Article written by Justin A. Gamache, B.S., M.Ed.
As someone who enjoys the comfort of working on the internet has been able to meet or talk with some really awesome people. Most of the conversation I have had with are musicians. While scrolling through my YouTube feed and social media, and other music sites such as Spotify, I came across a wonderful musician and artist named Samantha Preis. We follow each other on Twitter. I have grown to love her music as I have many other musicians, but Sams has that special feel to it. You can feel the passion running through her art form. Thank you Sam for the time you have given me in this interview process and writing. I know the hard work it takes to get your tricks in order and being creative with music. Here’s to many many more years of creating music…
Thank you again!
There interview as follows:
- What inspired you to write music?
I come from an incredibly musical family where a lot of family members are musicians. There was always music playing in my house whether it was my dad playing the guitar or a great record. It’s in my blood 🙂
- What do you most enjoy about being a musician?
Being an independent musician is extremely hard, but it is one of my greatest passions. I love how music allows one to openly and honestly express what they’re feeling… A lot of this cannot be put into words.
- What was the biggest problem you’ve had to over come so far?
In the age of streaming, for most, music simply isn’t profitable. Nowadays, the money is in large TV/film placements unless you’re signed to a major label who puts you on tour (and then the question is whether you want to be owned and controlled by a cooperation). There is always a trade-off. I really value my artistic freedom and ability to choose when I do or don’t perform, where I live and travel to, and how often I get to see my family. I don’t always want to be on tour and personally find life as a “performing artist” unsustainable, especially if you’re family-oriented. Most artists don’t want to play the same songs over and over again just to feel like a (often badly paid) circus monkey. As Joni Mitchell once said, “No one asked Van Gogh to paint a Starry Night again”. I perform selectively when I want to – which I can do as an independent artist and I love that. My greater passion is writing and recording songs as it’s the artistic process that I enjoy most as it is completely selfish, indulgent, and incredibly satisfying 🙂
- If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
The international standard for how much a “stream” is worth. If you were to PURCHASE a track via iTunes, it would cost you between $0.99 and $1.29. But does anyone really listen to that one track 100 times even? How many people listen to that single they bought for $1.29….ACTUALLY…129 times??? If they did, that stream should be worth $0.01. Frankly, I think each stream should be worth a fraction of the average estimate that a track is played by one user. (Which should equate to between one and three cents per track.) I really want to bring this to the court’s attention at some point and have really been considering it.
- What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? Why?
Favorite part – endless creativity and self-expression. Least favorite: bad pay and being treated like music isn’t a serious profession. Could we even live in a world without music or artistic expression?
- Tell me about your favorite performance venues?
I love small intimate performance spaces. One of my all-time favorite spots had to close this past year in NYC, called “Caffe Vivaldi” – an iconic listening-style music venue and wine bar. It was devastating. Many small business and arts venue owners all over NYC, London, etc, are having to shut down their often historical and iconic institutions because of rising rents. Greed kills. Currently, I really enjoy playing at this amazing music venue and record store in Fairfield, CT, USA, called Vinyl Street Cafe.
- How do you interact and respond to your fans?
In many ways! Twitter is definitely my favorite social media platform. This past year, I also started being more active on YouTube. Most importantly, I have a small, exclusive group of dedicated patrons via a platform called Patreon. Each month, they pitch in and, little by little, we produce new music projects together. They have changed my world and have made so much possible. I love them so much. You can become a patron and gain access to the inner-circle, unreleased material, for just $1: https://www.patreon.com/samanthapreis
- What is an average day to you?
I do a lot of hiking and walking to clear my head and like to do this first thing to get into a good headspace for the day. (I think life is too short to allow ourselves stress out.) Walking helps me to organize my thoughts, and is also a great, relaxing form of exercise. I travel about every 6 weeks to a new location around the world as it inspires me and my art (I’ve been in the UK for the last few years now as I love it). I love seeing the world from a new perspective and traveling always gives me something to look forward to. I usually can only travel with one instrument, the guitar, and have been writing mainly on that for several years now as it is much more portable than the piano (my first instrument). I have a lot of administrative duties that need to be completed during the day, mostly on my laptop, so one can often find me at that cute little independent cafe with a pot of tea and my laptop. Most of my musical inspiration comes at night, so after a whole day, I start playing or writing.
- What are your favorite songs you have written so far? (can I find these songs to share on YouTube?)
Really hard to choose. Here are a few links to my favorite songs over the years starting from the most recent:
- Thirteen Years
The Gun and The Gold
My Cold Hands
- What advice would have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Never give up. Keep going. Your voice matters.
To follow Samantha Preis on Twitter click the link here: https://twitter.com/SamanthaPreis
Check out Sam’s Website: https://www.samanthapreismusic.com/
Other Links to follow and Check Out:
*New Single “Danny Boy” is now available for purchase!