The son of a guitarist, Sam started playing guitar when he was about 10, began busking when he was 13 and started writing songs about the age of 14. Shortly afterwards he was spotted in a pub by Owain Davies, Ben Howard's manager, who then got him to support for Willy Mason.
The following year he appeared in the first episode of the British drama series Vera as Luke Armstrong, as well as playing the character of Dean in season one, episode six of Wolfblood in 2012.
In June 2018 he signed to Polydor Records. Known for his guitar-led melodies coupled with observational and socially engaged lyrics, he has has since been described by The NME as "the Geordie Springsteen".