Samantha Moreno Sauri - The 'Legor Enve Unicorn'


Sami Sauri has burst onto the fixed gear crit scene in a big way the past couple of seasons, progressing up the RHC standings and looks to be a force in 2018. We sat down with Sami to talk enjoying Pavarotti as a kid, preferring to socialise pre race, and never havnig seen the the Spice Girls movie.

When were you born and where did you grow up?

SAMI: I’ve been born in 1992 in a hospital, at Barcelona where I also grow up.

Born in a Hospital? Seems reasonable.

SAMI: Haha, yes I mean where all the child's are normally born.

What is your Current City?

SAMI: Actually I’m living in Berlin.

What took you to Berlin? Ive heard alot about the music scene in Berlin, but what’s it actually like?

SAMI: There's a big culture of music here in Berlin, but i didn't join any of it at the moment. Too busy focusing in racing and training.

You have to do a fair bit of travel to get from race to race, you’re no doubt influenced by the places you visit, does that extend to music? Do you pick up music from different cities and cultures when you visit?

SAMI: Yes, especially this year I did quite some travels. I like listening other types of music's always depends on the context and of the time. Sometimes I just go for races one day before race and come back the next day so I usually to stick to my music.

Does any city stick out to you as having particularly good taste, or similar tastes?

SAMI: I don't think so, they are all so different. I can't say that Copenhague is similar to Barcelona, each has a particular air, music, environment that is what attracts you.

What was the last race you did? What music did were listening to to get you through the transfers and travel?

SAMI: It was SBSB crit in Berlin. I woke up and put some Flume on, is always a great group that get me motivated to race under a rainy grey day.

It was raining? Its gotta be pretty gnarly racing fixed gears in the wet. Which Flume album?

SAMI: Oh yes, I hate races with rain, but that one was particularly special because beside the rain it had cobbles and I just came from a big crash in Barcelona.. but I made it on 1st place haha. I have a playlist with the last two albums of Flume they are both great, Skin and Flume [they] are called.

Nice work, congratulations. What music do you remember growing up around? Who was the first person to get you into music?

SAMI: I grow up with some nice Italian music like Pavarotti. Rod Stewart and Simply red were always sounding around my whole childhood. My mum has been the one who put me this old school taste on me.

Man, thats some sophisticated taste for a kid. Impressive. I distinctly remember hearing Pavarotti as a 5 year old and thinking that’s actually the worst music ever created hahaha.

SAMI: hahahaha, well that’s what my mum introduced me to as she is half italian.

Makes sense. What is the first song you remember liking?

SAMI: High from Lighthouse Family

I haven’t heard that song in like 10 years and I just popped it on and without thinking about it I still know all the words. Reminds me of Saturday morning for some reason.

SAMI: Yes, it is exactly a Saturday or Sunday song , I always remember listening to it in the car going somewhere for a nice weekend. So we can add it to the weekend oldies playlist haha

Exactly, put it in the weekend oldies, a perfect spot for it. Did you play a music instrument as a kid?

SAMI: I tried the piano and guitar but I never had the patience to learn it, I always prefer to be outdoor.

If you could go back and learn a musical instrument, which would it be and why?

SAMI: Maybe the Saxon, I try it once and it has so much power and looks so brutal when you know how to make it sound.

I’ve never heard of a Saxon. Is it this big horn? That would be pretty badass.

SAMI: The saxophone, quite a horn, yes.

Oh, got ya, got ya I know the saxophone. How have your musical tastes changed and developed over the years since you were a kid? Did you ever get into any scene’s or the like?

SAMI: Omg, I think I passed through so many different musical tastes. I've been listening old music like Frank Sinatra, then got into the influence of the TV with a lot of MTV programs and the pop moments of Britney spears, Avril Lavigne, blink 182, etc... then I had a period of reggae until I got into the good music from Johnny Cash, Ryan Bingham, Bruce Springsteen and company going to lots of concerts by then. I even, with sports, need some crazy motivation music, [so I] put some punk or hardcore to go faster.

This is an interesting mix, Sinatra and Avil Lavigne that’s unique. I need to know the specifics. Can you give me specific Sinatra, Blink, Avril, Reggae, Cash, Bingham, Springsteen tracks you were into?

SAMI: Okey, lets see: Frank Sinatra: Fly me to the moon, Blink: all the small things, Avril: my happy ending and others..

What sort of sports have you played throughout your life? Which Hardcore and punk bands would you listen to as pysch up music?

SAMI: I've been doing jazz dance, then I got crazy about surfing and skateboarding, that is when I started to listen more punk bands... I don't have in mind one in particular but that was nice times!

Were you listening to a lot of european music when you were younger or was American music dominating back then as well? Is it strange with English not being your native tongue to grow up with a lot of english language music?

SAMI: I went to an english school so I grow up a bit with native english. I have to admit that I've been a bit of an American fan in my adolescence.

What was the first album you bought with your own money?

SAMI: I think it was The Spice Girls

Which is your favourite Spice Girls track? Did you ever see the movie Spice World they did? I hated them as a band but I got into that film, especially when they jump the bus over the London bridge, classic. Watching the trailer back now the movie doesn’t appear to have aged well.

SAMI: Wannabe was the number 1, and I didn't see that movie I don’t think, I am the worst on remembering names and movies names so maybe I should check it out. And I think they didn't appear to age well either haha.

Definitely go check it out, it’s definitely an hour and a half you won’t get back, but a necessary waste of time.. What was the first gig / concert you remember going to?

SAMI: Maybe it was also The Spice Girls, or Beyoncé but something very girlish. Maybe I was 6 or 8...

What's the best gig / concert you've been to?

SAMI: At Primavera sound in Barcelona, I did the whole day there so many different concerts.

Who’s musical taste do you really admire?

SAMI: Sergi Castella, has been my roommate for many years and he is a cinema director so he always is in search of new music. I always allow his music at home with the volume on fire because of his good taste.

Who’s he put you onto that you had never heard of or didn’t expect to like?

SAMI: Yes, maybe he made me discover all type of music, good one bad one, a bit of everything but i have always the good ones in my mind.

Is there anyone you’ve been on the road with who has had just brutal taste in music and you’ve been forced to suffer through it?

SAMI: mmm... I don't remember having somebody that bad but maybe in my adolescence

I understand you’re also a barista, do you like to listen to music at work?

SAMI: Yes, I love listening good music.

Is it a different type of music to what you’d listen to out training?

SAMI: Yes, but now i work somewhere that we only listen to the music or story's of the videos that are played in the screens of the shop.

What about before a race? Do you use music to put you in the right headspace?

SAMI: Depends, normally the races has there own music so I stick to that one.

What sort of music is playing? Live bands or a Dj? Road cycling could take a lesson from this. There is zero vibe at most races usually.

SAMI: Mmm.. is more a Dj playing some nice music

What about training?

SAMI: Oh yes, It's very difficult for me to train without music when I'm going alone. Now it's been 2 months that my phone is half broken and the headphones hole don't work anymore so I try to go always with people haha

Oh yeah you gotta get that fixed asap. Do you only listen to music when you train or do you listen to podcasts, audio books etcetera? If so, which ones?

SAMI: Just music, easy to download with spotify

What is the atmosphere like on race day? Is everybody doing their own thing listening to their own stuff or is there a more communal atmosphere amongst everyone as they warm up, qualify and finally race?

SAMI: It's a very very communal atmosphere, especially me, I really like talking with people, discussing about the race is going on at the moment or about life so I'm not the one who disconnects of the world on race days.

How do you then turn it on for the race and get in the headspace to do whatever it takes to win?

SAMI: Not really with the music, is more about having fun and taking it easy.

What about post race?

SAMI: Then is party time, wine and rock and roll and the music flows from the Dj, so I let him work.

You’ve been getting some pretty amazing results for someone so new to racing do you have any music you associate with any performances you’ve had, good or bad so far?

SAMI: That's a good question I never thought about but maybe yes, since I listen groups like Flume, Kate TEmpest, Movement or mix playlist with some R&B I think I'm faster and motivated so it always helps on trainings.

Which races go with which songs?

SAMI: That’s not an easy question, what about a good mix of all together into a good playlist of racing?

Have you ever worn your ipod during a race?

SAMI: No, they normally don't allow you.

What song do you play to get things started when you’re throwing a party?

SAMI: Jungle or Kelela makes you move your ass to start the party SLowly.

Does musical taste influence how well you’re going to get along with someone?

SAMI: Yes, I think is like the smell of a person, if you don't like his smell and you can't get use to it, it dosen't work. Well with the music is the same.

Good analogy. I’m with you on that one. What’s a song that if someone played would instantly make you friends?

SAMI: There are a lot a lot of songs and types of music I like so it could depend on the moment and context.

It’s 11am on a tuesday morning, and you’re at work. What song would a random person have to put on to make you find out their name?

SAMI: I don't understand, you mean to find the name of the song or of the person?

sorry, it's a confusing question lets move on. What about inversely? A song that would instantly turn you off someone?

SAMI: Maybe some Jamie xx, many people know it but is a good one.

Wait, so if someone played Jaime xx you wouldn’t like them or you would?

SAMI: I would love it!

hahaha got it. Have you ever played a song or pretended to know a song to impress someone?

SAMI: No, haha

A song you’re embarrassed to admit you like, but listen to often?

SAMI: The lion sleeps tonight from The Tokens. I think I'm even a good singer when this song goes on haha

Haha, we all have those songs. The members of The Tokens look nothing like I expected them too. Which musician or band would you hang out with if you had the choice and what would you go and do with them?

SAMI: Chet Faker or Bon Iver, I just think they have a pretty awesome life.

What’s the best way to listen to music?

SAMI: Training or at home while working and looking up things with the computer.

If you were colonising Mars and could only take one album, what would it be?

SAMI: Bon Iver, the aliens need to be chill to let us live some more years.


Angus Morton