Nick Samson of La Poré resembles a ’90s rom-com lead character. The long-haired poet. The one that writes songs about having cigarettes for breakfast and being in love. His latest single “All We Have Is Us” is the soundtrack to our dream-sequence memories. This song brings all the nostalgia of the past and the excitement of the future. The artist has hopped from Columbus, OH, to Los Angeles, but his music feels everywhere. The nostalgia could come from Samson’s recent move. Moving to a new city right before a pandemic gives a person a lot to write about. And a lot of wonder. We hear it all over the song.
La Poré’s spacious synths intertwined with glossy falsettos and dreamy language create the ultimate vibes. Being the former Captain Kidd drummer, his love for the beat is ever-present. His music is a collection of cool-wave pop and alternative disco. We look forward to hearing his story through his music, as he learns about his new home, and hopefully sometime in the near future, we’ll hear him live. We got to to talk to the singer/songwriter about leaving Ohio, where he pulls inspiration from and writing “All We Have Is Us.”
What’s the transition from Ohio to California been like? Are you enjoying LA? What’s your favorite thing about it?
The transition from Ohio to California has definitely had its ups and downs. I moved out here in November 2019, and so much has been closed up since last March. I guess I had about three months of “normal” LA. Quarantine has been great for writing. I’ve written some of my best material this year, but I can’t wait for the opportunity to experience all the city has to offer. I got a little taste of it. There’s so much amazing food and art, and I’ve met some really great people. Honestly my favorite thing is the scenery. I have this big window in my apartment that looks out to the mountains surrounding the valley, and coming from Ohio, I’m still in awe of them.
How would you describe your sound and what you’re trying to portray as an artist?
It’s often challenging to answer this question, because I’m constantly experimenting and going through cycles of discovery with my sound. Of course, I have certain elements that often make their way into my music (punchy drums and bass, space-y synths and guitars, and rhythmic vocal melodies). If I had to sum it up, I try to make nostalgic and atmospheric alternative pop music. I’m not really trying to portray anything in particular. I’m just trying to make music that’s vulnerable. I also rarely know what I’m about to do when I sit down and write. I work more intuitively, not having much formal music theory education. That’s what makes the process so exciting to me. I hope, and I think, the honesty and wonder in my writing process can be felt by the listener.
Where did “All We Have Is Us” come from? Do you remember what sparked the idea for the song?
I started writing the demo in January of last year. Then in February, my main producer and collaborator Kyle Kanzigg came into town for a week before he went on tour, and we completely fleshed out the song together. Lyrically there’s a lot going on in this song. I was newly married, just moved to Los Angeles a few months prior, and knew very few people. It’s really about all these major transitions in my life. And then having no idea a global pandemic was going to hit made things even crazier in this new city. It’s definitely timely for many of us, as we are feeling uncertainty, feeling discomfort, and sort of longing for a sense of normalcy and peace through this unprecedented year.
Where do you picture people to be when they listen to this song and what are they doing?
For many of my songs, and this one in particular, I imagine someone is driving around alone late at night, sort of lost in the song and in thought. Or they’re lying on their bed or the floor with headphones on. Honestly in whatever capacity the song is listened to is fine by me, but I guess I imagine people are in a more reflective space.
How have you been taking advantage of your time in quarantine?
I’ve written an album’s worth of material and then some since quarantine began. I’ve definitely done some major TV binge watching. I got into yoga and I’m starting to get into meditation. I’ve been able to spend more time with my wife. I’ve also gotten really inspired by my living space. It’s just a simple studio apartment, but it’s become so much more since quarantine. It’s become home, rather than just a place I mindlessly work and sleep in. A friend of mine in LA told me before I moved out here that it’s important to find a space that’s a sanctuary when you live and try to make your way in this city. I think that holds true now more than ever.
What have you been listening to lately? What’s been on repeat?
I hate to admit it, but as of late I’ve gotten increasingly worse at listening to music for pure enjoyment. I have so much going on in my head in regards to my own music that I just need a break sometimes. I still have my go to songs and artists. Tame Impala’s The Slow Rush has been on repeat since last year. We’re coming off of the holidays and I legit listened to “Last Christmas” by Wham about 50 times. Every year I’m like, “damn this is such a great pop song.” My friend and collaborator on a couple of upcoming La Poré tracks, Henry Blaeser, just released an EP under his project .boy and their songs “Tree Forts” and “Bowie” give me all the feels.
Who or what are your musical inspirations? Where do you pull from?
I’m inspired by a ton of artists. At the very onset of the writing process, I’m not thinking of anyone or anything specifically in the moment. Again, I work intuitively until I reach a point where I may recognize, “OK, yeah this part reminds me of this piece or that artist,” and work from there. I’ll even discover the inspiration well after the song is near completion. Thematically I pull from my own doubts, fears, hopes, and dreams. I think listeners will definitely get a sense of where my heads been at with these upcoming tracks. Unlike real life, I’m an open book when it comes to lyrics. I pull from things that are close to me. It’s therapeutic.