Artists / Bands, Interviews, Pop — June 26, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Interview: The Sam Willows reveal their secrets


Singaporean chart toppers The Sam Willows let us in on some of their deepest secrets – Who can talk to the animals? Who has the worst habits? Which was each of their favourite shows, and who has just put their foot in it and signed themselves up for a 10 minute dance solo  on stage at their next show? Read on for all the dirt.



The Sam Willows are one busy band. Between their touring schedule which recently saw them performing at the SEA Games in front of more than 20,000 people, promoting their new single ‘Take Heart’ (which is currently at #6 on Music Weekly Asia’s Top 30 Singapore chart and available on iTunes and all digital music stores), preparing for another performance at the Singapore F1 Grand Prix and the seemingly endless sequence of photography sessions, premières and of course press interviews, we really don’t know how they have enough hours in the day to get everything done.


But deep down, who really are Narelle Kheng, Benjamin Kheng, Sandra Riley Tang and Jonathan Chua? We steal a few moments from their busy schedule to chat to guys behind The Sam Willows and find out what really makes them tick, pestering them to reveal some of their more unusual secrets.


What is the strangest thing you’ve eaten whilst on tour?
Jon: Really spicy noodles in Seoul. But I love it
Ben: Reindeer meat in Sweden
Sandra: Reindeer meat in Sweden. And it was SO GOOD, sorry Santa.
Narelle: Yeah probably the weird rice-y noodles in Korea. I’m not adventurous at all haha I always pick the thing that’s most familiar.

What is one thing that you can’t live without?
Jon: Sushi. Definitely sushi
Ben: Soya sauce.
Sandra: Hugs
Narelle: Friends

Tell us the worst advice you’ve ever gotten?
Jon: ‘Don’t do music. No future’
Ben: “Those tights look great on you”
Sandra: “Cut bangs. You’ll look good in bangs.”
Narelle: “I know that’s how you feel but you shouldn’t say it”

Where is your favourite place on earth?
Jon: Los Angeles.
Ben: The balcony at my place, greatest thinking spot ever.
Sandra: Beside my loved one.
Narelle: My room haha

Tell us the best gift you’ve given/received?
Jon: The gift of life from my parents
Ben: An “Asia’s Got Talent” buzzer, that I can hit anywhere, anytime.
Sandra: A hug when you need it the most but didn’t ask for one
Narelle: Just good advice from people who care.

What’s your greatest talent outside of music?
Jon: Eating. I’m so good at that
Ben: I can do a belly and eyebrow wave. My life’s greatest achievement
Sandra: I can talk to cats.
Narelle: I can do nothing but watch shows and sleep for days. I think it’s pretty impressive.

Dogs or cats?
Jon: Dogs. For sure. Especially Corgis.
Ben: Dogs. For sure. Especially Corgis.
Narelle: DOGS!

Vine or Snapchat?
Jon: Snapchat
Ben: Myspace
Sandra: Snapchat
Narelle: Snapchat I guess. I’m not funny enough for vine

What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done while performing?
Jon: I nearly killed a couple of record label executives cause I swung my guitar at a light during a guitar solo. Yes, I am embarrassed and sorry about it
Ben: I did a musical once, and had an averse reaction to beer in the middle of a song (the beer was a prank by one of the stage managers). I nearly died. It was awesome.
Sandra: I continued singing even after the song had ended but only because I thought there was one more chorus. I was wrong. So i ended up singing acapella for awhile before the band came in to save me.
Narelle: Just me I guess. haha I’ve said and given a lot of wrong information on stage.

What is your worst habit?
Jon: Wearing shoes without socks
Ben: Biting my fingernails
Sandra: Procrastinating
Narelle: Snoozing

You’re hungover and can have anything in the world delivered to you. What is it?
Jon: Ba Ku Teh. Without a doubt.
Ben: A unicorn (drunken answer)
Sandra: An assortment platter of cereal and milk.
Narelle: McDONALDS!

What is your favourite band at the moment?
Jon: Zac Brown Band
Ben: Undiscovered Soul
Sandra: Banks, Chet Faker and a little bit of Big Bang.
Narelle: I’ve been listening more solo artiste’s lately like Jhene Aiko or Kendrick Lamar lately. But all time favourite band is Coldplay fo sho.

Who is the best dancer in the group?
Jon: Me.
Ben: Me.
Sandra: I would pay money to watch Jon dance.
Narelle: Yeah Jon, the next show he’s going to have a 10 min solo dance performance.

Which was your favourite gig ever?
Jon: Opening for The Script at the Singapore Indoor Stadium
Ben: Ignite Music Festival 2014
Sandra: Ignite 2014. CRAZY AWESOME SHOW.
Narelle: Ignite 2014. It’s a small festival with a lot of local acts in Singapore. It was just fun being with everyone backstage and sharing the stage with close friends.