December/January 2022

by Charlotte Lovrin

Fresh Talent: Samantha Josephine

by Charlotte Lovrin

Fresh Talent: Samantha Josephine

In her recently released EP, ‘Fly Bird Fly’, Ōtautahi-based singer-songwriter Samantha (Josephine) Adams explores the feelings of disconnection and transformation as she navigates her way through a period of burnout.

Her debut album, ‘Feeling In The Strange’, was released in August of 2020, and Adams’ steadily growing fanbase since then has helped her become more confident as she pursues her artistic visions. A bare-faced approach to writing means that it’s a process she feels she can be more honest about when she is left to her own devices.

“I like the idea of recording the breaking through into the discovery of a new sound, and I find that a lot easier without other people there because when other people are there they always have an effect. Maybe that’s good for some people but for me because it’s very personal.”

Her recording process is as raw and honest as her songwriting suggests. A passion for musical honesty has inspired her to take the reins when it comes to recording and producing. She records her own vocals and guitar tracks before sending the tracks off to a friend for the final mix.

“I’ll just set up the recording equipment, find a chord that I resonate with and some rhythm will come. I’m recording all of this as it happens, and then the vocals start. I try not to pay attention to the words I’m saying and just follow the feeling of the sound. I try to totally get out of the way and record that, and that ends up being a song!”

A stripped-back sound and stream of consciousness approach to writing, has led to comparisons of her music with the likes of Lou Reed and Courtney Barnett. Neither makes her feel uncomfortable.

“I like being compared to those artists because they seem very being themselves and that’s just what I want to do.”
‘Fly Bird Fly’ was written after a live-to-air performance following the release of her breakout album, an experience that left her feeling burnt out and disconnected from herself.

“It wasn’t an intentional theme, but the theme is like me trying to be connected to myself. Trying to let my musical self be alive.”
Since her first release in 2020, she feels considerably more sure of herself when it comes to people’s reception towards her creations.

“I thought my sound was too different to actually go into it [the music community]. Because everything’s done by me, so I didn’t think that I could get reviews or be featured on things. Now I’m realising that I can just be myself and that will be received. I can do whatever I want to and it’s fine.”

Currently, Adams is focusing on a plan to release a single each month for the next six months. She says she hopes this will allow her to forge a deeper connection with her online community. She’s also looking ahead to the end of the six months when she hopes to play her first live gig. Already onto a second single, just after the release of ‘Fly Bird Fly’, there’s ample proof she is no idle dreamer.

“When you don’t release things, it feels like there’s some energy inside that’s trapped. When I release the songs it feels like I’m releasing them from myself and letting them live their energetic thing, and giving it to people who actually want to hear it.”