Exclusive Interview with DJ + Visual Artist Sampology

By Jeanette Hernandez / @JeanetteHndzOctober 30, 2014AB's Top Music News, Music
By Jeanette Hernandez / @JeanetteHndz | October 30, 2014


Last week at the Los Angeles Culture Collide Festival, Al Borde was introduced to Australian audio and visual artist DJ Sampology.

Sampology has been DJing since the age of 15 in his hometown Brisbane, Australia. From local gigs he eventually branched out to the States, and looking forward to come back next year to fully present his upcoming album.

At Culture Collide, he curated a set with visuals projected in his presentation at the TAIX Lounge on Friday, Oct. 17. Minutes before his performance, he answered a few questions to help us get a better feel about his origins, his set preparations and his track with “Shine A Light” with R&B singer Daniel Merriweather.

How was your show @ San Francisco?

It was awesome. It was the second time I’ve been there, I went there on holiday a couple of years ago, but it was my first time playing. It was really great!

What are you most excited about for at CMJ?

I’ve been to New York a few times and I’ve had some Australian friends talk about CMJ a lot, I’m not really sure what to expect but, well I can tell you what I’m most looking forward to in New York! There’s this cupcake store called “Little Cupcakes” in SoHo, so not masculine to say this but they have like this Oreo cheesecake cupcake – it’s so good! So that’s what I’m most looking forward to about New York, and I will be playing some shows as well. That will be really good.

Tell me about your roots and your inspirations.

I come from a DJ background, and I started doing this audio/visual show where I was mixing all this crazy content. I always made my own music but the tour that I am doing in the moment in the states is all about my own music. Since I come from an audio and visual background, there’s a really strong visual component behind the show tonight and all the album material that will be released next year that I will be performing tonight. All the artwork around that is actually – I’ve been working with my mom who is an artist so there’s way more of me in this project at the moment. It’s been a slow progression taking over and it’s fully on this year – this album project I am doing and I will be playing tracks off it tonight!

How do you prepare for a live set?

I do about 45 push-ups, some star jumps and sushi…and I meditate for 15 minutes.

How did you meet Tom Thum (vocals) and Hannah Macklin (keys/vocals)? Tell me about the creative process on producing your live shows.

Well Tom is about a two minute drive from my house in Brisbane, and Hannah is about a15 minutes drive. Brisbane in Australia is where I am from, and like everyone knows each other and it’s a really close community. Tom actually went to my high school and I used to see him walking to the bus stop, like beat boxing. I always thought he was a little bit weird but yeah we’ve collaborated on lots of shows over the last five or six years actually. It is kind of inevitable if you are doing anything in Brisbane that you bump into each other at shows – that’s totally what Brisbane is like – it’s really close.

How much input do you have on the creativity behind your visual production?

With the audio-visual shows I actually edit all the visuals myself and with the visuals in the show tonight it’s me and my mom working together. I kind of came up with the visuals myself and then took some stuff that she was doing with her visual work and asked her to do some custom stuff and she came up with some ideas. It was really cool to do – like your mom is your mom so you don’t really think your mom in terms as what they do as a profession… it’s just like, “oh, it’s mom,” but yeah – closely working with her it’s been really cool.

What made you transition from only DJing to audio visual DJing?

Just the creative ideas, the thought of like communicating – I like telling some kind of story when I DJ and like mixing different things that people wouldn’t think that would work together. To create something new, and the thought of doing that with visuals on top of that is just cool because I can do so much more! Like telling so much more story if I can have the visual sync to the audio as well.

Tell me about your collaboration with Daniel Merriweather on “Shine a Light.”

I got the track “Shine a Light” to a level where it was just this blend between traditional Brazilian rhythms that I found through DJing these specific tracks where girls move their hips in a really specific way. It changes the dynamic of a party in a really cool way – like blending that between electronic music to create something slightly unique. I got into this stage where I was really happy with it but I knew that I wanted some kind of soulful/gospel vocal over the top, and I am a big fan of Daniel Merriweather as a vocalist. He has the dope tie into his voice, it’s just so soul and gospel. And I was really hoping when I hit him up and he said yes, so we recorded the track in L.A. actually at the Mad Decent Studios in Burbank.

Lastly, if you had to describe yourself in one word what would it be?


Listen to Sampology’s music over on his Soundcloud and make sure to see photos of his Culture Collide performance over at LA Music Blog.

Photos by: Jeanette Hernandez / photo-jaye.