12th Annual Pop Album Nominee

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Record Label: Bold Love Records

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Home Base: Brooklyn, NY (soon to be LA, CA)

Genre: Indie-Pop/Pop

Category Entered: Pop Album

Work Submitted: sami.the.great

Artists Featured: sami.the.great

Label: Bold Love

Who are your influences?: 50’s/60’s Girl groups (The Shirelles, The Ronettes, The Supremes)

Describe your nominated work: It’s an album full of catchy, nostalgic pop songs. It’s a mix of retro and modern sounds!

Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording?: Not really. Some different keyboard sounds and some programmed beats, but nothing too crazy!

Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned?: I’m not sure it would be considered a happy accident, but it wasn’t planned: The bass player Jon started playing this ridiculous eagle song that I started singing along to, we made it a duet, and I decided I wanted to make it the secret song on the album. A lot of people like it!

How did you raise the funds for this project? How long do you expect it will take to recoup your out-of-pocket recording expenses?: In this case, I was lucky because I was on a small, independent label at the time who took care of the expenses. I hope to be able to have enough success with this record whether it’s now or later for the label to be able to recoup their investment!

Why did you choose to submit this work to The 12th IMAs?: I believe my publicist submitted me! And I think she submitted me because she felt it was a worthy of recognition. I’m flattered she felt that way and I’m honored to be nominated.

What’s your definition of success and how will you know when you’ve achieved it?: There are so many different definitions of success. I have different definitions of success. I think that I’m already successful because I’m taking a risk and doing what I love to be doing even though I am super struggling, but I also think that the end-game kind of success for me would be to be able to support myself and a family in the future with the music I make, whether it’s music I make for myself or other people.

How will you leverage your IMA honors to achieve your career goals?: I’m hoping that this nomination will get me some new fans and garner some new attention for the album and my music in general!

Who’s sitting in your audience and what makes your fans unique?: I have all different kinds of folks in my audience. Younger, older, they run the gamut. Maybe that’s why they are unique? Because they aren’t one type of person.

What is your guilty pleasure on the road? Any close calls or mishaps while on tour?: I promised myself two mcdonald’s breakfasts this past tour. I felt gross after each time. I don’t think I’ll do that again. I’m also trying not to eat meat anymore so that will help me avoid it! Also, Britney Spears sing-alongs.

Who are your musical heroes & influences?: The Beatles are my musical heroes for obvious reasons. As for influences, I would say the same as before, 50’s/60’s girl groups! At least for this past album. My influences are always changing!

Are there any songs you wish you wrote and why?: So many! How about, almost every Beatles song ever written? I also always wish I wrote “The Fear” by Lily Allen. I think because I feel like it’s a song I could have written, but I didn’t.

What artists are you listening to that would surprise your fans?: Britney Spears! Only a few of her songs though . . . shhh!

How do you discover new music? Do you buy music or are you content with streaming?: Mostly through word of mouth and friends and also I love to listen to music that my friends make. I buy music, but on the road when I’ve got tons of time to kill and not enough money to buy all the music that I’d like to listen to, I use Spotify. It’s the best!

How will musicians make a living if fans continue to expect music to be free?: I think the live show is really important because you can’t really get that online, even youtube videos aren’t the same as actually going to a live show. Also, licensing and publishing!

What don’t fans/audiences understand about the music industry today?: I’m not sure what they know! But if they don’t know this already, it’s a really hard industry!

Are digital singles/EPs vs. full albums the future?:  Yes! I think so. In fact, that’s what is next on the horizon for me; singles.

Finish this sentence: The music industry is…hard!

What do you have in the works for the upcoming year?: I’ll be recording a few singles, releasing those digitally and hopefully getting some fun stuff with them!