Sam Paganini has seen it all.
He’s familiar with stunning natural beauty, having visited Argentina’s magical Iguazú Falls, and coming from Treviso.
And he’s had plenty of urban adventures, too, from navigating packed Indian road traffic to being woken up by football fans in Buenos Aires.
What is your favourite on the road moment?
In 2017, during my Zenith World Tour, I played two shows in Japan. The first was in Osaka and second was in Tokyo.
I decided to get the bullet train and spent two-and-a-half hours looking out of the train window gazing at the beautiful landscape via Kyoto.
Just before reaching Tokyo, we passed Mount Fuji, which is truly iconic.
I first visited London on my first trip alone outside of Italy when I was 18 and the charm of the city remains the same as the first time.
There is something magical about it; I feel all the music I love in the air – it’s a strange, spiritual feeling.
If I had to choose another, I’d say Treviso, my hometown, a small but lovely city close to Venice in the Veneto area, northeast of Italy.
The Treviso Walls are about five kilometres long, running along the entire perimeter of the city, and are almost completely intact, and the Parco Naturale Regionale del Fiume Sile is a protected park spanning over 10,000 acres along the river course with forest, meadows and wildlife..
What keeps you sane on the road?
Listening to music while traveling and is relaxing and very nostalgic, ultimately keeping my feet on the ground.
My favourite albums are always with me on my phone, which currently holds more than 10.000 songs.
Current favourite albums are Fela Kuti and Afrika 70 – Zombie, Duran Duran – Future Past, and Morcheeba – Blackest Blue.
When have you been most frightened while travelling?
I’ve played in almost every country in the world, even in places like Juarez, Mexico, which is considered to be one of the most dangerous cities in the world but was actually very cool.
Travelling to India though, and driving between two cities, was seriously worrying. In India they’re not famous for driving cautiously, and the streets are very dangerous and in bad conditions.
The trip was four hours long and the driver was running like crazy between a jungle of cars; when I saw the cows next to the road I started praying.
What is the best souvenir you’ve come home with?
During a tour in Mexico, I got the chance to spend a couple of days off and my partner and I went to Chichen Itza to see the Mayan Pyramid.
After the tour on the way back to Playa Del Carmen we stopped in a small village and bought some cool Mayan stone statuettes.
What has been your most life-changing experience while travelling?
One very cool trip was to Iguazú Falls, on the Argentinian side. We went for a couple of days’ downtime at a resort right in the middle of raw nature. Curious animals would stroll up to the balcony and just stare at us.
The walk to reach the falls is long and as you get closer to them the sound of rushing water gets louder.
The sound of water is like music; there’s no noise pollution, just the power of nature. Magical.
Strangest place you’ve spent the night?
Buenos Aires, November 24th, 2018. I went to bed straight after a performance and was woken up by loud screams and cheering.
I ran out to my balcony and saw that the hotel was completely surrounded by Boca Juniors supporters as the football team were staying in the same hotel.
That day was the infamous final of the Copa Libertadores against River Plate; the derby of all derbies, the most important final in Argentina’s football history. It was like being in the middle of a stadium.
I slept 10 minutes in total that morning but the show on the balcony was unforgettable.
Sam Paganini’s latest album, Light + Shadow, is out now.
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