Where does the name “Jungle Man Sam” come from and why is it important to you as an artist?
1. The name Jungle Man Sam comes from the times when I was travelling, specifically in the Amazon jungle in Peru. I had my little guitar with me and was writing songs about travelling, and knew that I needed a name that represented my energy, and my love of nature.
When did you first find out the genre or sound of your music that you wanted to create?
2. I discovered Reggae music when I was 14 years old, and I discovered Hip Hop soon after. My writing has always had those flavours present, but within the last few years I’ve really been digging into world music, specifically Dancehall, Soca, and Reggaeton.
Who are your main musical influences, and how has learning from them helped you evolve as an artist?
3. My main musical influences are the Marley brothers (mainly Damian and Stephen) because they bring such high consciousness lyricism to their smooth melodies. I can listen to their music over and over and hear new things. I’m also very influenced by my soul-brother Christian Bridges, an amazing musician and songwriter from my home Toronto. From him I learned that simplicity is the key to a great song or idea.
What is your favorite part about the video, or the song in general?
4. My favorite part of the video, besides the dancing from Rudey Legacy and his team, is when I was playing soccer with the kids in Kingston, Jamaica. They were so curious about what I was doing and asked me hilarious questions.
What does your writing process look like? Do you need to be in a certain location, or can you write pretty much anywhere? What do you use to help influence your lyricism?
5. I’ve written songs in the studio, on the beach, in an airport, around a sacred fire, around a drum circle, on a bus… I don’t need to be in one space, and I don’t mind taking my time. My lyrics draw from my experiences, but sometimes I take a moment of emotion and expand on that and make a new story that serves the song.
Where did you guys shoot the video? Did you do anything fun while you were there?
- Filming the video in Kingston, Jamaica was a whirlwind because we basically only had 4 full days in the country to get it done, and knew nobody there. Luckily, my videographer Kenny MacLaughlin and I stayed in a dope hostel called Reggae Hostel, and our favourite spots that we hit up were Life Yard (an intentional Rasta community space in downtown Kingston), and Dub Club (an epic weekly party at a house in the mountains where they set up a massive sound system and spin dub cuts through the night).
Action Blaxxs has a dope verse on “Comah.” How did he end up on the song? Did you reach out, did he reach out?
- Action and I met completely by chance near Toronto. I was writing, playing guitar in a parking lot while waiting for my friend, and he pulled into the lot in his truck and started freestyling with me. We exchanged info and a couple months later I get him into the basement studio to try his vocals on a couple songs. He was instantly vibing with “Comah” and dropped his verse completely freestyle in one shot.
What was one defining moment for you as an artist and how did it allow you to grow and become a more diversified creator?
- Before I changed my name to Jungle Man Sam, I took Ayahuasca in Peru, a shamanic brew that Amazonian tribes have used to gain insights and wisdom for millennia. That medicine showed me just how powerful and creative I am (and we all are) as a human being. I feel like I discovered something there and after that I wrote a lot of my best songs through the rest of my travels.
What else have you got coming down the pipeline for releases?
- Kenny and I also went to Trinidad this year to film a music video during Carnival, so watch out for my next single and music coming soon! It’s gonna have a serious soca flavour.
Do you have any other passions you are involved in other than music?
- I’m very into conscious living and lifestyle, including yoga, meditation, cooking, and travelling. I’ll always see myself as a student and I’m always integrating my passions so that they all work in synchronicity. – AH