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Pioneer Stories: Sam Way

We love shining a light on those who have incredible skills, whether they create innovative surfboard designs or plan inspiring events for engine enthusiasts. We believe that everyone brings something unique to this world and finding budding stars is something incredibly exciting.  

In our latest Pioneer interview series, we sat down with Sam Way, a model turned singer-songwriter to talk about his passions, mental health and his journey through life. We’re huge fans of his work so far and couldn’t wait to learn more... 

You’ve been selected as a Pioneer for &SONS - What’s your definition of the word Pioneer?  

The honour is kindly accepted! For me, I think it means someone who is willing to lead the way forward. Slight unintentional pun on my last name there too! 

Tell us your story, how did you begin your career and what led you here?  

When I was 17, I was scouted by a modelling agency when I was in London with my mum and in my early 20s, I moved to the city to pursue it as a career. It was and still is, a volatile industry and it certainly formed me in my early 20s. I tried to embrace the lifestyle as best I could and spent years travelling wherever the job would take me. I lived from a travel bag and began working with some of the most credible names in the business. I saw a lot of the world when I was young and as I was often in solitude, I would always keep a journal and write wherever I went. My words became my companions. 

Without me really starting to notice, the pressure of the fast-paced, unbalancing career started to affect my health in a big way. I had to do something about it and music became my medicine. It was very therapeutic, and grounding and I found that magic. Somewhere along the line I just decided I wanted to share my stories believing that the medicine I found, or put into my songs, might resonate in somebody else's heart too.  

Over time I found my community and am slowly making my way to becoming an accomplished songwriter. Music played a pivotal role in regaining my health, and as a result, my modelling career has moved from strength to strength. And the best is yet to come. 

“In a world that placed value on the external, music was all about cultivating what was inside.”

In your work, what values do you cherish the most?  

Consistency. Effort. Creativity.  

What 3 words best describe you? 

Loving. Spontaneous. Diligent.  

Tell us a bit more about your creative process. How does it begin? 

The most honest answer for me here is to ‘just begin’. Often ideas or lyrics come to me so randomly I have to note them down then and there otherwise I would forget them. But the real fine-tuning does take a lot of reflection. Reading back over lyrics, tweaking them, re-singing them, adding and taking away layers in production, there's no formula, just a constant exploration until you realise, you're there. 

How do you find inspiration?  

My philosophy on this is, inspiration is everywhere, literally pouring out of everyone and everything already in existence around you.  

Once I've got that compulsion to write I just have to look up and notice. I carry songs I'm working on wherever I go, on the tube, in conversations with friends.  Life will help me put together the puzzle.   

Who inspires you?  

My wife, my son, my mum. I guess for me it's the people closest to me, as opposed to other artists that move me to create the most.  

We know that mental health is really important, what do you do to help your mental health?  

There are many ways I try to stay on top of my mental health. Balance is key for me, and the relationship between the heart, body, mind, and spirit. I make sure I make time for the gym and I often take cold showers (a cure-all for everything I swear). 

If I'm really in a bad place I write a lot. In the past have had therapy too, I'm massively pro-therapy and think men need to hear that it's important to open up. Songwriting does the same thing for me emotionally, I find it's just important I get out whatever is inside me that's causing me heartache, sadness or malaise.

What is your wardrobe essential? The piece you couldn’t live without... 

I have this huge blue 'flight jacket' aptly named because the pockets are so big and numerous that you could probably fit everything you need for a short business trip into it without needing extra luggage. It's lined and knee length so super warm and has these handy little straps that mean you can wear it like a backpack. It's a game changer for me, and I live in it. I'd love to see an &SONS take on it  

What is your favourite piece from the &SONS Collection? 

It has to be the Pioneer knit in navy that I'm wearing. An instant classic.  

What is your favourite album, artist or Spotify playlist? 

I'm currently vibing the Cafe Africa playlist on Spotify, but I've also made you guys a playlist. It's called the &SONS Songwriter Circle.  

Any recommendations on the best podcast to listen to?  

My journey of healing touched on above was massively affected by music, but many alternative health treatments aided me too. The ideas of alternative health and personal development really intrigue me, so I’ve been loving the Life Stylist Podcast by Luke Story recently.  

Shop Sam's Look

Catch up with Sam on Instagram at @iamsamway

And keep up to date with his new releases here

Images by Matt Hales

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