By Candice Anne Marshall
IMB – Hello Samantha! Congratulations on becoming the Act Of The Month with Indie Music Bus! Where were you when you first heard about this and what was your reaction?
Hi, Candice! Someone from your team informed me on Twitter 🙂 I’m flattered. Thanks a lot for choosing me!
IMB – I am in love with the ethereal song ‘Spaceship’ that was released in September 2019. I have read in your bio that you often write lyrics that relate to your travel experiences and ‘touches upon consciousness, morality, and the human condition.’ Can you go a little more in the the travel aspect of your songwriting?
Thank you. I travel a lot as it gives me inspiration for my music. Traveling has shown me that there are many beautiful ways one can live in this world and that there’s no one recipe for happiness. It has also exposed me to other more painful sides of life and of humanity. I feel very lucky to travel like I do. Pushing myself outside my comfort zone has led me to unexpected and beautiful places and has been a constant inspiration to me through the years.
IMB – As for you writing lyrics that ‘touch upon consciousness, morality, and the human condition’, can you go more into detail on what that means to you in relation to how your fans interpret your music?
I’m not sure how my fans interpret my music. I don’t write a whole lot about love or heartbreak but try to express some of the more complex sides of humanity. My music can be quite introspective, and very often sad, but also hopeful.
IMB – I also read in your bio that you have studied at some pretty established music schools. Which ones left the biggest impression on you and why?
I think most of what I learned in music school I could have learned online or simply by practising playing with other musicians. Some of the best musicians don’t know a thing about music theory. I think one of the best things about music school for me was the contacts I made. Other than that, theory is theory – while some people may find it helps them creatively, for me it has always been better to forget it altogether when writing. If I could go back in time, I would have saved my money, traveled, and practised more playing with other musicians.
IMB – How did you get the gig directing the choir and singing in Devin Townsend’s ‘Empath’ band for his 2019 Europea tour?
Devin and I had been following each other on social media for several years, mostly corresponding through “likes” or emojis. Then a friend exposed me to the album, “Casualties of Cool” which blew me away. I reached out and told him how impressed I was and that I’d love to collaborate. (Really glad I did…)
IMB – Tell us more about your blog #TheTravellingSam. How are you able to travel and still balance that with your creative life?
Being a musician is such a hustle and I’ve often had to do side jobs to pay my bills. My goal has always been to dedicate my full attention to music but it hasn’t been easy. I recently started using Patreon, a patron subscription site which allows fans to subscribe to me on a monthly basis at an amount of their choosing to support ongoing music projects. It has been a huge help. You can become a patron via: https://www.patreon.com/samanthapreis
IMB – Now that we have gone into a little on your current life, let’s talk about your background and the family support for your music. Tell us about where you are from and what kind of support you received from friends and family over the years.
When it comes to family, I always say I won the lotto. My parents and extended family are some of the most wonderful, kind, and supportive people. I don’t know if I would be where I am today if not for their positive encouragement over the years.
IMB – When did you first begin to write/record/play music?
I started writing music as soon as my parents brought home an upright piano when I was 8 years old. I started performing and recording at about 14. Many of the songs from my album, “Good News” were written when I was a teenager.
IMB – Who are your music influences?
Too many to list! But to name a few: Michael Hedges, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Burt Bacharach, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Steely Dan, Jethro Tull, Bill Evans, Thomas Newman, George Winston, Django Reinhardt, The Gershwin Brothers, Frank Sinatra, James Taylor…. I could go on forever.
IMB – If you could work with any music producer in the world who would that be and why?
Someone who “gets” me…. I don’t care what their name is.
IMB – If you could work with any Musician in the world who would that be and why?
Tough question. Maybe Paul McCartney or Stevie Wonder because they are monster songwriters and mind-blowingly creative. I’m also completely blown away by Lisa Fischer as a vocalist and her ability to channel so much beauty into her live performances.
IMB – What has been you greatest live performance experience to date?
My favorite live performances are the more intimate stripped back performances where the room is still and people feel connected. Intimate spaces allow me to channel my creative energy and be intensely present.
IMB – What is the age range of your fans for your music?
I think people of all ages are listening but I have noticed a lot of attention from fans in their 50s and 60s who grew up during the sort of songwriting era of the 1960s and 1970s listening to artists like Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, etc. While I don’t think there is one age range for my listeners, I find they generally tend to be those who are more appreciative of the stripped-back songwriting style, rather than super polished, poppy, or produced music.
IMB – What are your thoughts on the indie music that is being created today? Do you have any mentors?
I find Devin Townsend to be incredibly inspiring because he does what he wants creatively in an original and uncompromising way. I find his creativity similar to artists like David Bowie and Joni Mitchell in that he makes art that he intensely believes in rather than art to please the masses. (Although, luckily for him, it often does 🙂 )
IMB – How do you stay fit when on the road? Sometimes young women look to artists for inspiration and I was curious about your regimen.
There is a lot of pressure to look a certain way in this industry, especially for women. I think it’s really toxic. I walk and hike a lot and sometimes do light yoga. I do squats while brushing my teeth 😉 But, ultimately, your real fans won’t love you for your looks, rather because your music makes them feel something.
IMB – Tell us of a song you wrote that is near and dear to your heart and why.
I wrote “My Cold Hands” when I was 16. I had a really difficult time as a teenager and couldn’t see how I would ever fit into the 9-5 rat race that I’d seen growing up. I didn’t really have any creative mentors to show me that life could be more than that and I felt somewhat hopeless. I just had this dream to play music.
*Listen to “My Cold Hands”
IMB – So I see that you have your own record label! I also saw that you have a space on your website where fans can become a VIP club member. What does this entitle them to?
Right! House of Sam Records is a label and VIP club created through Patreon:
To become a VIP, you subscribe at the amount of support of your choosing and this unlocks exclusive access to all kinds of amazing rewards like VIP tickets to concerts, stripped-down demos, early releases, and even cool things like handwritten postcards, merch, etc.
IMB – What is your favorite social media platform to connect with your fans and why?
Twitter! I love the community element of Twitter. Unlike Instagram, Snapchat, etc which thrive on the instant gratification of scrolling/swiping, etc, Twitter seems like a more genuine platform for engaging with others and having ongoing conversations.
IMB – I had a chance to look at some of the merch on your website and I was impressed to see that you have some cool bells and whistles like handwritten postcards, set lists from shows, a personalized doodle, private performances, and private songwriting sessions. Very cool! How did you come up with this idea?
I’ve always been artsy so I like offering creative, unique stuff to fans. It seems like a lot of other musicians are taking this approach these days as well!
IMB – Who are some established musicians that you have worked with in the industry so far?
Some of my favorite people I have worked with so far are Devin Townsend and T.O.N.E-z 🙂 Incredibly down-to-earth, motivated creatives with no limits.
IMB – Which music platforms can fans access or purchase your music?
My music is available for purchase via:
IMB – Tell us about your ‘House Concerts’ on your website – how can one have a house concert with you?
Just send me an email and we’ll chat!!! firstname.lastname@example.org
House concerts are amazing ways to connect with listeners in intimate spaces.
More info on my house concerts: https://www.samanthapreismusic.com/houseconcerts
IMB – What are some of the best compliments that people have given you over the years with regards to your music?
Hard to say but it has been really meaningful when a listener tells you that your music has helped them when they were struggling.
IMB – If you had any advice to give to new and young artists wanting to ‘make it’ in the music industry, what would that be?
Just keep going. You have to believe in yourself and not give up even when you feel hopeless.
IMB – Tell us three unique things about yourself that no one knows anything about.
- When I was little, I wanted to be a boy.
- I can’t roll my “R’s”.
- A llama once spit in my mouth.
IMB – Thank you for the interview Samantha! Last question – which social media platforms can fans find you on?