Sampology on Paddle Pops, Berlin & His Collaboration With Daniel Merriweather


Creator of multi sensory, high octane, audio-visual landscapes, music producer Sam Poggioli (AKA Sampology) has had a busy past few months. Recently sharing the studio with fellow Aussie, Daniel Merriweather, to produce the uplifting track, Shine A Light, the Brisbane-born musician has just hit the road with his new AV show. Sam took time out of his BIGSOUND debut to have a chat to us about Paddle Pops, Berlin, his forthcoming album and collaborating with Daniel Merriweather.

Are you excited for tonight?

I am for sure. It's the first time I've done this new live show so I'm really excited. I've been to BIGSOUND a bunch of times, because I'm from Brisbane, and it's just fun to go out and check out a bunch of stuff. It's always good but it's the first time I've actually showcased here which is kind of good timing because of this new live show and it's kicking off the new album cycle. I've been working with different vocalists and musicians. Most of them are from Brisbane, like Jordan Rakei, who's definitely one to check out, he's an up-and-coming solo artist. He's playing keys and vocals tonight. Also Tom Thumb, who I've worked with for quite a long time, and then Daniel Merriweather, who's coming out from Melbourne to do the track (Shine A Light) tonight.

Is this your first time with two other guys on stage with you?

I've done heaps of stuff over the years, just like little collaborations, and I've done heaps of shows with Tom before. So I've always had stints where I've worked with other people but I guess in terms of putting together my own live show, it's more on that live show/performer/new music kind of style. It's definitely a new thing for me.

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Is this going to be the arrangement for you, moving forward? Are you going to be on stage with people in live shows now?

Definitely for the next year or so, but I'm still doing my visual show as well for specific tours. So in mid- to late November I'll be doing a visual tour around the release of that single and then early next year-onwards, I'll be doing live shows with the guys.

So the visuals will still be incorporated in the live shows?

There'll still be that visual component for sure. I was never trained, I never went to uni for visuals or anything, I just had ideas that I kind of wanted to put on the screen. So I kind of taught myself how to do that stuff for the AV show and I guess from that stuff, I had more creative ideas around what I wanted visually for the live show. But it's definitely a different style of things, because the AV show is more about taking found footage, and flipping it and juxtaposing. Juxtaposing is a pretty solid word to use for that show, whereas this show is following a strong art thing surrounding all of it.

Do the others contribute to the ideas surrounding the visuals?

No, it's actually me and my Mum! She's an artist. There's so much more art to come out, around the album cycle that I've been working with her for. So at the moment I'm just really excited because I know I've got on my computer all the stuff we've been working on and there's so much rollout over the next year and it's all on the same thing. It's funny, to me, my Mum is my Mum. Not really thinking she's an artist. But it's only recently I saw this one piece that she'd been working on, and I was like, "that really links to the music that I've been working on" and we developed all this stuff.

So this is the first time collaborating with your Mum?

Yeah! So the visuals that you'll see on the screen are animations, inspired by stuff that she's done.

Sampology_Five Quick Qs

How did collaborating with Daniel Merriweather come about? 

I had a couple of days down time in LA about four months ago and he was living there at that point and I hit him up because I wanted to work with him anyway on that track. It just so happened that we were both there. I was just going to work over the internet like I usually do but I was like, "oh, we're in the same city," so we met up for coffee, I played him stuff from the album which he was really digging and that track. The next day, I had to find a studio really fast and ended up knowing one of the engineers that works at the Mad Decent studio so I used that. He gave it to me for free so we recorded it there.

Is that the only track he pops up on?

Just that one track, yeah. But Jordan's on a couple of tracks and Tom's on another track and Hannah Macklin, who's from Brisbane, is doing some vocals on some tracks. Really beautiful choir-stacked vocals. It was like halfway through making the album stuff, and I'm still working on it. I'm really happy with it at the moment because a lot of the sounds are inspired by overseas. A very Brazilian kind of influence on the Daniel track, as well as carnival and tropical themes, even though I'm using contemporary synthesisers and stuff. There's that kind of element but then on top of that, there's definitely a strong, next-wave, Brisbane soul artist world. It's cool to represent where you're from as well. That came about naturally so I realised it and went with it a bit more.

The Brisbane music scene's evolving so much.

Definitely. And it's kind of like, when you don't expect it to happen, it just naturally happens. When I saw Jordan for the first time at West End at this super small gig, it was kind of like the split second he opened his mouth, I was like "woah". Just that tone of voice that he has. I was like, "Holy shit, this guy's from Brisbane.


It feels like a kind of change of direction for you. Almost like starting a new chapter of sorts?

Yeah, for sure. There's lots of new stuff and the show and the sounds and the album...but at the same time, I kind of see there's definitely extensions of what I've been doing. Shine A Light, for example. The original rhythm track that I made of that was from playing DJ sets and I always try to drop an upbeat, traditional Brazilian track. I find whenever I play Brazilian music, girls always get onto the dancefloor. This chanty, choir, Brazilian stuff. It just works really well. Even if I'm playing dance music that was made in 2014, I try and find these specific older tracks that you can bridge into nicely. So it was kind of after a few gigs of doing these kind of things that I was like, "I want to make a track that is a culmination of those two things." So that was kind of the starting point for the Daniel track. I guess that was an extension of what I was doing in these DJ sets.

It sounds like you've had a pretty crazy year, travel-wise. Visiting a heap of places. Does that influence the sounds that you make?

I think so. I remember working on tracks when I was in India, even though there's no Indian or Bollywood sounds on the album. I guess, you can be inspired in a specific place in the world, completely removed from Brisbane, but that doesn't mean you'll make music from that spot.

Was there a favourite place from your trip? Where you were like, "I've got to move there!"

I could definitely live in Berlin. It's cheap and I've got a lot of Aussie and New Zealand friends. I probably wouldn't do the "I'm moving to this city forever!" kind of thing, I'd do something like live there for three months.

Are there any producers or artists in particular that you're listening to that maybe could have inspired the album a little bit?

I feel like different processes through the album. When I was working with the bass tracks, like the initial rhythm tracks, there were definitely situations combining traditional Brazilian thing with a contemporary track, and then layer a track over the top. So that's kind of influenced the bass tracks and the rhythms. But then, situations like, going out and being a punter and seeing Jordan play or seeing Hannah Macklin play, those kind of situations, it would be cool if you combined this and this. I feel like it's a different hat that I wear for my DJ sets because there's so much new music. I hear it and then I want to play it in my DJ set. I've never thought about it this way but I guess it's a different thing to be inspired to be making my own music.

On the AV side of things, how do you travel with it all? Or is it just your laptop?

With the AV show, I'm manipulating videos and audio at the same time using turntables. And with the visual show, I've got cameras pointing down so I can show that it is live. I send a green screen through this box and then I key out the green light, like the weatherman on TV, and it'll show through to the camera shot. It's kind of a tricky way to layer up stuff to get this cool effect that I wanted to do at the start of the year.

Is it easy enough to set that all up? In all these locations around the world?

It's a little bit more complicated because I'm using all this gear that was meant for something else. Like, using it in a different way. So I cable it differently.

Sampology Tour Dates 

The Factory, Qld | Nov 21

Oh Hello!, Qld | Nov 22

GoMA Future Beauty Up Late, Qld | Nov 28

Flinders Social, Qld | Dec 13

Howler, Vic | Dec 19