In 2020, as the world went into lockdown, Sam Ryder uploaded the first of his now infamous covers. They quickly caught the attention of some famous fans (think Justin Bieber, Sia, Alicia Keys and Elton John) – with compilations of his videos appearing on The Ellen Show, BBC’s Newsbeat and more. As the videos kept coming, so did the fans – with his socials standing at over 10 million followers to date and hundreds of thousands of comments.
Fast forward a year and Sam Ryder stands with 17M social followers and is in the running to be crowned as Tik Tok’s most popular UK artist account for the second year in a row. This would be no mean feat should it happen, especially with Ed Sheeran in full campaign mode and a favourite to take this crown.
So what has changed for Sam Ryder in 2021 ? Quite a lot as it happens.... A 5 song EP The Sun’s Gonna Rise rolled out a track at a time, amassing some 45 million streams globally.
First up was Whirlwind’ – how else could you begin to describe the journey that Sam has been on over the past year? He has spent much of his adult life touring, writing and performing in bands, lived in Hawaii for a while and even owned a vegan coffee shop before closing it down and deciding the time was right to pursue his dream of becoming a solo artist.
The culmination of the EP campaign was the release of More, a song that touched the hearts of almost all who heard it. With the powerful chorus stating “All anyone wants is more time, more life, more healing” fans were often able to connect that sentiment to their own lives with 1,000s of stories emerging on line of a song that comforted those who were sick, had relatives who were unwell or who were simply sick of being separated from their loved ones.
Then came the fist foray into the world of live shows for Sam Ryder the solo artist. First off just moments after the restrictions on venues lifted Sam performed a free show as a thank you to the fans that had joined him in the preceding year, at Dalston Roof Park. The predicted thunderstorms stayed away, the fans didn’t and they came out in their droves. But did that mean Sam would sell tickets? Yes he would. A subsequent first paid ticketed event at London’s Courtyard Theatre in October sold out in under ten minutes, this was followed by the announcement of Sam’s first ever full UK tour for January 2022. The whole tour sold out so quickly that a second London show at Lafayette went on sale, only to sell out again meaning a third now sold out show was announced.
So if 2020 was about lockdown and 2021 was about the beginnings of releasing original solo material and playing those songs live, what does that mean for 2022? Well with tickets for Sam’s first jaunt around Europe flying out the door and a new song being teased on Sam’s Tik Tok causing quite a stir, plus a whole raft of collaborations in discussion it seems that world domination might not be a stretch too far for this incredible talent.