AVDJ: noun (A-V-D-J)
1. Sampology; an artist who pairs samples of recorded music with visuals.
Sam Paggioli, better known as Sampology of Brisbane, Australia, is the AVDJ. On Sunday night at Baby's All Right on Broadway in Williamsburg, Sampology revealed a mindblowing set of visuals and beats. "I don't care how many people are out there, I'm going to spin the best set possible!" Sam shouts before kicking off a banging acoustic remake of "99 Problems" to quite a small crowd. Five minutes later, the room is packed, and he has us hooked on his brilliant combination of eargasmic beats and wild visuals.
Sam's live performances blow a typical "DJ set" out of the water. He is a true entertainer and master of creativity, breaking rules and producing sets like a cinematographer/comedian. Inspired by his own love for film, Sam creates intricately produced videos consisting of scenes ranging from Jimmy Fallon studdering over rap lyrics to what Sam dubbed the "eargasmic sequence", where the psychedelic "Pleasure Town" scene was set to massive dubstep drops as the infamous Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone rode unicorns and jumped over rainbows.
Sam has brought the basic DJ set to new heights, and he is setting the standard high for those following. He shared with us his inspirations and recent findings while perfoming at the NH7 festival in India. Sam has always been inspired by Indian films, so the NH7 was a homerun. The festival is a great way for fans to explore music from India and worldwide. It includes days of (free) streaming music, profiles and discographies of over 200 artists, editorial content updated daily, and extensive gig listings from around the world.
You recently returned from India to debut your tour. What brought you there? What was the best thing you've taken away from the trip? Did you find the records you were looking for of artists from the 80's?
I found heaps of records, yeah, I take it you saw my documentary, that's great. I've always been inspired by Indian films and the NH7 festival was the best possible way to travel to India and play my music. I really enjoy the subculture and there is a massive population there, so it was great to visit. I'll be doing a lot of collaboration with the inspirations I've found in India.
Can you define in your own words what AVDJ means? Describe the first time you thought to yourself you'd pair a set with an audio visual. What was your first inspiration?
It would be controlling audio and visual in sync, together, with no rules, no expectations, or barriers. It is a bit like cinematography, having technology sync with the music. Actually, my first time using the visual software was when I agreed to do a show without knowing how to use the software. I didn't sleep for a month leading up to it because I was desperate to learn, but it was the best way to learn.
How long does it take you to prepare your sets when you create a new visual?
It takes a couple of months on average. It comes in pieces, really. Sometimes I'll have a clip for awhile with nothing to put with it and then months later I'm like "that's it! that matches!" so it varies.
Who are your biggest musical influences and why?
The Avalanches came out with an album when I was in high school and I just never got sick of it. I think everyone has that help in high school they kept on loop and will never forget, The Avalanches' was mine. Also, I worked in a record store for 4 years, which helped me to broaden my knowledge of music so that I can incorporate multiple genres in one set.
You seem to have a very strong back bone in the electronic music world having not succombed to the mainstream, "trendy" house tracks. What do you attribute that to?
Well, when I was about 17 and back in Brisbane, I was DJ'ing a bit before the actual show, and I was just playing tracks that I personally liked rather than what I'd play later on in my set, and I was actually surprised to see such a positive response from the crowd. The loved it. I'm not sure where my strong back bone comes from, but I think it all comes down to that gut feeling of knowing what you like and what is good and following that. I've also always been the one to like what wasn't popular at the time. Like, when my friends would be into one particular album and it was super popular, I'd go and find something better that wasn't as popular. I've just always been like that.
I think it stacks up pretty well. There are a lot of influences happening from the UK, and a lot of American producers such as the Flying Lotuses out of LA who are really great and have been doing their own thing for awhile now. I also think what is going on in the industry and what is going on in the music world are two different things. The industry is comprised of the finances, etc. whereas the music world is viewed from a broader, less dissected perspective.
How do you think the U.S. stacks up compared to countries worldwide in the EDM world?
What genre would your music fall under? What is your favorite to work with?
Hmm..well, actually, on SoundCloud, a lot of the tracks are categorized under certain genres and then under the list of genres there is an option to select an emoji shrugging, I'd say that depicts my genre.
What do you think the EDM world needs more of right now?
I think the artists need to have a bit more trust in the listeners and believe that the people listening are open minded. A lot of artists might play it safe, not realizing the audience is more adventurous than they think.
If you had the chance to collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
What is your opinion of New York's music scene? Have you performed here often/what do you like/dislike? How does it compare to cities worldwide?
I really haven't spent enough time here, I've only been here about three times, but just by the layout of the city it really lends itself to venues of every genre and all music which is awesome.
What is next on your plate? Where do you hope to see yourself in a year?
I'll be doing the Beyond Bollywood tour which I'm pretty excited about. I'll be travelling a lot and then I'll be back in the States in March.