Home MusicMusic Interviews Interview: Sam J Garfield discusses new EP “Latency”

Interview: Sam J Garfield discusses new EP “Latency”

by Jonathan Currinn
17 minutes read Send a Virtual Coffee ☕

Today marks the day Sam J Garfield drops his new EP, titled “Latency”, and he took the time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions in an interview with us, Good Star Vibes. This is his first solo project since 2020’s single “Alone”, which is why this is such a massive deal to him, to us, to his fans. He has been working solidly over the past few years on producing other artists’ tracks, but now Sam J Garfield is here, releasing his own solo EP.

On top of this incredible interview below, we also took the time to review the EP track-by-track. We highly suggest you also check that article out – but first, please delve into the below interview where Sam J Garfield chats about his EP, his incredible career to date, his productions, and everything else in between.

Hi Sam, we hope you are having a good day today. You’ve just released your EP, can you tell us about the inspiration behind your new EP, “Latency,” and how it came to be?

Hi Guys! Been enjoying another gloomy yet beautiful day in (newly moved to) upstate NY where I’m working on my new album, expanding to work with new artists in NYC, and just taking a breather from Los Angeles after 17 years.

“LATENCY” is my first EP and body of work that I’ve ever released as a solo artist and the first piece of work I’ve released by myself since 2020. I actually began working on it early in 2022 and it really became a journal, or stream of consciousness if you will, of my inner monologue from the events, thoughts and feelings I experienced through what was probably 2 of the most intense years of my life to date. I realized that, as a producer, it was important for me to express my art and music through a pure unadulterated lens and not just through the filter of the amazing artists whose stories I have the privilege of telling through producing their music.

“Monsters” set the tone for this EP. Could you share more about the themes and emotions that drive the music on “Latency”?

“Monsters” was the first piece I actually made for the EP and it just felt right. The vision was so clear on it; I knew it was the base tone for this project. That track was raw and really left me like I was tearing pages out of my journal. I really wore my heart on my sleeve in it; that’s what I wanted to do with this EP, in its entirety. When you listen to the EP from beginning to end you can feel an entire arc: One that starts with doubt and even hopelessness at times but grows through introspection until it finds some hope in the end, some light shining through, even if there are still grey clouds in the sky.

“Latency” is a reflection of your journey through faith. Could you elaborate on how spirituality influenced the creative process?

As a very spiritual and faith-filled man, I believe that every day should be a reflection of ‘that’ journey. The search for God is endless and ever-growing, and I like to hope that it translates into the work I do and the art I create. Much of my writing and lyrics on this project reflect my own conversations with God and with my own spirit. The verses in “Monsters” are actually my own interpretation and translation of Psalms 6 & 7. Those chapters articulate what I was feeling and my own ‘cry out’ better than any way I could have put it myself.

What was the most challenging aspect of producing “Latency,” and how did you overcome it?

Musically speaking, this project actually ‘came to be’ in a very fluid and organic production process. The biggest challenge was actually finding the time to work on it and get it done while juggling the 10 artists I was working with full-time during this time period.

During this time, I also felt like I had lost some of the “experimental” and “out of the box” SJG production I started my career with early on in my journey. I was getting a bit lost in the commercial music world and in the minds of the artists I’d been creating for, and I missed him. So I set out to find him again in these late-night, sporadic sessions with myself.

Could you walk us through your songwriting process? How do you approach crafting lyrics for your tracks?

I write a bit unconventional; I typically have to have at least some kind of a beat or instrumentation before I begin writing and almost never write any lyrics down, nothing pre-written or pre-planned. My only truly comfortable way of writing, especially for my own music, is to set up my mic next to my studio workspace at the computer and put my headphones on so that I can hear my voice and my music directly in my ears. I just begin to spit lyrics out over the production. It all really happens very unplanned, unorganized, and organically in that moment.

How do you feel your music has evolved since your last solo release in 2020, and how does “Latency” represent this evolution?

In many ways, it couldn’t be more different. It has evolved, primarily in technique and in execution. In the same breath, it is very much my reconnecting to that artist, that human being from that time, especially in the creative process and the artist’s ideas and sounds.

You have 65 published tracks this year alone, how do you navigate producing and songwriting and working with a variety of different artists?

Every time I hear that number it’s a bit staggering, and I have to laugh to myself. Honestly, I worked an unhealthy amount (usually 2, sometimes 3 sessions a day, about 6 days a week) at the detriment of my own mental and physical health and any semblance of a personal life. This is, in part, because I tend to produce, engineer, mix, and master all of the projects I work on. I remember around Spring time this last year, looking over my schedule and just shaking my head, taking a deep breath, and thinking to myself… “Sam, this is going to be very rough, but if they aren’t noticing you out there, they sure are about to.” Most of these songs dropped in the same couple of months so the deadlines were gruelling… Luckily I made it through, fairly intact even. Ha.

Among the impressive 65 tracks you’ve released this year, could you share a standout experience or memorable collaboration with one of the artists you’ve worked with recently?

It’s really very hard for me to single out one, especially since they were all going on so simultaneously, but what really stands out to me from this year is the ‘spirit of collaboration’ in general. I started the beginnings of my artist collective this year through this process of working with all of the amazing people! As I was embarking on all these projects at the same time, I began purposefully overlapping the session schedules so that my artists would have to meet in passing and thus they began organically getting to know each other. Eventually, they started to come to each other’s session and get on each other’s tracks. It was pretty special in that way; I’ll never forget these times and sessions we’ve had huddled up at my place.

You’ve also received a Cannes Film Festival Nomination, a National Musical Theater Music Director credit, and an OUTFEST Film Festival Nomination. How does it feel to get this sort of recognition?

Honestly, a lot of the time I don’t realize the magnitude of it all because I’ve been so busy working so much, that it kind of comes down to that whole “stopping to smell the roses” concept, ya know? I mean, I would receive one of these recognitions, and have a “Yay!” moment, but then very quickly pass over it to get back to work and focus on what’s next. However, it is all very exciting and special. When my PR team began to put all these accolades together in paragraph form and I read it for the first time, I actually teared up a bit and felt like “Wow, this guy is pretty cool and sounds pretty impressive”… As silly as it sounds.

It doesn’t sound silly at all! Your journey has been remarkable, to date. What advice would you give to aspiring music producers and artists looking to follow in your footsteps?

Ya know, I am getting this question more and more, but I always say the same thing. First of all, there is no guidebook, no blueprint, or outline to follow. That’s part of what makes this journey so unique and exciting, yet also terrifying! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, as cliche as it is, Work Hard! Work harder than everyone you know or can see around you, and if you think you’re working as hard as you can, work harder.

Of course, as I’ve been learning the hard way, also take care of yourself and make sure your health and self-care is your top priority, but there is no replacement for hard work. The other thing I always tell producers looking for advice is to always follow your ear and your gut; don’t try to sound like anyone else, copy what’s “on trend”, or make what you think “people will like”. Make the music YOU want to make. Authenticity truly is key, especially in this vast ocean of songs and styles that are almost unrecognizable from one to the next.

“Latency” is described as emotionally charged. Could you share a personal anecdote or experience that particularly inspired one of the tracks on the EP?

Aside from our discussion on the emotional drive behind “Monsters”, which is such an important track to me, one particular moment that was also very special, was the recording process of “Lux City”. This is my last track on the EP, which features my dear friend and artist WowAshWow.

I was getting very burnt out, and going through a very low, “breaking” point, if you will, when we were trying to get these final pieces of the EP recorded. I had just decided to make my move to the East Coast, after being in LA for 17 years, and the emotions were hitting hard. “Lux City” is really a letter to myself, and I wasn’t going to have any features on this entire project, but I felt this track needed something extra, and that extra was a rap verse only my girl WOW could provide.

The main line of the hook and song says, “Heard we comin’ back into better days.” With everything going on, and the low point I was in, I almost felt like a bit of an “imposter”, but somehow also hopeful. WOW and I talked late into the night about what was to come and what the future could look like, and by the time we were getting on the mic, we were in tears the whole session and could barely get through it. I’m so happy we did.

I still can’t hear that one without getting emotional, especially coming up and out of that dark tunnel these months later.

Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations you can tease for your fans after the release of “Latency”?

There are certainly lots of new up-and-coming projects and releases on the way, some of which I can’t fully talk about just yet. I will say that you will be hearing a very different side of Sam J Garfield through this New York expansion! There are some exciting projects coming up here, as well as international collaborations with some very popular artists based overseas.

That’s so exciting, we cannot wait for these projects, we’re sure they’re going to be incredible! Lastly, what message or feeling do you hope listeners take away from “Latency” after they’ve experienced the EP in its entirety?

I just hope when people listen they feel like they get to hear me in an authentic way. So much of creating this EP felt like going through a therapy session, and then having that therapist shout out everything I just told them from a rooftop, which is horrifying for me to think about as a relatively private, behind-the-scenes guy.

It really is a journey of learning to love yourself, your weirdness, and the crazy, introspective thoughts that many of us prob ourselves with relentlessly.

I hope people get in their feels, laugh, cry, and come out of it knowing the guy who ‘sits in the chair behind the computer in the studio,’ a bit better.

Thank you, Sam J Garfield, for taking the time to answer our questions. This EP is flawlessly amazing and we really cannot get enough of it. We’re pretty sure your fans feel the exact same way. We’re also completely looking forward to all your future projects, they’re bound to be just as incredible.

“Latency”, by Sam J Garfield, is available to download and stream, right now, across all platforms, via SJGarfield Productions. If you haven’t read our “Latency” EP review, we highly suggest you check it out now!

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Share this article and tag us @GoodStarVibes to let us know all your thoughts on Sam J Garfield’s “Latency” EP.

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