A Young Producer's Rainbow Beats Swell The Heart
Damu has only been putting out his crystalline dance music for a year-and-a-half, but Sam Schorb’s glistening take on UKG, electro, and house has already been touted by Mike Skinner as the future of UK bass. His summer single “Ridin’” took liberal arpeggios, laser bleeps, and r&b vocals and launched them into a glittering cosmos of house ecstasy, and most recently, his debut album Unity made Fact Magazine’s list of 50 best albums of 2011.
And for all that, he’s a 22-year old post-grad with a service job, and a bunch of friends whom he sits around with while they play videogames. Damu spoke with us recently from his house in Manchester, where he lives what sounds like the ideal existence, rapping with fellow DJs, staying out dancing until the next afternoon, and working like mad on his music, when he’s not collecting empty beer cans and throwing away trash at his club job.
Based on our phone conversation, the optimism that runs through his music is how he engages with everyday life too. Sam comes off as a young producer well on his way up to further prominence in the world of 130 bpms. One who’s still not above telling embarrassing stories about his friends’ drunken disasters. Read on to find out what Damu told us about Manchester’s 18-hour house parties, meeting zombies at dawn, and cheating on music exams.
Your real name’s Sam, so where does the name Damu come from?
The name’s from this little kid that I knew – a cousin of one of my friends. He had a teddy bear called Sam that he couldn’t pronounce properly, so he called it Damu. And he called me the same name.
I never knew about the gangs associated with the name. But I don’t have a problem with that either. I believe it’s a sort of God of sun as well.
You just put out your debut full-length Unity last month, and it just made Fact Magazine’s list of top 50 albums of 2011. And yet judging from your very busy Twitter feed you’re also a regular kid…you’re 21, right?
22 now, getting old.
Not today. Today’s not my birthday. I wouldn’t do an interview on my birthday, I’d be drunk! (laugh)
Of course. Well, you’re now a 22-year old kid who parties and DJs while still holding down a day job. Do you feel like you’re living two different lives?
Kind of. I bumped into somebody the other day who said ‘Wow, I heard your mixtape and your songs,’ and I was outside pushing the wheelies around at my glamorous job.
Bins, great big bins.
Lots of empty, smelly cups.
I work in a nightclub, so we have to clean up at the end of the night. My semi- glam double life – the next night I’ll be elsewhere getting my drinks paid for and having a fab life. I don’t really make that much money off music. I just do it for the love of it, same with the rest of my friends. It’s really fun.