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Interview: Sam Palladio talks Black Deer Festival and his new Netflix movie with Vanessa Hudgens

Nashville star Sam Palladio had a chat with us when the first-ever Black Deer Festival was announced.

He was one of the artists that took to the main stage over the course of the weekend and he surprised us by bringing girlfriend Cassadee Pope on stage for two songs. With an album in the works and a Christmas movie coming up for Netflix, he’s filling his plate following the end of Nashville.

I caught up with Sam following his performance at Black Deer to talk about his set, find out more about his Netflix movie The Princess Switch, and to discuss the status of his album.

Your set was fantastic today! How was your first Black Deer Festival experience?

It was fantastic! Great crowd. It’s a lovely setting. We’ve got rolling hills and country music, you can’t do much better than that really.

It’s been a cracking weekend for the weather hasn’t it?

The weather has been insane… insanely good! You never know with British festivals. It was a really nice warm welcome actually.

At the end of July you’re performing at Nashville Meets London. What can we expect from that set? Is it going to be a full band set, acoustic or a bit of both?

That’ll be another band set. I’ve been living in Nashville for so long and doing a lot of work out there, live stuff and a lot of acoustic stuff, so it’s fun to actually bring a full band here to the UK and make some noise. It’s fun to do it on British soil for a change. Any chance I can get get to do a full band (show) I try. There’s a few full band things this summer.

It was great to see you performing with Cassadee Pope and Sarah Zimmerman from Striking Matches today. You’ve known Striking Matches for a while now through Nashville. Did it take much persuading to get Sarah to play guitar in your band today?

(laughs) It didn’t, which was brilliant! I was trying to put a great band together and she was top of my list. I wondered if I could get Sarah because she’s such an incredible guitar player… such talent, such delicacy, such soul… and I didn’t know what their schedule but I knew they were going to be here on the Friday. She very kindly offered to step up and provide her amazing services. (laughs).

Sam Palladio
Credit: CMT

You’ve got a show with Striking Matches in London tomorrow don’t you?

Yeah. That’s a little bit more stripped down. We’ve got the same band that was on stage tonight minus Sarah because you don’t want to spoil the headliner. It’ll be a nice stripped-down vibe.

You recently announced that you’ve filmed the Christmas Netflix movie The Princess Switch. I feel like this going to be an obsession for people…

I hope so!

What can you tell me about the film?

It’s myself and Vanessa Hudgens as the Prince and the Princess. She’s amazing. A great girl and super talented. I can’t really give you too many details about it. Netflix have been putting out these great films every Christmas and they realise that there’s a huge fanbase. We all love to sit down and watch movies at Christmas, why not watch a brand new original Netflix Christmas movie? The Christmas Prince, which was last year’s movie, was a massive smash for them and then they’ve realised that there’s a great audience there. I’ve been fortunate to come back from Romania, working with Vanessa and a great director with a great cast. I think it’s going to be a really fun time at Christmas.

Vanessa is a singer as well. Is there any chance you might do something to together in the future?

She is! I’d love to somewhere down the line. We’ve become good buddies and she’s a fantastic singer so fingers crossed.

When you were introduced on stage today, it was mentioned you had an album coming. I know when we talked a few months ago you weren’t too sure when it would land. Do you have any more details on that?

Unfortunately not. I’ve just been cooking some good songs and I’ve been in the studio a lot in Nashville. I’m going back in in August. I’m putting all this work I’ve done over the last few years down in the studio and on to a record. I’m looking forward to it. I would hope by the end of the year we’d have a release of some kind, probably a single or two. Then I would think maybe the record at the beginning of next year.

I’m looking forward to it!

Thanks man, me too!

You’ve been at Black Deer Festival all weekend. Who have you enjoyed seeing perform?

My favourites have been The Wandering Hearts. I love those guys. A.J. Dean who is the beautiful tenor in the band is one of my best mates. Striking Matches were killer on Friday. I really enjoyed Jarrod Dickenson. Ward Thomas are always lovely, a great band, great girls and really good songs. Jason Isbell who is playing behind us now, I wish I could watch him because he’s one of my favourites (laughs)! I’m really looking forward to Passenger. I’m a big fan of his and we’ve done a few festivals together.

Sam Palladio will perform at SummerTyne Americana Festival 2018, taking place from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd July, and Nashville Meets London, taking place from 28th to 29th July 2018.

Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip is the Editor of Entertainment Focus and the Managing Director of agency Piñata Media.

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