Press Release

“There was times where me mam was like, literally: it’s the rent or the groceries.” Superstar, Sam Fender, opens up to The Big Issue

Musician and working-class hero, Sam Fender, opened up to The Big Issue.

Sam Fender at Newcastle West End Foodbank.

Sam Fender at Newcastle West End Foodbank. Credit: Exposure Photo Agency

Today (Monday, 31st January), musician and working-class hero, Sam Fender, opened up to The Big Issue.

Sam Fender has been a supporter of The Big Issue and its mission for a while, previously supporting the organisation last year as the country went back into Covid-19 restrictions. In the singer’s latest interview for The Big Issue he opened up about his life, politics and views on class.

It was actually a former Big Issue vendor and current employee of North East Homeless, Earl Charlton, who inspired Sam to harness his platform for good. The pair remain good friends: “I see Earl like nearly every other day when I’m down there [at the music studio]. We’ll always sit and have a cup of tea and a chat. He’s very empathetic when I’m on a bad day. Earl’s always a man with a plan, from putting on poetry nights to taking up boxing – all of it in aid of charity. He is just a diamond. He’s a true hero and a man of the people.”

He continued: “I think I need to do some more stuff to do with this [taking action on poverty]. Because the Tories aren’t doing it. We’ve got the worst government I’ve ever seen, in my lifetime. My dad reckons it’s one of the worst he’s ever seen. And he’s sixty-f**king-six.”

Although the singer has found fame now, his life has been far from easy: “When I was a kid, and me mam fell on hard times, I saw how little help there is when you get to that place. There was times where she was like, literally: it’s the rent or the groceries. I seen what that did to my mother’s self-esteem. And her mental health. It was the shame of it. She used to always say, ‘I feel embarrassed’. And so that struggle’s always been close to me.”

Although he is a self-proclaimed left-winger, Sam expressed concerns that many left-wing publications have forgotten the important role class still plays in society: “I don’t think a lot of the left-wing, liberal papers talk about class as much as they probably should. Or they forget that class is threaded through all of these discussions.”

He continued: “I loved f**king Corbyn, quite frankly. I mean, he f**ked up a lot of things. But I think his heart was in the right place and that’s something that we’ve not seen for a long time. I just think he was done a massive disservice by the British press. And I think a lot of people who he would have potentially helped, were groomed to hate him. The Tory party knew exactly what they were doing when it comes to turning him into a f**king enemy.”

Despite his strong views, Sam does not think a political career is for him: “I couldn’t. They would f**king destroy me. I’m not clean enough. That’s the issue. All they’d have to do is just catch us one night on a bender, and then that would be me. I’m not a politician. I’m a f**king artist. I couldn’t do it. They’d run rings around us.”

He explained: “Music was therapy to me before I did therapy. It was only form of catharsis that I’ve ever had. And if I can provide some level of catharsis for somebody else who’s listening, then that’s what I’ve achieved.”

He concluded: “F**k politics, man. Community’s the way forward.”

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