Sam Fender: Get to know the 'Will We Talk?' hitmaker

His debut album 'Hypersonic Missiles' was released in 2019

Author: Emma DoddsPublished 29th Jan 2021
Last updated 3rd Feb 2021

Sam Fender has made serious waves in the music industry since his debut single 'Play God' in 2017. The song, which threw Sam into the spotlight after it appeared on video game FIFA 19, featured on his debut album 'Hypersonic Missiles' along with the title track and 'Will We Talk?'

It will come as no surprise that the album debuted at Number 1 in the UK charts, especially considering the Geordie won the BRITs Critics Choice Awards in 2019, following in the footsteps of Florence + the Machine, James Bay and Jack Garratt, to name but a few.

Sam even performed at the UK's first socially distanced outdoor gig following the global pandemic. Want to know more? Read on to find out everything you need to know about Sam Fender.

Who is Sam Fender?

Sam is a singer-songwriter and guitarist from North Shields, in the North East of England. Not only that- but he has also been an actor, believe it or not, appearing in the 2011 pilot of Vera and CBBC's Wolfblood.

Although Sam Fender might seem like an excellent choice for a stage name, it genuinely is his real name, born Samuel Thomas Fender to parents Alan and Shirley.

How old is Sam Fender?

His birthday is 25th April 1994, making him currently 26-years-old.

Where is Sam Fender from?

He's a Geordie lad! Wor Sammy is from North Shields near Newcastle upon Tyne, and of course supports the Newcastle United Football Club. In 2019, the singer got to meet his Newcastle hero Alan Shearer, taking to Instagram with a photo of the moment, 'Yesterday, @alanshearer gave me my number 1 album trophy in the king street club in my hometown ??

'I’m so proud of this album, because it’s exactly what a debut album should be; raw, naive, heartfelt and a little over the top at times! But the thing I’m most proud of is the people who recorded it and the place it was recorded.

'This album was made in North Shields, in a studio we built in a derelict car garage by me and my best friends, all normal kids, from North Shields, Whitley Bay, Blyth, Newcastle, The Wirral and even France! They will forever be my family, and I’m eternally grateful to be in their company ??

'Thank you so much to everyone who believed and supported us along the way! I can’t wait to see you all on the road!' (sic).

Sam Fender's rise to fame

Coming from a musical family, Sam can not only play guitar and sing, but is also skilled with a bass, piano and synth, as well as producing some of the songs from his album.

Sam often played small gigs in Tynemouth's Surf Café. In 2010, Sam was playing in a pub in North Shields when he was spotted by Ben Howard's manager, who took him on as a client, but in 2011 tried out his acting skills, having a named role in Brenda Blethyn-fronted crime drama show Vera and a role in teen drama Wolfblood the following year. After this, he concentrated on his music career.

Sam Fender's debut album: 'Hypersonic Missiles'

After the release of his intensely personal EP 'Dead Boys' in 2018, Sam released his debut album 'Hypersonic Missiles' on 13th September 2019, entering the charts at Number 1 and scoring Silver certification in the UK.

Who is Sam Fender's musical inspiration?

Sam revealed an admiration for Bruce Springsteen in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, but called comparisons between the two of them "stupid", implying that, as he'd only had one album out, he wasn't worthy of such a comparison.

On the red carpet at the BFI London Film Festival, he said, "The comparisons are just stupid; he is one of the greatest songwriters ever, he's had 19 albums out and I've had one album out. I'm like a northeastern Geordie version," before joking, "I'm actually waiting for the court case for when he comes to get us for all of the songs I've ripped off."

He also spoke to us here at Absolute Radio in October 2019, telling us about the five songs that shaped his life...

Sam Fender's tour dates

Sam went on tour in 2018 following the release of 'Dead Boys', and was due to embark on the 'Hypersonic Missiles Tour', an arena tour of the UK in March and April 2020. Sadly, Sam has been forced to postpone the tour due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Taking to Instagram, he wrote, 'Hey everyone! First of all, I hope everyone is okay in this parallel universe that we’ve walked in to. On our upcoming UK tour, half of the venues that we were set to play have shut down following government advice and due to the dangers facing the more infirm people in our families, we all have to be very careful in the coming months.

'We have therefore decided to reschedule this tour. It will now take place later this year and all original tickets will remain valid. I’m heartbroken but currently there’s more to be worried about. I’m sure most of you will be having similar worries to me. I have family members recovering from cancer, people with auto immune disease and most importantly very young children and older more vulnerable grandparents to care about.

'This is not a time to be careless. We will get through this and celebrate on tour when the madness subsides. Sending Love and Hope from North Shields ? Sam and Band' (sic).

Sam was sadly also forced to postpone a gig in Birmingham in January 2020, after falling ill.

Sam Fender: Award wins and nominations

He was nominated for the BBC Sound of 2018, and won the BRITs Critics Choice Award in 2019 beating competition from Lewis Capaldi and Mahalia.

Sam was also nominated for the Best New Artist award at The BRIT Awards 2020.

When did Elton John perform with Sam Fender?

Elton John joined Sam Fender on stage for a rousing rendition of ‘Will We Talk?’ at the Rocketman’s annual Oscars party on Sunday 8th February 2020. Elton personally invited Sam to perform at the 28th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party in West Hollywood, California.

Sam also took to his Instagram in November 2020 to write, 'I’ll be joining @eltonjohn for an exclusive performance in support of #WorldAIDSDay @ejaf. Watch on @tiktok_uk live from 7pm GMT tomorrow ??' (sic).

Sam Fender's socially distanced gig

Sam performed a socially distanced gig at Gosforth Park in his native North East on Tuesday 11th August as part of The Virgin Money Unity Arena concert series, which saw 2,500 people attend all stood in 500 mini enclosures, 2 metres apart, with each one holding up to five people.

His NUFC hero Alan Shearer even attended the iconic gig, ahead of celebrating his 50th birthday! Appropriately, three members of Sam's band were rocking their NUFC striped shirts while on stage.

Scroll through to see how Sam Fender's socially distanced gig worked:

Sam Fender's socially distanced gig


Sam Fender's socially distanced gig


Sam Fender's socially distanced gig


Sam Fender's socially distanced gig


Sam Fender's socially distanced gig


Sam Fender's socially distanced gig


Sam Fender's socially distanced gig


Sam Fender's socially distanced gig


Sam Fender's socially distanced gig


Sam Fender Winter Song

In November 2020, Sam really showed us his generous and caring side when he joined forces with The Big Issue in order to help combat homelessness and focus peoples' minds on the matter.

In order to raise awareness, the 26-year-old released 'Winter Song' - a powerful cover of the classic track by Lindisfarne, calling on listeners to "spare a thought" for those who don't have a home.

The Big Issue, with Sam's exclusive cover, is available online alongside with the rest of the Sam Fender merch.

WATCH: Sam Fender - Debut Album & "Making It"

You can hear Sam Fender on the Absolute Radio playlist.

Read more:

Sam Fender releases Christmas song with a heartfelt meaning

11 of Sam Fender's biggest songs and the meanings behind them

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