Sam Feldt Discusses Surprise Two-Part Album ‘Sunrise to Sunset’

In the crowded field of DJs, Sam Feldt has found his niche. The burgeoning class of tropical-house producers have been exploding lately making it more and more difficult to break through. But the 24-year-old artist has separated himself from the pack thanks to his lush, diverse and worldly tracks. Many had high hopes for his debut album “Sunrise,” which dropped on Oct. 6, but what they didn’t know was that Feldt had more up his sleeve. Just this morning “Sunrise to Sunset,” the surprise two-part 24-track full-length, hit streaming services worldwide. Each one rife with warm arrangements and luxe-beats, cohesively and artistically showcasing a single rotation of the earth.

As Feldt continues his mini-tour across the states, he’ll stop off at L.A.’s own Belasco Theater Friday, Nov. 24, for a one-night only performance. This leaves just enough time to soak in his latest – and surprising – new album.

In a recent Instagram post, you described your most recent album “Sunrise” as a “symbol of (your) musical journey.” Would you mind elaborating on that a bit more?

Of course! My music and creative process is forever evolving. The album has been in the works for more than 2 years and you can really hear how I’ve tried to experiment with different genres and push boundaries. 

“Sunrise” features one very distinct tune that would nearly fall outside of standard electronic music – the almost alt-pop/rock song “Shot By My Own Gun.” What can you tell us about making of this song which features L.A. band The Federal Empire?

I discovered The Federal Empire on SoundCloud around a year ago, when they released their collaboration with Martin Garrix. I immediately fell in love with the sound of the band and sent them a message. After trying many different angles, we wrote the song “Shot By My Own Gun” and felt it was a perfect marriage between their rocky sound and my feel-good vibes. Producing it was a fun challenge, because with tracks like these, less is more. In the end, it turned out to be one of my favorite tracks of the album.

You’ve done remixes, or reinterpretations, of a few 90’s era jams like “Show Me Love” by Robin S. and La Bouche’s “Be My Lover,” even using Loleatta Holloway’s “Love Sensation” sample made famous by Marky Mark in the early 90’s. What is it about this era of house music that strikes you?

I was born in 1993 so I grew up listening to these songs on the radio. “Show Me Love” was actually the song that got me into house music! I think the music from that era has a lot of soul and blends live and electronic very well, which is something I do in my productions too. 

What was the initial inspiration behind the concept of the dual albums “Sunrise to Sunset?”

The idea behind the album is that the 24-tracks on it symbolize the 24 hours that we have in a day – pointing to the fact that (my) music can be enjoyed any time of day as well. There’s tracks on the album that are perfect to listen to at 9am when you wake up in the morning and other tracks are perfect for 11pm when you’re just heading out to a bar.  

How would you describe the sounds of “Sunrise” in comparison to “Sunset?” Was it your intention to create a different atmosphere for each album, or were they meant to blend together seamlessly? 

As you might expect, “Sunrise” contains tracks that symbolize the daytime vibes and “Sunset” is all about the feelings of the night. This, of course, in the broadest sense of the word. “Sunset,” for example, is not just about “nightlife” as we know it and it’s definitely not only music for in the clubs. It’s broader than that – also, containing songs that are perfect for stargazing or walking your lover home after a date. Looking at “Sunrise” to “Sunset” as a whole, I think they blend together harmoniously.  

Deep house is one genre of electronic music that’s been steadily growing in recent years, making it somewhat difficult for artists to stand out with their own individuality. When did you first feel like you found your sound?

Just before I started releasing music as Sam Feldt. Before that, I had been a producer and DJ for many years under a different name and I always struggled to find my own sound and become successful. I was always trying to imitate another producers or produce a track specifically with a desired label in mind. That never worked – it was when I let go of that and started making music I actually enjoyed myself, that the success came and people started to pay attention. 

You often directly ask your fans questions over social media, such as what instruments the band should add and who they think should be your next supporting act on tour. How important is it for you to engage with your fans directly?

It’s one of the most important things in being an artist. Without your fans, an artist is non-existent. Building, nurturing and maintaining a direct relationship with your fans is vital. That’s why, with my startup company Fangage, we help artist develop and deepen this relationship. 

During your past tours, it seems like you were just as excited about playing shows as you were about exploring the cities you were in. Is traveling a big part of what you find appealing about being an international DJ?

Definitely. I love to travel the world and experience different cultures, landscapes and especially food! It also gives me a lot of inspiration musically to work with producers and musicians from different areas of the world. 

Sunrise to Sunset is available Nov. 24 on Apple Music.