Steven Bamidele seems destined for the biggest of stages, making emotive falsetto-laced sounds that bridge the gap between soul and pop.

The Brighton-based singer-songwriter has been honing his craft for the best part of the last decade, but under his most recent guise, his velvety vocals are front and centre in the vein of early Samm Henshaw.

Before Bamidele plays Hidden Herd Presents at The Finsbury on Friday 21st February, we caught up with him to talk about his influences, new music recommendations and more.

How would you describe Steven Bamidele to a stranger?

“He can carry a tune, but he’s awkward as hell.”

Who are the biggest influences on your sound and why?

“I got introduced to Marvin Gaye for a school project; specifically the ‘What’s Going On’ album. Gaye’s vocal stacking technique heavily influenced my vocal production style and love of harmony.

Radiohead and Death Cab For Cutie both influenced me lyrically and emotionally. I listened to both of these bands in my teens almost non-stop. I felt intense feelings of wonder, happiness, introspection, anger, existential angst and sadness when listening to their music. Both bands are incredibly good at conveying these feelings, which is something I still try and capture in my own music.”

What was the best gig you’ve played so far?

“I used to make music under the name Mirror Signal. In 2016, we went out to Montreal Jazz Festival and did an intimate show at L’Astral. That was such a cool experience going out there with my band and manager at the time.”

You’re based in Brighton – what’s your local music scene like?

“The music scene here is thriving. So many great bands and musicians and we’re all so close together, so collaborating is easy.”

Who are the THREE other new artists we should listen to right now and why?

“Fieh – young Swedish funk/soul band writing really fresh catchy yet very sophisticated pop songs. Their 2019 album is on repeat at the moment.

Max Pope – Great songwriter with a lovely voice, releasing new music this year.

Yakul – Brighton-based future soul band, such a ridiculously tight live show and incredible musicians.”

And finally, what does 2020 hold for Steven Bamidele?

“‘A Sense of Belonging’ came out on 7th February, plus I’ll have a few more shows in the year, but mostly writing and producing for others for the time being.”

Steven Bamidele will play Hidden Herd Presents at The Finsbury tomorrow (Friday 21st February) alongside Aadae, AWATE and Sans Soucis. Free tickets are available via DICE and Eventbrite.