The Scottish producer turns in a mix of tracks that have inspired his wild productions, from SebastiAn to SOPHIE
Just like, say, MF DOOM might be your favourite MC’s favourite MC, Sam Gellaitry could well be your favourite producer’s favourite producer. Whenever he drops new material, his socials are flooded with fire emoji comments from the likes of Kenny Beats, Iglooghost, Kettama, and more.
Raised on the sounds of happy hardcore and rave that bubbled through his hometown of Stirling, Sam Gellaitry came up through the Soundcloud era, first releasing on Soulection before inking an XL Recordings deal, completing his evolution from bedroom producer to globally-known musician. The vivid palette that the 23-year-old uses in his music correlates to his condition known as synaesthesia where, for example, he sees a C minor scale in shades of purple, plum and grape. C-sharp minor is cool and blue, and D minor is a rich forest green.
Sam recently followed up his Escapism EP series with IV, where he showcased his vocals for the very first time with a thick Scottish accent over production that sounds like electro, French house and 70s disco. “Games”, one of the EP’s tracks, opens like a moody version of Ultra Nate’s “Free” before evolving into a cut that somehow toes the line between UK drill and R&B.
Heralding the start of summer, Sam Gellaitry’s Dazed Mix – made in the wee hours – matches dusty house with effervescent garage and narcotic rap, flipping through a diverse range of influences including Toro y Moi, Jamiroquai, and Young Thug. Strap in below.
How have you been spending your time through lockdown?
Sam Gellaitry: I spent my lockdown exploring more of Scotland. Lockdown taught me the importance of self-worth and inevitably led me to exercising much more.
What have been the best reactions to the EP?
Sam Gellaitry: When I posted asking people what their favourite song was, it was great to hear the response I wasn’t necessarily expecting. There are a lot of things I dislike about social media, but one of the things I truly admire is the ability to uncover the tastes of those who listen to my music.
On the record you introduced your own vocals for the first time, was that nerve wracking to do? Was it something you’d been wanting to do for some time?
Sam Gellaitry: I think the exploration of using my voice came in conjunction with wanting to express myself in a more relatable manner. The thing I love about instrumental music is the interpretation that it opens up, whereas writing lyrics is more explicit.
What’s it like to live in Stirling, your hometown? Where would you take us if we came to visit you?
Sam Gellaitry: Stirling is a beautiful blend of rural and city lifestyle. I would take you to Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument, the Cambusbarron Quarry, and Tuch Estate.
What’s it like to live with synaesthesia? How does it affect your music?
Sam Gellaitry: Synaesthesia in itself is restricting, but very useful in regards to composition of music. For example, “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” by Roy Ayers sounds like a dark red and therefore gives night time context which contrasts with the lyrics in the song itself. The interesting thing about that is that the song was created at night time.
You’ve recently produced for Don Toliver and Masego, what was that like? Are there any other artists you’ve been working with that you can mention?
Sam Gellaitry: I had a studio session with Masego and we recorded the vocal loop at the start of the track and then I created the beat behind it which took only 15 minutes. Eight months later he calls me, telling me that the song’s finished with a Don Toliver feature. I am really enjoying working with an artist called Mette. I think she’s the future.
Tell us about your Dazed Mix.
Sam Gellaitry: I recorded this mix at a friend’s early in the morning. Just a bunch of different tracks that have inspired me in their own unique way.
- Michael Jackson, “Baby Be Mine”
- George Duke, Reach Out”
- SebastiAn, Arabest”
- First Choice, “Love Thang (Genius of Time Remix)”
- Denzel Curry, “Twistin’”
- Royksopp, “A Higher Place”
- Justin Timberlake, “Don’t Hold The Wall”
- Jamiroquai, “Mr Moon”
- Alan Braxe & Fred Falke, “Palladium”
- Louis La Roche, “Prick Stick”
- Busta Rhymes, “What It’s Gonna Be (Kaytranada Edition)”
- Daft Punk, “Face to Face”
- The Temptations, “Cloud Nine (FKJ Remix)”
- Sharon Redd, “Try My Love On for Size”
- Kaytranada, “At All”
- Temptress, “Lies (Ross from Friends Remix)”
- Toro y Moi, “Who I Am”
- Sam Gellaitry, “ID”
- Somore, “I Refuse (What You Want)”
- Lone, “Glyphic”
- Young Thug, “She Notice”
- Lone, “Glyphic”
- Siriusmo, “Red Knob”
- Gorillaz, “El Mañana”
- Sam Gellaitry, “Higher”
- Ice Kid, “Where’s Ice Kid At”
- MJ Cole, “Flava Fever”
- Pharrell Williams, “Frontin' (Jaw Jam Bootleg)”
- Tuff Jam, “Key Dub”
- Yuksek, “Extraball (Breakbot Remix)”
- Sam Gellaitry, “Duo”
- SOPHIE, “Physical”
- Sid Shyne, “Addiction”
- Zora Jones & Scratcha DVA, “ Ruby Fiths (DVA Hi:Emotions Remix)”
- EARTHGANG, “Bank”
- RUSSELL LEE CRAYTON, “Throw Shade”
- Bktherula, “Tweakin' Together”
- Sam Gellaitry, “ID”
Sam Gellaitry’s IV is out now via FFRR/Parlophone Records