Sam Fender is the Music Critics Choice & the Best New Artist of the Year

The "Brit Awards" is the biggest event in the British music industry each year and, unlike the Grammys, widely viewed as representative of current and future trends in popular music. It's also skewed a bit more toward rock and alternative than US music award shows. The "Critics' Choice Award" this year went to Sam Fender, Illuminate's favorite new artist for 2019. He's a rocker with an authentic social conscience. He's also a great storyteller.

Fender will remind you of early Springsteen and Bruce is one of his primary influences. “It’s just what’s in front of me really. My favourite writers are always great storytellers like Bruce Springsteen, I adore Bruce Springsteen. I feel like he doesn’t beat around the bush and he doesn’t overcomplicate things. He puts things into layman’s terms and tells stories that anyone can understand. I still think a lot of his songs still speak to me. I’m not a lad from New Jersey in the ’70s, I’m a lad from the coast Newcastle 2018 and I still feel like it draws a lot of parallels. I like to write about stories and life experiences of me, the people around us and just the things I see on the telly without overcomplicating things. I’m not like a university educated scholar, I just sing what I see.

And like Bruce he isn't afraid to write meaningful songs about social ills. "Dead Boys" [see below] is about suicide among young men in his hometown of Newcastle, England.

Fender's song "Hypersonic Missiles" has been described as a song about finding "love and hope amid the collapsing world order." It's a rocker that reminds you of "Born to Run" with some wonderful sax solos. Enjoy!


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