By: Shayla Lee
Samantha LaPorta went from being a fan mesmerized by Taylor Swift’s live performance to having her own songs play on Radio Disney just a few short years later. At the age of 16, Samantha has already proved that she is a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. Her song ‘It’s a Girl Thing’ is a girl power anthem that is equal parts inspiring and empowering and her latest single ‘Own the Night’ is a layered pop song that will make you want to have a dance party. We interviewed Samantha and chatted about her journey becoming a musician, the charity work she has done, and the inspiration behind ‘It’s a Girl Thing.’
FEMME RIOT: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Samantha LaPorta: So as I’m writing this I am watching the Grammy’s which is my secret wish and goal for myself to one day attend. My journey started when I turned 10. My mom took me to a Taylor Swift concert which was an amazing first concert and I loved to watch all of the people dance and sing along. At the end of the concert I told my mom “This is what I want to do” and of course she thought I was caught up in the inspiration of it all.
I started vocal and guitar lessons and a year later I went off to Nashville to perform in my first showcase. I’m 16 now and I feel so lucky to have worked with some great producers and co-writers, and I even have my songs on the radio!
Where do you draw inspiration for your music? Do you have any musical influences?
My inspiration starts with a beat, a rhythm, and then I sing over it and fill it in with lyrics. Most of it is a feeling and trying new ideas out. I have many musical influences… Bruno Mars, Rihanna, and songwriter Erika Ender (Despacito) to name a few.
‘It’s a Girl Thing’ is a great girl power song and we love the lyrics! What inspired you to create this song?
I was in the studio with Maria Christensen, who you might know from the J.Lo song ‘Waiting For Tonight.’ She was asking me about taking off time from school to be in LA and I told her something that happened before I left. While at school, I stood up to say something and the guys started saying “Sit down, you are just a girl.” I know they thought they were being funny but what made them think they could talk to someone like that? That is how the song was born.
We need to learn how to respect our differences as people and be able to stand up for ourselves and others. I remember the energy around this song was special when we wrote it and I still feel the same energy every time I hear ‘It’s a Girl Thing.’
It’s really inspiring to see all of the charity work you have done, especially at your young age! Why do you think it’s so important for people to give back to their communities? Can you tell us about some of the volunteer work you have done?
Back when I was 10 I learned some Christmas songs on the guitar and went to The Ronald McDonald House to celebrate the holidays with the families. It felt good to see everyone smile and forget their troubles for a little while. I still go back but each year I have been adding more shows including the Nemours Children’s Hospital, the American Cancer Society, nursing homes, fundraisers for autism, hospice care, and this year I performed at a huge anti-bullying event sponsored by Paul Mitchell. I think it’s really important to raise awareness and I love spending time with the families and especially the kids.
Can you tell us about your work with Disney? We saw you hit the red carpet at the Radio Disney Music Awards! What was that experience like for you?
I was a Disney girl from the time I was 2. You could not get me out of my Minnie Mouse dress! The RDMA’s were amazing and I saw so many artists and actors. I felt like I was home.
We loved your reaction as you heard your song on the radio for the first time. That must have felt amazing! What are the biggest milestones you have reached as an artist so far in your career? What is your goal as an artist?
The biggest milestone I reached was hearing my songs on Radio Disney. It was so emotional – happy tears – when I heard my song it was a surprise and at first I was so happy. Then I thought about all that I accomplished to get to that point. It just feels good. My goals for the future are to continue to make music and perform. I would love to play at places like the Staple Center that many inspiring artists have played and also tour and travel around the world. It would be great to meet some of the overseas fans that write to me!
Have you faced any adversity being a woman in the music industry? Do you have any tips for other females experiencing adversity in their lives?
So far I have been very fortunate to have not faced any adversity. I have a good team that helps everything run smoothly. For other women wanting to grow in the music industry it is always important to be true to yourself and not let others get in the way of your success.
What can we expect from you in 2018?
New music for sure and I just finished another song, ‘Own The Night’. I am very proud of my Latin heritage and I want to share that part of my life so I have started working on a song in Spanish.
What 3 songs are you currently listening to?
Anything else we haven’t asked that you want to add?
You can connect with me on my social media or on my website!