Samm Hennshaw makes the kind of music you dance around your kitchen to on a Sunday morning, hear at a wedding reception, and hope you experience backed by a full gospel choir.
The South-London singer has toured with the likes of Chance the Rapper, James Bay, and Tori Kelly amassing a diverse set of fans reflected in the crowd at his first solo Atlanta show. His voice is both raspy and soulful, breaking at times while effortlessly smooth — perfect for a cozy venue like Vinyl. Backed by a simple three-piece band, Samm performed under bright lighting that contrasted his sultry sound but hid no expression from the audience.
His musical talent was obvious to the crowd (and his 1.2 million monthly listeners on Spotify), but a pleasant surprise of the night was his crowd work. As he arrived on stage, the crowd went silent to listen intently before screaming, clapping, and two-stepping to “How Does it Feel?” a song later.
Samm has a natural charisma that allowed him to answer questions and riff with the crowd as well as he could sing. As he opened the night, Samm invited the room to let loose with him, “Thank you guys so much. We’ve come all the way from London. Are you ready to have fun? That’s all I want, good vibes. If you have anything going on outside that you brought in with you — leave it outside for a moment. Let’s have fun alright?”
And fun it was. You could tell which songs were his personal favorites; “The World is Mine” played as Samm danced towards his band and back to the bridge “you’re the whole world and the world is mine.” The live rendition of the new release “Chicken Wing” was a highlight of the night. Despite having only been released a month prior, the crowd shouted every word, overpowering Samm at times who couldn’t help but laugh in surprise.
With songs like “Church” and “Broke”, Samm Henshaw has the potential to influence the future of R&B. You’ll want to see him live while you can catch his act in an intimate venue. His tour continues in February 2022 with three dates in the United Kingdom, and you can read our recent interview with Samm here.
Photos by Angel Escobar.