Interview: Samurai Champs



Since releasing their heavily praised debut EP ‘Crayons’ back in 2017, which garnered huge acclaim from VICE Noisey, Exclaim! and earned them an Urban Artist Of The Year nomination at last year’s Western Canadian Music Awards, fast-rising RnB duo Samurai Champs now look to kick off their new year with the release of their latest single ‘Bae’, lifted from their long-awaited debut album.

Hey Samurai Champs – welcome to BBM! Since releasing your first debut album, you’ve been granted many opportunities to travel around the world. What are your top 3 favorite venues you’ve performed at? 

Swan Dive in Austin Texas, North Shore Troubador in Liverpool, and Sweet spot Festival Night In Tallin. 

If you could perform anywhere, where would it be? Why?

Japan, for a couple reasons. We’ve always wanted to explore it and but just our band name in general. It’s the home of the samurai. 

Is living on a tour bus for weeks ends as glamorous as they show it in the movies? Tell us about your experience. 

We haven’t really lived on a tour bus, but when we get the chance, we will let you know.

What’s the biggest problem you’ve overcome so far as an artist? 

Exhausting ourselves! I would say as an artist, especially when it’s all DIY, you end up pushing your limits and forgetting to rest. Recovery is everything and it’s important because recovery helps your creativity. 

What do you enjoy most about being a musician? What do you hate the most?

Performing in different parts of the world is one of the most exciting things, especially places we’ve never been to before. But the downside is one of the things we hate the most which is travelling to the destination. With all the connecting flights, delays and the commuting. It gets exhausting.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

How artists work so hard on their craft to be able to finally get paid for performing but most of us end up paying the venues or the events just to get a chance to play live. 

Do you have any recommendations for other bands and artists to get involved in their music community?

Honestly get to know fellow artists. Connect with as many as you can. We’ve started trifecta collective just so we can network and build. The best way to succeed is together and you definitely make more of an impact as a team. 

From your experience, tell me what it was like growing up as an immigrant with your passions and motivations. Would you say it was more challenging for you because of these reasons? 

Growing up as an immigrant made me value things more. Because we had to start from scratch and my parents not knowing any English didn’t help. We didn’t have a lot of money to begin with because we came from a refugee camp in Thailand after the Khmer Rouge genocide. Everything I learned I had to figure out on my own or with friends. It was never a conscious thing to choose my friends either, it was more like our consequences brought us together. My parents really pushed for us to finish school and find a decent office job. Choosing a path like music is the complete opposite direction from how they raised us. So, trying to explain to them that this was something I’ve always dreamed about doing and that I’m going to give it my full attention was tough. There were a lot of doubts. I don’t blame them it’s not an easy task. But they’ve done their best to support. It’s always challenging being a minority you almost always feel you can’t come to the table with nothing. I always felt like I had something to prove. 


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