Award: Develop Your Skills (Transmission)

Year: 2018

Genre: Alternative

Instrument/voice type: Producer

Location: London


Sam Beste is a composer, producer and musician from London who is a core member of the band Hejira and a co-founder of Lima Limo Records. Sam cut his teeth on the road with Amy Winehouse, touring worldwide with the late singer from the age of 17 as her pianist. After completing his studies at Goldsmiths College in 2009, he founded his band Hejira with Rahel Debebe-Dessalegne and Alex Reeve. Hejira’s debut ‘Prayer Before Birth’ was co-produced by Matthew Herbert and nominated for Album Of The Year at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards 2013. This was followed by the ‘Name Surname’ EP in 2015, co-produced by Floating Points. During these years Sam was also a member of Herbert’s touring band and recorded and wrote on the composers albums ‘One Pig’ and ‘The End of Silence’.

Hejira have also developed a reputation for curating music events through their club night TRAUM. Launched by the band in 2012, TRAUM featured performances by the likes of Micachu, The Invisbile, Ghostpoet and Oliver Coates. TRAUM was the foundation which led to the formation of Lima Limo Records in 2016: an artist run label launched by Hejira together with the singer Tawiah. It was on Lima Limo Records that Hejira released ‘The Lima Limo Ceremony’ EP in 2017, a record partly conceived during an inspirational trip they made together to Ethiopia. 2017 also saw two new commisions for Hejira, one for Nick Luscombe’s Musicity project, and another for Spitalfields Festival who invited the band to arrange and perform a piece for the Schumann Street event curated by Andre de Ridder.

Lima Limo released Tawiah’s ‘Recreate’ EP in 2017 which Sam produced together with the singer during three years of close collaboration that also spawned her forthcoming debut album. In recent years Sam has also worked closely with producer Blue May, co-writing and co-producing on albums for Kano, Kindness and Clare Maguire.