The people we surround ourselves with will always have an influence on the outcome of our human experience. Whether it’s our parents, friends, or coworkers – we all have those select few who change the course of our lives in one way or another. While Sampson says she would have found her way to music regardless of her late papa, she also noted, “I don’t think I would be the same person or musician without the positive influence he had on my life.”
Papa came up a couple of times as his passing influenced her debut single, “Shake The Fire.” With a meaning that transcends, it was on the table as was what’s to follow…
Kendra: What do you think your papa would have to say about “Shake The Fire?”
Sampson: I think he would be proud of it just because I’m his granddaughter, and he was extremely supportive of whatever his grandchildren did. As for his personal taste, I don’t know if synths would have been his thing so much (aha!), but I don’t think he’d ever tell me that.
Kendra: When he passed you really dove into music and writing. Has creating always been your go-to place during hard times?
Sampson: Obviously I write whenever I feel passion, whether I’m sad or happy or angry or confused or whatever. I do find in general I gravitate towards writing when I’m experiencing the darker half of my emotions, and I think you can definitely hear it in my writing. It can be depressing as hell sometimes but I think it’s important to let yourself feel sad if you’re sad.
Kendra: “Shake The Fire” touches on something I think we’ve all thought about, that idea that we aren’t really in control of life. Have you written anything else as deep in thought as that?
Sampson: A few songs on the record touch on some deeper concepts, for example, the song called “Evolution of a Sun,” but there’s also some fairly superficial topics, as well as everything in between. I’ve found with a lot of my more recent writing I’ve been touching on more “controversial” topics; I’ve been in a lot of writing sessions where people say “oh don’t say that it’s too on the edge.” But I’ve grown to think it’s really important that writers, especially, actually chase controversy and talk about the things that people feel uncomfortable talking about.
Kendra: Lightening things up a bit, listening to that song I got this haunting feeling and with Halloween right around the corner, I just wanted to know if you have a must-watch scary movie you live for? Or is horror not your thing?
Sampson: I really do want to see the new IT film, but horror films are an investment for me because everything I do will take five extra minutes for the next two weeks. I’ll be washing my face and I’ll have to have a one on one convo with myself to convince myself that when I lift my head up there won’t be a murderer in the mirror. Scary movies freak me out – I’m easily spooked.
Sampson: Yes it will! There are 11 more songs following this one – the album is called Dark Sky Nights.
Kendra: Other than possibly watching a scary movie and promoting “Shake The Fire,” what else is on your plate in the coming months?
Sampson: I’m taking some online courses for my degree right now so that keeps me pretty occupied for the time being.
Kendra: Let’s do this one for your papa. If you had to make a mixtape that best honored his memory, what five songs would have to be on it?