Sam Hardy first picked up the guitar at the age of 14 and began to teach himself after seeing Jimi Hendrix Live at Woodstock on T.V. His mother had an eclectic music collection ranging from rock, metal, blues, jazz and flamenco. Sam favoured the rock and metal music more as a teenager and began to learn songs by Black Sabbath, Guns n Roses, Deep Purple, Led Zepplin and Yngwie Malmsteen. At the age of 18 he started his own modern day heavy metal band called ‘Darken The Sun’, taking influences from Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, Funeral For A Friend, Mendeed, Mors Principium Est and Trivium. After playing gigs for 3 years, recording 2 ep’s, 1 album and line up changes to band members, the band split up when Sam was 21.
He still holds those memories of that era close to his heart. After the band split up Sam decided to give music a break and pursue various career paths and new challenges ranging from starting his own driving school business, working as a doorman, stand up comedy, body building and trying his hand at Mixed Martial Arts. He gave up MMA because of constant injuries and moved to Reading to start a new job. Two weeks after moving to Reading, at the age of 28, he saw a guy on You Tube who changed his life, Estas Tonne. Sam was entranced by his playing and ordered his first nylon string guitar that day. He practised for 5-8 hours a day and after 3 weeks went to play open mic gigs in pubs around Reading, UK.
He received plenty adulation and he immediately knew that this was the style that he had been searching for. He found out that the Spanish and Flamenco styles had similarities to the scales, chord progressions and techniques used in heavy metal and found it easy to transfer that knowledge to his new found style of playing. After busking on the streets and playing gigs in pubs he was approached by local radio presenters, talent scouts, musicians of all styles, photographers, journalists and restaurant managers to play in their establishments. Some notable prestige venues where Sam has played have been at Silverstone Racecourse and the Mandarin Oriental, London.
He also began to pick up guitar lessons, private hire for functions and he received sponsorship from Dawsons Music Shop in Reading. This all happened less than 7 weeks of picking up the Spanish guitar. His hard work and dedication paid off and it has been a real life success story for him so far. Sam got his big break when BBC Radio host, Gaby Roslin saw him busking on the streets of London and invited him to come and play live on her show on the 16th March 2014. This was a monumental point in his career because he had grown up watching her on TV and he is so grateful to Gaby for giving him such a massive opportunity to play on her show. Sam then moved to Jerez, Spain for almost 6 months to study flamenco from the masters. Sam has also recorded two solo albums and his most recent release ‘Desteñido’ was written whilst studying flamenco in Jerez, Andalucia. The album is rich in Spanish flavour and Sam says he will continue with his playing until he makes it to the top and would like to thank everyone who has helped him on his fantastic journey so far.