. Be proud of what you create, just be very careful how it comes across online, as sometimes it can come across as very arrogant or brash. In my experience, social media (Especially Twitter & Facebook) have been brilliant platforms for me to reach my audience, and gain support. Also try and do current things, these are what get more views as people are searching for material at that specific time. One last VERY important thing to mention.. NEVER give up! And always strive for what you want to do in life, it will be worth it in the end.
What is one fact about you that no one else knows, not even your close friends and family?
I get VERY excited about food. I try to hide it (and I think I do quite well) but especially when I am super hungry, I just get so excited when I am about to eat. Weird? Okay I didn't just say that...
Where can we find you ? What is your twitter handle, Facebook, youtube, etc.....
Twitter.com/SamWearing or @SamWearing
Instagram - @SamWearing
Soundcloud - soundcloud.com/SamWearing2
Sam's latest video is his One-Man "Into the Woods" Medley and you can watch it below!