Name: Diagrams (Sam)

About me: ASPIRING OPTIMIST

Listening to: Paul Simon’s Graceland. I got this out again recently when I was making a mixtape for my mum’s birthday party and it reminded me how much I love it. It used to get played in our house a lot when I was a kid and I think it’s one of the best albums out there. It’s got an immediacy and joyfulness that is totally pop and yet it’s also musically interesting and lyrically brilliant. When it first came out its fusion of African and Western was something I hadn't really heard before - certainly not aligned with such strong songwriting, and yet although loads of people have done similar things since then this still feels fresh and vital. Top track: ‘You Can Call Me Al’.

Reading: Actually I’m in the middle of a great book by Roger Deakin called ‘Wildwood’. It’s a paean to nature, trees, woodland and the medium of wood itself and makes you want to live in a shed in the forest. I think David Mitchell is an amazing writer. I especially liked ‘Cloud Atlas and his ‘Black Swan Green’ reminded me so much of my childhood that I found it brilliant but slightly uncomfortable. Then for sheer pleasure you can’t beat Philip Pullman and also Iain M Bank’s sci fi books, which are thrillers, space operas and observations of the human condition all rolled into one.

Watching: ‘All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace’. I only caught a couple of the episodes of this series about our relationship with computers but I really recommend it and am hoping they’ll be showing it again. I really enjoy Brian Cox’s stuff and any good science programs which I watch on I player when I get a night off.

Playing: Swedish kubb. It’s basically throwing sticks around and my girlfriend and I like to play it as often as possible!

Eating: We’re addicts of a place called ‘Pepper Tree’ in Clapham. Great cheap Thai food and a good atmosphere.

Anything else?: Last year I did a ten day silent Vipassana meditation retreat in Herefordshire and although fairly tough I’d really recommend it to anyone interested as a unique experience and a bit of an insight into who you are when the world goes away for a while. It’s free too.

Promo Info: Diagrams’ first live show will be at End of the Road festival in Dorset on the 3rd of September. Diagrams website and blog www.diagramsmusic.com