Sam Fender: The Sensational Boy From The Borders

Ben Broyd
4 min readJul 8, 2021

Sam Fender began his career as a normal bloke, and despite the fame, he still is, which is all part of his charm. Prior to catapulting himself to one of the best young artists in the country, Fender worked in a call centre, a restaurant and a local pub where he was subsequently discovered by his manager, but his background has played a huge role in getting him to where he is now.

Music perhaps would have found Sam naturally seeing as his dad and brother are both singer-songwriters. As a result of this, Sam picked up his first guitar at the age of 10 and began to write songs at the age of 14. Fender’s early influences stem from the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Jeff Buckley, both very evident in his music to this day. Sam began his career as a musician by playing at the local pubs open mic nights set up by his brother and formed his first band when he was 15. Later that year, that band entered a Teenage Cancer Trust competition, judged by The 1975’s Matty Healy, and won.

In 2013, Sam was spotted performing in the pub where he worked by none other than Ben Howard’s manager Owain Davies, who took him on as a client. Throughout the course of 2013 Fender played a series of gigs across the country supporting a number of artists including Ben Howard and Willy Mason, until Sam’s world came crashing down around him. Sam fell sick to a potentially life-threatening illness and was forced into taking two years out for to recover.

Now there’s quite a famous saying that goes ‘with great pain comes great art’ and Sam Fender is the epitome of this saying. Whilst battling through this life-threatening illness, Sam began to see the world very differently, and redirected his newfound visions through his songwriting, totally disregarding whether anyone else would enjoy them or not. The most important thing about it all was that these lyrics were emotionally charged and pure. Sam has said that prior to this time he attempted to write more commercial songs that would be popular as he was desperate to succeed to drag himself and his mother out of their financial and living situation. This was the catalyst to Sam becoming the artist he is today.

Ben Broyd

I write about music, amongst other things. Hope you enjoy.