Throughout time, various people have come along and made an imprint in human culture, for instance J.K. Rowling, Ron Howard, and Paul McCartney. What has set these people apart from many others is, they are visionary’s. People like J.K., Ron and Paul are dreamers who look beyond the obvious, and creates something that impacts people. Sam is one of these people who has the ability to see things differently, and create something that those who listen, can find themselves being part of his story.
Sam’s ability to create began showing itself at an early age. At just two years old, Sam would play a toy guitar and make up songs. When he turned eight years old he began performing for others. It was his guitar teacher who invited him to his first performance, which was a songwriters circle.
Big dreamers often demand big audiences, well Sam got just that. He got to perform a song at a NY Knicks halftime show at Madison Square Garden. Of course this was a favorite of his. “I had never played to an audience anywhere that size and it was very exciting” says Sam. Another performance that has become one of his favorite shows was at a gala for Stuttering Association for the Young. For this gala, Sam was asked to write a song just for it. “This was the first time I had to write a song on demand. I remember the songwriting process leading up to this gig well; getting ideas, scrapping them, forming melodies, until finally coming up with a song I thought was good” says Sam. For this performance, he was accompanied by a professional band, which he really enjoyed.
The creativity Sam has as a songwriter has started to catch the attention of various people in the industry. He was an American Songwriting Magazine Daily Discovery and an American Songwriting Awards nominee for his song, Without a Rhyme. Also a weekly independent chart in the UK called, Fabchart has picked up several of his songs.
Unlike most new artists, Sam doesn’t generally perform many cover songs, but he does like to learn them, mostly the instrumentals. However his favorite artist is Wilco. “I like them because of how memorable and unique each of their songs are” says Sam. Another favorite band of his is, Avett Brothers. He says their songs are very catchy and musically interesting, especially their album I and Love and You.
Getting out and performing to showcase the songs he has written, is something he loves. Sam says he likes to see the feedback his songs get. “It is also fun to play numerous songs as a set, bringing together different projects that I’ve been working on” says Sam. He also says, it is interesting seeing what the environment and location of each performance is, and who is attending.
Sam’s dream is to always do something involved in storytelling and fiction. It doesn’t matter if it is through writing songs, writing stories or film-making. “I am fascinated by fiction; how one thought can create a whole universe, how one sentence that anyone can write can create characters and settings. I always want to be involved with stories” Sam says. He wants to harness his creative energy and always study , create, and experience fiction.
To master the art of songwriting a person needs creativity and imagination to bring the story that is in a lyrics alive. These skills along with many others can be found in the songs Sam writes. He officially started writing songs at the age of six, he is now fourteen with sixteen songs complete. One of the songs he loves is, Without a Rhyme. He remembers the writing process and creation of the video very well. “I wrote it while I was at a creative writing camp and the process and place I was in, was very special” says Sam. The music video for this was his first and has gotten the most attention. In four of his songs he adds harmonica and this gives a great flavor to them. His latest song, Everlasting Oak, he has combined the guitar and harmonica which brings back to life an old era from Neil Young and Bob Dylan. Sam felt this was the perfect song to add the harmonica. The guitar he used can be seen by another icon who used one like it, his name, Buck Owens. “The guitar I play in that song was a gift I received that came from the collection of my favorite musician Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. It’s a 1969 Buck Owens American guitar and using the harmonica just felt perfect with this song and guitar” says Sam.
Creativity and imagination is not only needed in writing a song, but also, to inspire ideas. When he was younger, he said he would just pick up the guitar and start singing, and that would be the song. As he got older, his ideas came from books he was reading or more often, a theme he is interested in. “For Everlasting Oak, I thought trees and forests had a lot of great imagery and potential for thoughtful lyrics” Sam says. He also says, he likes to write his lyrics as poetry, and strive to make the audience think. “I don’t just say the theme straight out, or tell the story in a very literal way” says Sam. He likes to weave a more complex tale that will leave the listener making his or her own interpretations for it. It is songs written like this, that stick with him.
As of right now, he doesn’t have any up coming gigs to attend, however he is starting high school this fall. During the summers is when he works on all of his passions that he doesn’t have time for during the school year. “I was lucky that I got to attend amazing programs this summer for film-making, creative writing and music” says Sam. He also self published his first book in a fantasy series that he has been writing for two years. He hopes to publish the second this fall.
Somewhere inside of Sam lies sort of a lake of creativeness that is growing deeper by the day. It is being fed by many tributaries of imagination, wonder, fiction and reality. It is felt in what he creates, that this is not just what he does, but who he “is”. He is the modern day Bob Dylan, much of who Bob was, can be felt in Sam’s music as well. Sam is not just an artist, he is a visionary. He looks at things at different angles, not just straight ahead like most. The stories that he tells are not empty, they are full of substance. The music he creates is what music was meant to be. This is only the beginning. Where will his name be in the future? Beside Ron, J.K., Bob, and Neil, could very well be!