"Analyse the imagery, in black and white on a silver screen. Dramatise the memory, with a kiss of life in a big love scene."
Sam Obernik is many things: a musician, an artist, a house head, an album and vinyl aficionado and right now, a globetrotting electronic soul singer. "Most DJs work towards brand entity but because I'm a bit of a butterfly and people come to me for quirk, I want to be a bit more comprehensive about what I'm doing."
As the voice and face of Barefoot, she is the vocal powerhouse behind the worldwide smash hits such as It Just Won't Do, Baditude, and Stereo Flo. The first, It Just Won't Do, was produced by electro house legend Tim Deluxe and gained instant status, often attributed to its iconic fusion of Balearic and Dutch house music sounds. It also instantly propelled Sam into the stratosphere of the elite house music vocalists.
Obernik has been touring and playing live for the best part of the decade. Having already conquered the UK and surrounding areas a few years back, she has set her sights onto more Eastern European pastures, in particular Russia. She describes the native population as "a big hungry bunny" who helped catapult Stereo Flo, her collaboration with Scott Mills and Pete Tong, into the Top 20 for 35 weeks and rack up over a million national radio plays. The track also charted in several other countries, including France. Such a success has paved the way for many international tours around Australia, Brazil, Europe, and obviously Russia.
Come end of summer 2011 and the majority of her new tracks will have seen the light of day. It is not hard to see where her heart is: big, bold house music productions with a soulful slant and a direct message. The sun-kissed electro-house track Edge Of The World with Richard Dinsdale and Hook & Sling is, in her own words, "high drama but intelligent and from the heart".
Then there is the chart topping Liar single, produced in collaboration with Buzz, DMC and Cool Cuts, which has grown itself some mighty little legs and received plays on BBC Radio 1 for eight weeks running! Another one of her smashing hits is Yawn, collaborated with Kid Massive, which already sounds custom-built for Swedish House Mafia and Kiss FM - and there's a hint of Gwen Stefani in there which is no bad thing.
But the best of the lot is the mysterious Chemically Yours which already sounds like the spiritual successor to She's Madonna. "I'm chemically yours," she coos, circling the same orbit. Also getting ready for the drop is Sam's collaboration with Str8Jackets entitled Love & Oxygen... "It goes some way to getting my foot in the door in terms of what I really want to be talking about, realism touched with hopeless optimism!" she says!
Other works in progress include a bit of a monster with Roger Sanchez and Kid Massive, and a very special collaboration with Alex Gaudino and Arash. But as singer-songwriters like Cathy Dennis have proved, you can be good at more than one thing, and Sam has more than enough material that she would like to unleash on us. "There's a deeper, darker side that I wanted to get out there but within dance music, it can be hard to find avenues, not to mention focus, as records turn around so fast," she says.
Now Sam is adapting to new challenges and ambitions. "I want to keep driving home diverse, fun and juxtaposed angles of writing within electronic music. The "popification" of the genre has recently homogenized its cultural voice more than it should. I want to hear more true life reflection in a style of music that represents universal hedonism and a large slice of youth culture. I want to dig deeper and reach out and work with producers who want to do the same." She has a specific concept in mind too. "My secret vanity desire is to do a record for me, based around dance values but moving right back to my darker self. I really feel comfortable with that as an artist."
Sam Obernik has come for your heart and feet. As her song says, "I just want to be the one you notice more."
Fee Guide for Sam Obernik: D/C
- E: under £1K
- D: £1K - £5K
- C: £5K - £10K
- B: £10K - £15K
- A: £15K - £20K
- A+ : over £20K
- A++: over £30K
- A+++: POA