By: Shayla Lee
Samsaruh is a Melbourne-based musician that delivers everything you have been craving when it comes to pop music. From having her track ‘Beautiful Killer’ peak at #1 for the most played track on triple j to performing at some of Australia’s biggest music festivals, Samsaruh is an artist that you should put on your radar…NOW. With her unique ability to craft music that is equal parts honest and empowering, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the 19-year-old Aussie princess skyrocket to the top of the charts among the likes of Tash Sultana and Amy Shark by the end of this year.
Following up after her debut bangers ‘Beautiful Killer’ and ‘Golden to Thrive,’ Samsurah’s latest track delivers exactly what you’d expect from a song titled ‘Gunpowder.’ The hard-hitting vocals and explosive synths will hit you in the gut and make you hit the replay button over and over again.
We had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Samsaruh about the meaning behind ‘Gunpowder,’ how it feels to receive so much love from Australia’s biggest radio station, and the importance of staying mentally strong.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What inspired you to become a musician?
I’m 19 years old from Melbourne Australia and have been singing since the age of 8 and songwriting since the age of 12. My dad is a bass player and has been in cover bands his whole life which is what introduced me into the whole music side of things and inspired me in that sense. I started singing lessons when I was 8 after a school singing teacher had overheard me in music class and suggested I should give it a go. My whole life I’ve never been passionate about anything except for music, so it only made sense for me to go and chase the dream of being a singer/songwriter.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
It’s something different and new, a sound mixed with the power of lyrics, voicing the unheard.
Where do you draw inspiration for your music? Do you have any musical influences?
I draw all of my inspiration from the world around me. Whether it be personal emotions or experiences, or I’m writing about the bigger issues that are going on. What makes me passionate as a songwriter is being able to help the voices and opinions that don’t get heard and also being able to affect people positively. Nobody is alone in this world with what they feel, experience, see or think. People like Dolores O’Riordan, John Lennon, Hozier and many more legends have that same impact with their lyrics which is part of the reason why they are such big influencers to me.
Nobody is alone in this world with what they feel, experience, see or think.
Last year I lived in Australia and one of my favourite things was the music industry – it’s really thriving and there is so much talent! You were selected to be a triple j Unearthed Featured Artist and your track ‘Golden to Thrive’ has been featured on a plethora of playlists and charts. How does it feel to be recognized by the largest radio station in Australia? Has growing up in Australia influenced your music?
There is tonnes of talent down here! It’s very exciting and I can’t tell you how appreciative I am for all the support triple j and triple j unearthed have given me. It feels surreal and I’m very thankful for it. I guess I’m not sure if growing up in Australia has impacted my music as I’ve never lived in another country – so I don’t know how things could’ve gone differently in terms of my music and style.
You just released ‘Gunpowder’ and it is such a banger! The production quality is incredible and I can’t stop listening to it. Can you tell us more about this track and the inspiration behind it?
Thank you so much! For me, Gunpowder is about the people. There are a lot of things happening in the world right now, a lot of good and a whole lot of bad. It’s about the feeling of not being heard, or being silenced by a greater force. So, the use of the word ‘Gunpowder’ symbolises having all the fight in you and angst in wanting to change things (whether it be in a relationship or the world, or whatever scenario you relate to with this song) but without someone else’s help you can’t do anything. So sonically, about someone else holding the control to whether you are heard or not.
‘Golden to Thrive’ was the first song of yours I heard and it is absolutely brilliant! In an interview with Pilerats you explained that the song is about stereotypes and stigmas but essentially thriving in the end. What practices do you implement into your own life to ensure you are thriving and reaching your full potential?
I think it’s all about growth as an individual. Every day we are learning from things around us and most importantly learning more about ourselves as well. I think to ‘thrive’ you have to be true to yourself and your morals and be able to stand by those things and not let anything knock you down or change your mind. Being mentally strong is a big deal, so making sure you’re always checking in with yourself and how you’re feeling is definitely an important part of my life. As a songwriter, I want to make sure that the words I am putting out there are honest, meaningful and going to affect people in a positive way. There are always going to be downsides and low moments and that’s why being mentally strong is such a big deal, you don’t want to get trapped in the blues.
Being mentally strong is a big deal, so making sure you’re always checking in with yourself and how you’re feeling is definitely an important part of my life.
You’ve been killing it at some of the country’s biggest festivals including Falls Festival, St.Kilda Festival, and Splendour in the Grass! How does it feel to perform at these festivals?
It’s a tonne of fun! I’ve gone to a few festivals as a punter in the past and I always remember watching all the artists play, dreaming of the day I’d be on the same stages. Now I am and it still feels like I’m in a dream.
Have you faced any challenges being a woman in the music industry? If so, how did you overcome the adversity and do you have any advice for other women going through a challenge in their own lives?
Being a 19-year-old young female I guess I haven’t been in the industry so long to have faced any gender challenges which is great, it proves positive growth. However, I have also been lucky enough to have surrounded myself with really great people which makes all the difference in these terms of things. I feel that females are really being put to the front now and I stand by all my sisters out there.
What do you have in the works this year? Hopefully we will see you in Canada sometime soon!
I’ve got lots of new material I am just dying to put out there, so I am definitely looking forward to sharing some new tunes with everyone this year, as well as diving into my own Australian tour of shows at some point. 2018 is going to be a very fun year full of many surprises I’m sure so I can’t wait!
What songs are you currently listening to?
I’m currently listening to ‘The Sky is a Neighbourhood’ by Foo fighters on repeat, pretty much like 24 hours a day. It doesn’t sound healthy and it probably isn’t, but I saw them live in concert not too long ago and that song has been majorly stuck in my head ever since. Nothing But Thieves, BØRNS, Sampha, and Foreign Air are also all on repeat right now.