WORLD VIDEO PREMIERE: Sam Kogon “All I Wanna Do”

Introducing Sam Kogon, a singer/songwriter with a unique and captivating vision that is showcased in his latest single “All I Wanna Do”. The single, which is part of his self-titled debut EP, explores the concept of impossible love between a mortal and a house spirit. The accompanying music video for the song is a mesmerizing visual experience that brings this story to life, with Kogon taking on the role of a phantom character, accompanied by Violet Hetson of NYC rock band, Powerviolets as a witch, and the authentic infamous bear costume featured on numerous episodes of the David Letterman Show. In this interview with Top Shelf Music Magazine, Kogon shares his inspiration behind the single and the making of the music video, offering an inside look into his creative process and the meaning behind his work.

Hey Sam, Pleasure to meet you! So how did your journey in music begin?

  • Sam Kogon: Howdy! The pleasure is mine. My journey in music all began at the age of 5 when my grandpa gave me a violin. I was obsessed with classical music before I could play anything.  My mom showed me The Beatles and from then I was hooked on guitar. I started writing my own songs when I was 9 or 10 and had a few bands in middle and high school, eventually forming a group in college that would be the driving force behind going solo and making records under my own name. 

Your latest single for “All I Wanna Do” has a great music video which tells an impossible love story between a mortal and a spirit. Can you elaborate more on the videos meaning and the creative process behind coming up with such a creative visual representation of your song? 

  • The video has a lot of layers, and ghosts haunting ghosts. The idea was conceived with my friend and collaborator, Geoff Duncanson, who directed, produced and filmed the music video. We wanted to play with the idea of being haunted and being ok with it. But as you say, love cannot exist between a mortal and a spirit, the children of the forest make sure of that and use their magic to summon their familiar (the bear) to take out the trapper while the phantom watches. 

What can you tell us about your self titled EP? How did this project begin?

  • It’s hard to say when something begins. These songs amassed over a window of time in my music that represents the sound and direction I’m inspired and happy to be in. I got introduced to John Agnello from his /friend/colleague/co-host of Gearclub PodCast, Stewart Lerman, who I got to know on set from acting in Martin Scorcesse’s, The Irishman. We connected on our shared love of The Left Banke, a group I actually got to perform in and continue to manage their legacy. I sent Stewart my tape demos of the songs you hear and soon after he connected me with John. We started with Barbed Wire as a sort of one-off to see if we would like each other. We all hit it off and cut the record live with my band in a few hours. I’m still in love with that song and don’t think I’ll ever not be. We then knocked out the rest in the following 2 sessions and the rest John mixed and sent off to get mastered. 

What would you say has been the highlight of your musical career so far? Have you had a moment on stage where you thought “I can’t believe this is happening?’

  • I have been fortunate enough to work with some of my heroes. Performing and recording with Al Jardine of The Beach Boys is a personal highlight. I also got to sing in the 2015 reunion of The Left Banke (“Walk Away Renee”) and work with their founding members George Cameron & Steve Martin Caro, that is something I’ll never forget. Really anytime I play a show and people know my lyrics and sing my songs with me is a “I can’t believe this is happening” moment. Any time I play with my band is also a “I can’t believe this is happening, how lucky am I to get to work with these people” moment. 

What are your thoughts on the current shift in the music industry to cater to short form content platforms like Tik Tok? Do you think that it makes it harder for musicians to succeed because they not only have to be quality song writers but also content creators as well? 

  • So I caved and downloaded T*k T*k just before it gets outlawed. I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about and also play Russian roulette with my data (and my free time). For now I’m just posting clips that I already have lying around from performances, as well as trailers for music videos, etc. (don’t you just wanna follow me? Follow me @samkogon) I do not plan on duet-ing or lip syncing or dueling banjos (cue to 3 months from now: I’m lip syncing the isolated inspirational speech they sampled in the sunscreen song while twerking). For me it’s something to play with and maybe get my music to in front of another audience. I think a lot of people take it to the next level and make music solely for t*k t*k, just like people do for Spotify. It’s upsetting how much influence and power we’ve given to these platforms and how much of the major industry and labels use it as leverage (for or against you) when signing you. I don’t think it’s going away… unless it gets banned. Remember: everything in moderation, and don’t forget sunscreen.

If you were given a box of all the things you have ever lost, what would you look for first?

  • When I was 3 or 4 I had this antique skeleton key that I lost in the ball pit at a McDonalds in Boca Raton, Florida. I made my mom take me back a few times but I could never find it. I still think about that key. 

What does the rest of 2023 hold for you? Tours? More Music? 

  • I’m planning some dates this summer and fall in Europe and the US. I’m also priming some new singles that should be out later this summer. Stay tuned!

Artist Links: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify

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