Five Favourites: Sami Nathan

Having showcased her impressive vocal talent on ITV’s The Voice, being a favourite of the legendary Tom Jones, London based pop-soul artist Sami Nathan has now shared the first of her own solo material. Oozing a stirring, heartfelt emotion, ‘Older With You‘ showcases Nathan’s rich, crystalline vocals and a sweeping soulful splendour.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Sami Nathan to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that have shaped her as a musician. Check out her choices below and scroll down to watch the recent video for ‘Older With You’ at the end of the feature.

Barbara Streisand – ‘What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?’
My first introduction to music was through my mum’s record player. She played mostly soul power ballads and some big band stuff. One of my favourite songs of all time is ‘What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?’ by Barbra Streisand. The moment I fell in love with this song was seeing Fantasia Barrino on American Idol 2004. I remember watching her on the show and my mind being completely blown. Her performance on the show was vocally immaculate and full of emotion. I love the classic timeless sound of the music, lyrics and the melody is delicious.


Jazmine Sullivan – ‘Masterpiece’
When I was young and I went to Centre Stage School on the weekends, I was introduced to my best friend – the microphone! It changed me being able to hear myself through the speakers. My go-to songs were always the big belters of Whitney and Mariah. I’m in love with these songs because while they are wonderfully written pieces of work, the melodies are made for a strong vocal. These songs really allowed me to challenge myself and to practice as a developing vocalist. One of my favourite modern artists is Jazmine Sullivan. She really captures this essence in her song ‘Masterpiece’. The development through the song musically and in the melodies are magic. I never waste an opportunity for switching is up in the bridge and this song is a perfect example of that, it’s one of my favourite parts!


Christina Aguilera – ‘Beautiful’
I had to put an Xtina song on this list because she was my absolute everything growing up. I would sing her Stripped album constantly and remember once going to one of her concerts and crying all the way through! I could have picked so many of the songs on this album but ‘Beautiful’ is a fantastically written song. I used to play this one (and ‘Impossible’) on the piano at school when I was supposed to be in lessons. I remember seeing an interview where Christina mentioned that she was inspired to use a one-take vocal on this song with all of the vulnerable imperfections that came with it. The sentiment of this has taken me years to fully appreciate. After many years of song writing for other people I had found the industry standard of perfect vocals that can be stripped of personality with effects, I find that taking things back to basics and allowing that natural vocal character to shine through really works for me.


Stevie Wonder – ‘Love’s In Need Of Love Today’
I used to carry my ginormous CD collection around with me at all times. One of my staples was Stevie’s Songs In The Key Of Life.  My chosen song is ‘Love’s In Need Of Love Today’ because I feel like it encompasses his signature style in all its key modulations and lyrical sentiment. Each song on this album feels so personal and timeless and it’s one of few albums I want to listen to from start to end. I remember standing outside the park to be able to hear him play at a festival and it was so special.


Janelle Monae – ‘Smile’
As far as covers go this is a really poignant rendition. I love Janelle’s vocals in general, but she really shines in this song. So much emotion and eerie in its depth! I love how her style and variation over her albums push boundaries. Her second album The ArchAndroid has orchestral transitions between some of the song and features riffs from upcoming sections and melodies of other songs on the album. I would absolutely love to be able to do this one day.


Big thanks to Sami Nathan for sharing her Five Favourites with us!

Produced by Samuel T. Lowen, ‘Older With You’ is out now. Watch the new video below:

Introducing Interview: The Deep Blue

Releasing their debut single, ‘The Jealous Sea’, today, Manchester-based band The Deep Blue create wonderfully uplifting, shimmering offerings. Flowing with glistening harmonies, the new single showcases Georgia, Sophie, Niamh and Katie’s beautifully rich vocals and an endearing heartfelt sentiment, reminiscent of the likes of HAIM or The Staves.

Despite only forming last year, The Deep Blue have already secured bookings at festivals such as Liverpool Sound City and Focus Wales, immediately cementing themselves as firm ones to watch. We caught up with the band to find out more…

Hi The Deep Blue, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
Hello! Thanks for having us. We are an all-female indie-folk band based in Manchester. This city has a special place in our hearts but our homes are far and wide; Georgia is from Scotland, Sophie from Wales, Niamh from Ireland and Katie from Down South (official term). We spend our weekends blending weird and wonderful vocal harmonies with Sophie’s punchy beats and Georgia’s catchy guitar lines. If we’re lucky, Sophie cooks us dinner after rehearsal (her cooking is out of this world). ‘Jealous Sea’ is the debut single from The Deep Blue, released under Liverpool-based indie label Snide Records. It was produced by the talented Alex Quinn.

How did you initially decide to start creating music together?
Niamh, Sophie and I used to be in another band named Café Spice but in 2020 we began making new tracks that didn’t fit with our old sound, so we decided to start something new. Katie joined us in the summer lockdown 2020 and The Deep Blue was born. It’s been so joyful painting on a fresh musical canvas with this wonderful group of women! A key component of our music is three-part harmonies and with Katie’s voice, the mix was luscious. Silky, warm and velvety. 

You’re about to release your debut single ‘Jealous Sea’. What inspired this track? Are there any particular themes running throughout it?  
The never-ending onslaught of airbrushed social media has been giving us all motion sickness these past few years. It’s both spectacular and terrifying, but we can’t deny that it often leaves us feeling a little green with jealousy. We wanted to capture that in an honest, hair-down, mask-off song. We reached for a gritty rawness and paired it with our soft folky singing and out popped ‘Jealous Sea’. 

We love your uplifting, shimmering sound, which brings to mind the beautiful alt-folk of The Staves, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
What a compliment! Thank you. It’s a tricky one. For this song in particular we listened to a lot of Phoebe Bridgers and ‘Emily’ by Clean Cut Kid. HAIM’s album Women in Music Part II had just come out and we all became obsessed with it. We played it in the car all the way to Giant Wafer Studios in Wales (where we recorded ‘Jealous Sea’). We have a good mix of favourites among us. Everything from Arlo Parks to Jessie Ware, Big Thief to Katy Kirby. We love it all! 

You’re from Manchester – in ‘normal’ times, one of the best places for live music! What have been some of the best gigs you’ve ever been to?
Well, obviously it attracts some big names. Some of our top gigs include Maggie Rogers at the Ritz, Parcels at The Academy, Everything Everything at the 02 Apollo, Honeyfeet at Niamos – all mind-blowing. Some of the best live acts we’ve seen are the more local ones. Rocking up to Matt and Phred’s or The Whiskey Jar on a Tuesday night, you’re bound to hear something brilliant. Those music nights are intimate and special. Manchester’s local musicians are unbelievably talented.

And what can fans expect from your live shows? 
Our gigs are quite intimate even with a lot of people in the room – we like it that way. We want people to feel things and we also want people to dance. Dance their feelings – there’s time for stories, but also time to just move to the music and have a wee boogie! Expect vocal lusciousness, catchy guitar riffs and four-to-the-floor grooving; expect to laugh and maybe cry; expect to be lost and then found again, and then, by the end, expect to be our new friend and have tired feet.

How have you been connecting with your audience and other musicians during the pandemic?
I’d love to say we’ve been writing our fans letters and serenading people on their door steps but the fact of it is, we’ve been doing the usual social media dance. We’ve had fun covering some of our favourite female artists – Sorcha Richardson, Aurora, Caroline Polachek. I guess we’ve mostly been focusing on ourselves, building The Deep Blue and writing songs.

And has there been anything/anyone specific that has been inspiring you, or helping to motivate you, throughout these strange times? 
We all have sisters and I feel like we’ve become a surrogate sisterhood in replacement of our absent sisters. Having each other has been hugely supportive, I can’t even find words. The Deep Blue has been our family when we couldn’t go home.  Now for the serious stuff: Sophie’s cooking, HAIM, chocolate digestives, Niamh’s poetry phase, the thought of releasing this song.

How do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
Yes, it certainly is hard to get noticed but I think if you’re out there just to “get noticed” there are far easier routes to success than being a musician. It’s tricky not to stray from your path of passion and we’ve all had bizarre ideas like “Oh maybe if we just start a cooking channel on TikTok where we sing and toss pancakes we’ll double our fan base in 30 seconds”. Making the music we love is the most important thing and that keeps us grounded. It’s difficult to be heard, there are so many new bands and artists all the time. It takes a hell of a lot of organisation and hard work to even get one song written, rehearsed, recorded and released. There are seven of us in this team working to make it work! But it started with one and grew over time. My advice to new acts would be: take your time, figure out who you are and what your sound is and let that be the centre of your universe. 

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other upcoming bands that you’d recommend we check out?
Yes! Morgan Harper Jones, Nina Cobham, Quiet Houses, MYTBE.

Finally, what does the rest of 2021 have in store for The Deep Blue?
Write, record, release and finally play some live shows! We cannot wait to perform, we’ve got so many songs we want to share with the world. We’ve been working hard in the studio so keep your eyes peeled and your ears tuned.

Massive thanks to The Deep Blue for answering our questions!

Produced by Alex Quinn and recorded in Giant Wafer Studios in Wales, ‘The Jealous Sea’ is out today, 13th May, via Snide Records.

PREMIERE: CRISP&CLASSY & Rookes – ‘BASIC’

Following 2019’s ‘Suffocate’, electro-pop duo CRISP&CLASSY (aka producer Kat Knix and singer-songwriter Plushy) pride themselves on bringing sexual liberation and self-acceptance to the UK pop scene. Now collaborating with GIHE fave, London-based artist and promoter of queer female identity, Rookes, they have shared a colourful new single.

Born of a drunken night in East London, ‘BASIC’ is a vibrant, uplifting dance-floor anthem. Propelled by glitchy beats and electro-driven hooks alongside the luscious, sweeping vocals of Rookes, it blasts into the ears with an explosive queer energy. Oozing all the sassy, soulful and sparkling vibes you could ever desire, it offers a rich, buoyant soundscape that’ll leave you ready to get up and vogue around the living room in style. A truly empowering offering, it’s an effervescent ode to being yourself and silencing anyone who chooses to get in your way.

Listen to ‘Basic’ for the first time here:

‘BASIC’ is out tomorrow, 14th May. And keep your eyes and peeled for new albums from CRISP&CLASSY and Rookes, both set to drop this summer.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: Krush Puppies – ‘Slay The Dragon’

Having charmed us with their immersive live performances on more than one occasion, Alexa Daly, Jenny Wells, Jess McGill and Heather Britton – aka Krush Puppies – have been establishing themselves on the London scene for a few years now, with support slots for the likes of Squid and Sorry already under their belts. Now, they have shared a unique, medieval-inspired, new single.

Propelled by an eerie, synth-driven drive, ‘Slay The Dragon’ is a poignant reflection about “transcending the monsters we’ve all had to endure“. Showcasing the band’s swooning harmonious vocals, which flow throughout with a mystic allure, the track builds with a gritty, swirling energy and scuzzy hooks to a frenzied cacophony, suddenly coming to a halt with a resonant, impassioned wail. Oozing a whirring, bewitching splendour, it oozes a raw, haunting majesty reminiscent of fellow London post-punkers Goat Girl. Offering equal parts playful wit and angst-driven emotion, ‘Slay The Dragon’ cements Krush Puppies as definite ones to watch.

Recorded during Lockdown No.1, ‘Slay The Dragon’ is out now via Strong Island Recordings.

Mari Lane
@marimindles