Sam Watanuki

Sam Watanuki

 Denver, Colorado, USA



Before Denver-based musician Sam Watanuki could tie his shoes, he was singing. He and his Grandma, Nancy, spent countless hours singing together on her porch swing. From time to time, Nancy would sit Sam in front of a tape recorder at the kitchen table where he would sing whatever songs he knew, from the ABC’s to Christmas carols. This was Sam’s first stepping stone on the path that led to his life today.

Growing up, Sam’s vocal talents were showcased through a variety of solos in his school and church musicals. He began playing bass guitar in seventh grade, but eventually made the transition to his primary instrument when he received an acoustic guitar in his sophomore year of high school. Sam was involved with a few different bands during high school, none of which ever really worked out.

As is the case with many disillusioned students, Sam spent the early part of his college career never really knowing who he was, both as an artist and as a person. After his first semester at Pacific University in Oregon, he decided to chase his dream of being part of a legitimate band. He moved to Tampa, Florida for six months to join Torley, a band composed of himself and a drummer he had known since middle school. While the musical chemistry was great, the individual personalities were unable to coexist. Sam made the decision to return to school in Oregon and make music on his own terms as a solo artist.

It was about this time that Sam began to build his own makeshift recording studio with whatever room his apartment (and budget) would allow for. He spent countless hours recording and engineering his own material as well as producing tracks performed by local Portland musicians. Sam was fortunate enough to have a solid backing of supporters on his college campus, which generated enough buzz to have good crowd showings at his performances. In 2009, Sam graduated from school moved back to Denver, but something still didn’t seem right. He still felt like that college student who had no idea who he was or what he wanted.

Fast-forward to June 2011. The winds of change have brought many blessings to Sam’s life. The self-realization has finally made itself known and now Sam is ready to once again put music on his list of priorities. Sam is slowly gaining ground as he readies himself to break into the Denver music scene. He has four music projects currently in the works and is already working with other established Denver artists including Aaron Blaze, Teco Shaw, Wildseed, and ASiEL.

“I kind of lost myself when I moved away from Denver, but I think I’ve always know that this is who I am, both as artist and an individual. I honestly only have one person to thank for bringing me back around and kind of reintroducing me to what it is that’s always been important to me. I hope that I am able to someday pay it back. It sounds cliché, but the sky’s the limit at this point. I am very excited to be a part of the Denver music scene and I can’t wait to see what happens from here!” – Sam Watanuki