photo credit: Alex Huggan
AMFM: Sam is this your first release?
Sam Kiles: Yes, this is my first single, I’ve been working with Andrew Cole on it. Last year, around August, we had a whole bunch of songs lined up, but this one is special to me.
AMFM: How did you get started in music?
Sam Kiles: I used to live in Phoenix, Arizona. I was born and raised in Fiji, in the Fiji Islands. I was brought here by my parents to have a better life. We won a green card lottery.
They have these yearly green card lotteries in Fiji, a family will choose to apply, and if they win they get a green card and can work in the United States.
We won in ‘97, my dad was a Pastor back in Fiji and also in Phoenix. I grew up around musicians and listening to music in the church. You are given an instrument as a child and told to go play.
AMFM: What did you play?
Sam Kiles: A bass guitar. I started off with that. I have a younger brother, he was on drums. My sister sang, my mom was an accoustic guitarist and sang, and my dad was on keyboards. So we were like a Fijian Brady Bunch.
AMFM: What kind of songs did you and your family play together?
Sam Kiles: A lot of worship tunes that we were brought up in the church singing. We would have devotion and in the evening we would come together and pray and sing. The thing about Fijians is it doesn’t matter if you can sing or not…you have to sing! It was cool being around that environment. It’s been a huge passion for me ever since I was small, and I knew that it was what I meant to do.
AMFM: How did you end up in L.A.?
Sam Kiles: I moved here with my wife three years ago, I’ve been married for five. We have a little son named Koa – he’s amazing. My wife had a job offer, she worked for Grand Canyon University in Phoenix they said they needed a couple of reps to recruit for us in L.A.
AMFM: How did you manage to meet Andrew?
Sam Kiles: I work for an agency that manages to get us gigs around town. Someone heard me and said “Hey there’s an artist named Andrew Cole, would you open up for him at a private gig?” I said I would love to. We click, we vibe with the same music and artists, and his sound was amazing. I knew I could defintely work with him on songs.
Then you started collaborating…but he’s the producer right? Which ways do you work together?
As a producer, I made sure I was very careful who I picked. I brought these songs to him, especially “Delay,” I felt it was right up his alley and he could bring the right team. And he did, he brought Jeremy Rubolino, the string arranger for Eric Clapton. He brought in Jesse Ingalls, the bassist for Ben Harper, and drummer Lamar Carter. Just really the right people to make it amazing.
AMFM: What is the concept of the song?
Sam Kiles: I wrote it five years ago. It was a phase I was in. I was in a long distance relationship, It was me waiting for her, and we wereI was in a weird transition phase. The song burst out of it. I started off on accoustic guitar, then went on to the melody, then the words came. You know it’s a good song when the words all flow and just lays on your lap.
AMFM: How long did it take to write?
Sam Kiles: Less than a week.
AMFM: Those are the good ones.
Sam Kiles: Yes, they are a gift.
AMFM: Let’s talk about the video. Who made it?
Sam Kiles: I’ve got to give a shout out to these great people, Osea and Keeley Kaukimoce they live here in L.A. Oscar is a Fijian too. I brought him the song and he envisioned a beautiful dance. He brought in the right dancers and the right director and DP to capture this.
AMFM: It works with the song. What contemporary music outside of the Fijian music influenced you?
Sam Kiles: Reggae…Bob Marley to UB40. Obviously I listened to worship music growing up, but in middle school/ high school it went on to John Mayer, John Legend. NeoSoul, big shout out to Joe Scott, Erykah Baduh I really loved Incubus as well.
AMFM : Wide Variety. What’s next?
Sam Kiles: I would like to have a great strong Fijian fanbase. I want to make them proud. I also have a remix of the song coming out produced by Siren. it’s more upbeat and moving. I hope to drop that by the January 2018, I have some other songs in my pocket I want to push out in an EP.
AMFM: Where can we catch you singing next?
Sam Kiles: Find me on Instagram, Sam Kiles Music. You will see all my stuff up there.
Music Produced by: Andrew Cole
Strings Composer & Arrangement by: Jeremy Rubolino
Drummer: Lemar Carter
Bassist: Jesse Ingalls
Recording Engineer: Jeff Gartenbaum (The Village Recording Studio)
Recorded at: The Village Studio (Santa Monica, CA)
Mix & Mastering Engineer: Steve Churchyard & Alan Sanderson
Mix and Mastered at: Pacific Beat Recording Studio (San Diego, CA)
Music Video Directed & edited by: Sean Keller
Music Video Producers: Osea & Keeley Kaukimoce
Choreography by: Mel Fielding & Michael Langford
Cinematography: Henry Behel
Photographer: Alex Huggan