US rock band X Ambassadors raring to go at ‘Rocking The Daisies’

X Ambassadors. Picture: Instagram

X Ambassadors. Picture: Instagram

Published Oct 7, 2022


Sam Harris, who’s the lead vocalist for American pop rock band X Ambassadors, is raring to go at this weekend’s “Rocking The Daisies”.

Despite a lingering cold on the eve of the festival, he says some good sleep has him feeling a lot better and ready to put on a show alongside his band mates Casey Harris and Adam Levin.

“We’re gonna just bring our usual sh** man, our best sells, our highest energy show possible,” he said.

“I think that’ll be pretty easy for us because we’re so excited to be playing the festival here in South Africa, and also, I hear that the crowds here are pretty lit, so it’s gonna be pretty great.”

X Ambassadors have been hugely prolific since releasing their single “Jungle” in 2014. They followed that single up with several remixes before going on a scorching run that’s seen them release several singles every year since and three quality studio albums.

Harris credits their self-sufficiency for this productivity.

“I think that we got very good at recording while we were on tour,” he says. “We were always very self-sufficient — we produce and co-produce a lot of our own stuff.

“And I got used to writing on my own, so I don’t necessarily need to always be in a room with a bunch of other songwriters. We got used to making stuff on our own, and it became really fun.”

A lot of their early music was made in their van as they travelled across the US. One of the stand out songs they’ve released along the way is the 2015 hit single “Renegade” off their debut album, “VHS”.

“The title came from our producer who we were working with at the time, Alex Da Kid. He had an idea to write a song called Renegade or Renegades. And then I played around with a couple different versions of it, and this one felt kind of nice.

“The way I contextualised it for myself and my band is we’ve always felt like outsiders, just the way that we operate — making the type of music that we make and being the people that we are.”

Now sitting on over a billion streams, “Renegades” went on to become a massive global hit.

Harris didn’t expect this. “It was one of those things that surprised me. I really didn’t think much of the song. Honestly, I was like, ‘It’s cool, it’s not bad’, not my favourite thing that I’ve done. But that’s kinda how everyone feels about their big hits, I think.”

Watch video here.

In 2017, two years on from the mega success of “Renegades”, the band was enlisted to form part of the soundtrack album for the urban fantasy action film, “Bright”, with the song “Home” featuring Machine Gun Kelly and Bebe.

“Home” is one of the few songs that Harris actually didn’t write himself, he explains.

“It was sent to me, and the song was already written. I heard Machine Gun Kelly’s verse on it, and I knew that Bebe would be a part of it as well. I just honestly love the project. It was so cool. I’ve always been a big Will Smith fan, and I’ve always also been a fan of David Ayer, who directed the movie.”

“And I like the song. It was simple, and it felt like something that I could contextualise for myself, and that’s a big thing. If I’m singing something that someone else wrote, it then has to speak to me, and it spoke to me.”

Harris says he and his band will be spending a free day in Joburg on Monday before they head off to Durban for a safari trip the following day. They then plan on ending their trip by spending three or four more days back in Cape Town.

“I just wanna eat a lot of food,” he says. “I also want to try and hike a little bit and go to the ocean and see as much as possible.”

As far as what’s to come in the near future, Harris says there are some cool collaborations they have in the mix and a new album that’s complete and ready to be released.

“The future feels bright for us right now man. There’s a lot of good stuff coming next year.”

Now watch: