Sam Vance-Law may be relatively unknown. But, with the March release of his debut EP ‘Homotopia’, we have no doubt his name will be on the tip of everyone’s tongues. Vance-Law calls me from his comfy chair in Berlin to discuss his album release and his latest single, ‘Gayby’. The new single and video premieres here today.
‘Gayby’ is a song about gay adoption. It perfectly tells the story of the beauties and hardships of becoming gay parents. When Vance-Law first came up with the idea for the video, he got over excited and tells me the budget would’ve had to have been over 200 grand in-order for his original vision to come to light. While the song is pretty happy and the video gives the guise of happy children, Vance-Law was determined to have the kids in the video be sad. “The song is about the fears of parenthood and the failures of parenthood. Just to have it be happy-go-lucky, I would’ve felt it would slightly undermine the message in the song. So I figured if we had sad kids people would think a little more about the song”.
If you watch all three of Vance-Law’s music videos he’s released from singles off of ‘Homotopia’ you will see how much he loves story-telling. The songs themselves tell stories of the ups and downs of being a gay man in today’s social climate. While many artists nowadays don’t always go for the clear storytelling themed music videos, Vance-Law took head on the themes of his songs and put them on screen for everybody to see. It’s a brave move showing so clearly what the song is about to the listener. With music and lyrics there are always hidden meanings. And while a song may be upbeat and cheery, it doesn’t mean it truly is. So deciding to have the videos be so clearly about what the songs are about, to him, is a new level of vulnerability that is a breath of fresh air for the music industry.
Vance-Law’s songs all have messages inside of messages. He tells me that many people will listen to his music and assume it’s ironic. But there is no irony in his words. While he does use humour to help tell his stories, he feels like the only true way to tell a story so close to home is to involve a bit of human. His album isn’t autobiographical, it is based on characters he’s met throughout his life. Sam Vance-Law does include himself into every song he writes, but that doesn’t turn the songs into stories, necessarily, about things he himself has been through.
“I just hope that [with this record] people feel spoken to. Straight or gay, I hope they can relate and feel engaged with by the music” Vance-Law shares. He doesn’t like to count his chickens before they hatch, so he’s not planning to take any response to his music too seriously until he sees how the masses react to his EP. The reaction to the EP in full matters so much as this project has been his baby for the past few years. “The record itself took awhile to make. Mostly because I was broke. I would save up money and record a song and then save up money and record another one”, Vance-Law explains. While the recording process took a while, the writing process happened rather quickly. “The project idea was there. The record idea was there. And then it was just about writing songs that fit within that framework and they came pretty quick.”
The longer I speak with Vance-Law the more we can tell that the concept of ‘Homotopia’ means a whole hell of a lot to him. Releasing it out into the world is going to be a big day in the life of Vance-Law. And we’re chomping at the bit to see how the world will react to his tunes. He plans to play his EP live for the masses in the not to distant future, and really hopes to bring his music to North-America. He believes his music will take on a whole new meaning to the population of North-America and his goal is to bring ‘Homotopia’ to them as soon as possible. But for now, he’s playing a CD release show in Berlin on March 3rd. Keeps your eyes and ears at the ready for news about Sam Vance-Law. Because it is a name you’ll be hearing for quite some time.