Shrink | 5 Minutes With

Multifaceted artist Shrink aka Sam Breathwick releases a heart-felt follow up to his 2020 releases ‘Drowning’ and ‘Eraser’. Debuting today ‘Cut You Loose’ is a beautifully sincere song about intimate moments of his personal life, perfectly paired with experimental visuals by director duo Ethan and Tom.

At 22 years old, Shrink’s music already airs a captivating combination of vulnerability and wisdom, delving into personal topics such as mental health and unconditional love. With an upcoming EP on the way, Shrink seems set to make his mark on the industry with meaningful lyrics and poetic storytelling. Out on the 12th February, the debut EP is dedicated to sharing the highs and lows of his brother’s journey with depression, medication and misdiagnosis – a journey clearly personal to him, but a subject that resonates with many.

Below, Shrink shares some insight into his new EP, his songwriting process and tells us what living through a pandemic has taught him.

Hey Shrink, so what got you into music?

My first guitar teacher was a big influence on me pursuing music, I was 9 and he must’ve been 22. He left the school to play bass for Lianne La Havas (who I listened to alot at the time) and seeing that got me more motivated to play and write etc.

Who did you look up to musically while growing up?

I had a close friend at school who was an incredible keys player and drummer and was from a very musical family. Hanging out at his house introduced me to a lot of music and we started bands and producing together.

Your first two releases ‘Drowning’ and ‘Eraser’, are they both linked? What are the tracks about?

Yes they are both linked, they are written about my brother and his life experiences in the last year, I found writing about him came very naturally so I just explored that.

The new EP is coming out soon, what inspired it?

A lot of things, mostly family and my brother and his battles with mental health, which he’s always been very open about. He has been through ‘the system’ in this country and recently come through the other side, and that has impacted my life the most so far. The majority is written about that and then the rest about my own life experiences in the last year or two.

What’s your song writing process like – is it melody and then lyrics or the other way round? Where do you most get inspiration for writing songs?

I usually write the lyrics first as I find sitting with an instrument quite hard to draw inspiration from. When I have lyrics written I can reference a feeling or a story which dictates the mood of the song.

Do you prefer playing music live or recording songs?

At the moment, I would do anything to perform live – I would much prefer to play live than record. That said I’m still finding writing very fulfilling and I think if i didn’t have that right now I would be at a loose end, I’ve totally run out of shit to watch on Netflix.

Is there anyone you’re dying to collaborate with?

Yes – I’ve been listening to alot of Luke Temple and his side project Art Feynman, love his approach to production and his songwriting aswell, his Both And album is amazing and was definitely one of my favourite records of 2019.

What type of music do you enjoy listening to, what are you listening to at the moment?

I’m listening to alot of Robert Wyatt, I find his approach to songwriting really effortless, especially his lyrics. I loved the new Onipa album that was put out last year, which I think deserves a lot more recognition, I think the production was really strong. I’ve also listened to alot of Beverly Glenn-Copeland and New Musik’s album ‘Warp’

What’s one thing that you think this pandemic/lockdown has taught you about life?

It’s made me appreciate my close friends, if it wasn’t for being able to talk to them everyday I wouldn’t be doing well.

What would you say you’ve learned so far being in the music industry?

I think the main thing I’m aware of is to try not to force writing music and when an idea comes I try to finish it as often as possible.I had a really bad habit of starting stuff and never fully realising it.

Is there anything you’re doing in the future that we should be looking forward to?

My next single ‘Cut You Loose’ with a music video is out today – Very excited for the video to come out as I made it with two of my good friends Ethan and Tom and we put a lot of effort into it.

Follow Shrink on Instagram

Interview by Rojan Said with introduction by Genea Bailey

Photography by Ethan and Tom