‘Congee is life’ reads Sam Tsang’s artist bio. Tsang aka Congee is the North-London star lighting up our radar. His stage name, which Congee tells us over email, comes from a comforting type of Chinese porridge. Whether it’s his moniker or unflinching lyrics, Congee delicately intertwines culture and emotion into funky, thoughtful music.
Alongside his distinct solo work, the rising artist has teamed up with big names Ed Sheeran, Griff, Maisie Peters, and Sigrid. But, now, Congee is gearing up to kick-start his own career. Following the release of Congee’s innovative Kwong EP, we caught up with the producer to find out who inspires his sound, what he has planned next, and how his heritage has shaped his art.
Hey! I’m all good thanks! I wanted a name that’d been there from the beginning. Congee is a rice porridge dish. I remember growing up on this stuff. Whenever I was ill or a bit down my mum would make it for me. It’s my comfort food. Also the word ‘congee’ is a very satisfying word to me.
It’s like I’ve been holding my breath for too long and I’ve finally let it out. I’m so glad it’s finally here in the world.
I wanted to write songs about my upbringing, growing up in a Chinese household and everything surrounding that. I grew in an area where there weren’t many Asian families. I just wanted to fit in and not stand out so I pushed all of my culture and identity to one side. Now the older I get the more I want to explore these things.
I have a pretty messed up finger. A piano lid crushed it when I was 2
It changes a lot but, currently, my favourite song is ‘Forever’. I love the energy of that song. I also love the music video animation my friend Calum Heath did for it.
This was the first time writing music for myself. I found myself naturally wanting to write about my experiences and life. It really helped me process some stuff.
Working with other artists, I always want to make sure they feel comfortable and open to sharing their thoughts and ideas. When working alone on Kwong, I found that I wouldn’t be as kind and open to myself. I would often shut ideas down and beat myself up. I’m trying now to treat myself like I would treat an artist I would collaborate with.
I’ve loved listening to Saya Grey recently. She writes and produces her own music. The world she’s creating is so exciting.
‘White Ferrari’ – Frank Ocean It’s a beautiful song: “Primal and naked / You dream of walls that hold us imprisoned It’s just a skull, least that’s what they call it And we’re free to roam”
More songs are currently in the works!
Press play on Congee’s Kwong below now…