Prince Sampson: Guitar Hero
“Music is the one thing that elevates us to a different plain and one thing we all share, music is a harmonious force, and I’ve yet to see anything else as effective at bringing people together”
The life of a session musician is a thankless task, mutually appreciated by all but never fully applauded. Without them the main artist is nothing, the show simply cannot go on. Many of you may have heard of The Pasadenas, the popular 80’s band that had such chart-topping hits as 'I’m Doing Fine Now' and 'Tribute (right on)', but how many of you would recognise the name Prince Sampson? An Ivor Novello nominated session guitarist who from 1987 to 1993 was a vital part of the bands backing group, both on tour and in the studio. Since then he has gone on to work with such established vocalists as Alexander O’Neil, Eternal and more recently S Club 7 and Joss Stone (although one of those he might not be too proud of). It is however time for this extremely talented and under-appreciated musician to take his well earned spot in the limelight with the release of his first ever solo album Living in the moment.
Prince’s attraction to the guitar came as a result of packing his bags and moving to his family’s home country Guyana, a move that proved to be a catalyst for something very special, “I was born in the U.K but when my parents decided to move back to Guyana, I found myself in a situation where all types of music were around me, and I felt drawn to the guitar’. During his youth Prince was constantly surrounded by music be it the ‘blue beat’ reggae and calypso from his dads radiogram or to listening to his family, “my Grandfather George was hugely musical, as is my brother Lincoln, when we were younger we played in bands together” he also brings in his daughter Chimaine in on guest vocals and has the amicable pride you would expect of any father “She has a beautiful voice and is definitely a talent to look out for in the future”, anyone that heard Living in the moment would agree with this as well. Prince’s wealth of musical abundance in his youth has clearly stuck with him throughout his life, the album is a creative melting pot of ideas taking elements of jazz, reggae, soul and funk complimented by some of the very best vocalists and musicians around today to create an album that oozes pure musical competence.
With Prince Sampson’s new place in the spotlight he has also found a whole host of support from various media including most notably Jazz FM who have started their own campaign to back the album and a fact Prince is humbled by, “the support I have received for this project has been overwhelming, music has always been pigeon holed and I have to thank these radio controllers and presenters for sharing the ultimate goal of championing what I think is quality music” And quality music it certainly is of a high quality and well thought out with only the best musicians making the final cut. “I was very meticulous about who I would get and why I would get them, these guys are all giants in their prospective fields” Sampson has put together a line up that will excite any fan of music, let alone a jazz fan including among others, saxophonist Snake Davis, Andrew Banfield who was one of the The Pasadenas and Chris Ballin who has worked with the likes of Chaka Khan and Michael Jackson.
Prince is a shining example of a musician with the upmost respect for both the industry and the audience, living in the shadows of other artists as they flourish, always having true talent but never really being given a chance to share his talent on a bigger scale. Understandably, Prince feels he has earned a solo album and hopes that his peers and music lovers will welcome his debut, Living in the moment with open arms, “but at the end of the day you can only do the best you can".
Prince Sampson's album 'Living In The Moment' is out now.
Words KEVIN ANGEL