Watch Sam Fender perform at The Current Day Party in Austin, Texas

Sam Fender performs at The Current Day Party at Barracuda in Austin, Texas, during the 2019 SXSW music festival. (The Current)

Sam Fender began writing music at the age of 13 while growing up in the Northeast of England. In 2013, he landed a spot under the mentorship of Ben Howard's manager and has since toured with Howard along with the likes of Hozier and Catfish and the Bottlemen.

Many of Fender's songs start slow but build to arena-rock-anthem heights. He strives for Springsteen-like straightforward and culturally relevant observations with songs like "Millennial" and "Poundshop Kardashians." His latest single, "Hypersonic Missiles," revolves around love's ability to exist despite rising international tensions. It builds up to a bursting saxophone-driven classic rock interlude that booms under Fender's nihilistic lyrics.

Fender's most message-driven single is "Dead Boys," which was released last fall alongside a striking music video months before his debut EP of the same name. "Nobody ever could explain all the dead boys in our hometown," Fender sings, a reference to the suicide epidemic in his hometown of North Shields and the friends he has lost to it. Fender cites an environment of toxic masculinity as partly to blame. The artist told NME, "There are a lot of challenges we [men] are facing; like how you are supposed to react to emotional stress. I've got no shame in it. I was told not to cry as a kid. It's that sort of backwards attitude, so when we feel bad we feel ashamed or we feel like embarrassed."

This year, Fender was named Critics' Choice Winner at the Brits, a title that in previous years has gone to artists such as Adele and Sam Smith. He is currently in the midst of his first North American solo tour.

     – Lydia Moran

Song By Song

Songs Performed


"All Is On My Side"
"The Borders"
"Dead Boys"
(unknown title)

Video Credits


Video Director: Erik Stromstad
Camera operators: Mary Mathis, Brett Baldwin
Audio: Veronica Rodriguez

External Link

Sam Fender - official site

10 Photos

  • Sam Fender performs at The Current Day Party during SXSW
    Sam Fender tunes his guitar at The Current Day Party at Barracuda in Austin, Texas, on Friday, March 15, 2019, during the SXSW music festival. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sam Fender performs at The Current Day Party during SXSW
    Sam Fender performs at The Current Day Party at Barracuda in Austin, Texas, on Friday, March 15, 2019, during the SXSW music festival. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sam Fender performs at The Current Day Party during SXSW
    Music fans take in Sam Fender's performance at The Current Day Party at Barracuda in Austin, Texas, on Friday, March 15, 2019, during the SXSW music festival. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sam Fender performs at The Current Day Party during SXSW
    Sam Fender performs at The Current Day Party at Barracuda in Austin, Texas, on Friday, March 15, 2019, during the SXSW music festival. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sam Fender performs at The Current Day Party during SXSW
    Music fans enchanted by Sam Fender's performance at The Current Day Party at Barracuda in Austin, Texas, on Friday, March 15, 2019, during the SXSW music festival. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sam Fender performs at The Current Day Party during SXSW
    Capturing Sam Fender's performance at The Current Day Party at Barracuda in Austin, Texas, on Friday, March 15, 2019, during the SXSW music festival. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sam Fender performs at The Current Day Party during SXSW
    Sam Fender performs at The Current Day Party at Barracuda in Austin, Texas, on Friday, March 15, 2019, during the SXSW music festival. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sam Fender performs at The Current Day Party during SXSW
    Music fans capture images of Sam Fender's performance at The Current Day Party at Barracuda in Austin, Texas, on Friday, March 15, 2019, during the SXSW music festival. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sam Fender performs at The Current Day Party during SXSW
    The Current's managing digital producer Brett Baldwin films Sam Fender in concert at The Current Day Party at Barracuda in Austin, Texas, on Friday, March 15, 2019, during the SXSW music festival. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sam Fender performs at The Current Day Party during SXSW
    Sam Fender performs at The Current Day Party at Barracuda in Austin, Texas, on Friday, March 15, 2019, during the SXSW music festival. (Nate Ryan | MPR)