Indie-folk singer/songwriter Samantha Savage Smith is a rising star in the Calgary music scene. She spent a few years living in Vancouver, making a name for herself in the West Coast indie music scene, before coming back to Calgary in 2009. In September 2011, Smith released her first studio album, Tough Cookie. Youthink recently caught up with Smith to talk about the trials and tribulations of the music biz.
YT: You have been
compared to other successful Canadian musicians such as Feist, how does that feel?
SS: It’s really nice. Sometimes it’s a comparison I may or may not agree with, but it’s not like I’m offended by it.
YT: Having lived in both cities, did you notice any differences between the indie music scene in Calgary and Vancouver?
SS: Yeah, there’s definitely a big difference… different cities have different sounds that go along with them. It’s a lot smaller here, and a little incestuous in some ways because everyone plays in each other’s bands and they’re really supportive and awesome.
YT: What is your favourite memory from any previous performances you’ve done?
SS: Folk Fest was actually pretty cool. I did a workshop with Ohbijou, Timber Timbre and Laura Marling, and that was pretty crazy to share the stage with these awesome acts. I had just finished recording the album, so it was very new to me to be out in the open again. I once did a tweener set on the main stage and there were 10,000 people there that day and it was like, “What?! What am I about to run into?” People were telling me that other people were running off the stage because they were so scared. But it ended up being awesome – the bigger the crowd, the less scary it is for some reason. Small crowds are scary.
YT: Describe to me the moment you realized that you were going to make it in the music scene.
SS: I definitely haven’t had that moment yet. I don’t know what it would be like… it’s hard to be objective like that when it comes to your own music. There are a lot of successes that I can be proud of for sure. You can be a little self-deprecating and focus on the negative, but I think my goal is to not play games with it. The day I can get by with playing music would be one of the best days in the world. I’m jealous of those who can.
YT: If you could do a duet with any artist, who would it be and why?
SS: I’m going to go with the ever-so-beautiful Ryan Gosling. He’s got a rad voice; it’s so haunting – a really creepy, old-school voice. That would be ideal.
YT: What’s the biggest life lesson you’ve learned since breaking into the music scene?
SS: Nothing happens until it happens; don’t get your hopes up. There can be a lot of disappointments, but a lot of awesome stuff happens... just take it with a grain of salt.
YT: What advice would you give to aspiring young musicians?
SS: I think I’m still an aspiring young musician, so I don’t really have any advice to give. But I don’t know… stick with it? Stay genuine with what you’re making, make it for yourself before others.
YT: What are you focusing on now, in terms of your musical endeavours?
SS: A new album is already in the works. It’s something that should be happening this year, and we’re having a national tour in March. So for four weeks of March, I’ll be in a van (laughs)... singing, writing, recording, that’s the plan!
Samantha Savage Smith performs at the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts in Calgary on February 29, at the Ironwood in Calgary on March 1 and at Wunderbar in Edmonton on March 14.
Samantha Savage Smith's video for You Always Come to Mind.Login or register to post comments. All comments have to go through a queue for approval to keep the nasty stuff out, but we'll post yours as soon as we can.