Samantha Johnson – Her Voice, A God’s Gift To Earth (Interview)
A pride for her home town New Bedford MA
A pride for her Day-1 fans, who noticed that her voice and honesty are a true God’s gift to earth
Fans who’ve been following her progression, her evolution, her growth
From her YouTube covers, along with her sisters, to her tour as a Michael Jackson Tribute Artist in the Thriller Live show, to eventually end up at the semi-final of America’s Got Talent, offering better prospects to her singer career.
Step by step, one day at a time, until finally shines the sun, blessed to proudly announce the coming of her debut EP, with ‘Jump High’ debut single, written & performed by Samantha Johnson, produced by Americo X Barbosa, and mastered by Morgan at Mozu Mastering.
‘Jump High’ faithfully reflects who Samantha is as a singer: It’s her own creation, not another cover, and is outstanding by its creativity.
The highlight of the song is that whistle part, taking you to the bridge.This gives such an effect of lightness and weightlessness, you’d be floating as a leaf above the bridge.
Talking about ‘Language Of Love‘, this might give the rendition of one the side-effects of Love: a delightful feeling of lightness
In this video, besides her presence, one of her distinctive signatures, is her taste for the Old School: might be old, but must be gold. Touching to this classic Disco/Funk tune, with DuRamo, she turns it back to gold, reviving it into a hot and modern remix.
Now, as Samantha Johnson is someone we were fortunate to discover before American Got Talent, actually on YouTube, via a (now famous) comment on Michael Jackson’s video, we’re blessed to interview such a bright, cheerful and honest person.
1) What would the 10 year old Samantha Johnson say about you today?
Firstly, thank you very much for noticing me before it was the cool thing to do! Not that it’s cool, now…. but maybe someday it will be!
I think ten year old Samantha would be very impressed with how I’ve cleaned up. At the age of 10 all I wanted was to have straight hair and marry Justin Timberlake, so I think she would be a bit disappointed about that; but she would be happy to see that her dream came true of being a singer.
2) How long did it take you to truly discover yourself?
I’m still discovering myself! As I grow, new challenges emerge every single day. I have had some incredible experiences in my life and I have been through truly terrible times
But doing “America’s Got Talent” thrust me into a new level of understanding and accepting myself.
3) After all your different experiences, how does it feel now to find the guidance to your own self and to embrace your own self?
Growing up, I loved to make my parents proud. I loved to get straight A’s on my report card and win over the approval of all my friends.I loved it. Unfortunately you aren’t allowed to only hear the good things people say about you, so although I appreciate the compliments, I try not to put so much weight in what other’s think. It’s far too exhausting.
God gave me this mind and voice and body for a reason, I keep my communication open with Him and I have been listening to His and my own commentary a lot more lately which feels like the right thing to do.
4) We know you mostly through your covers, and as we want to discover an EP that reflects Samantha Johnson, please, define the EP (or define Samantha Johnson) in one sentence.
Samantha Johnson blurs all lines; musical, racial, time, even mood.
5) When I listen to your voice and then to your official mission statement, on proceeding to give what people need (which is personal health), you remind me of this singer (Eryn Allen Kane) who says “Artists are here to be teachers, healers, learners, curators”. How do you relate to this?
I grew up holding Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Whitney, Mariah and others in the highest regard, and the things they did with their life and music have effected me greatly.
There are good things and bad things about Samantha Johnson, I hope to be a good example all the time,
But if I am a bad example, that’s OK, too. An example is an example, after all. In the mean time, I’ll just be singing about what I know about.
6) Among your fans, who do you want reach the most? Who do you strive to connect with? Why?
When Christina Aguilera put out her debut album, I spent hours and hours and HOURS dissecting every single note, practicing my vibrato, and head voice, my belt.
I knew every single vocal nuance that she added to that album. I can’t explain the content and joy I felt- and feel- listening to my favorite singers.
I sing for everyone, and my music is yours to listen to how you choose, But I’m making my songs for that little kid who is going to dissect everything and decide they’re going to sing on stage or TV or on a CD.
7) Who inspire/empower you to pursue your dream/mission/business?
Besides God, my inspirations are Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Joel, Dave Chappelle, the Beatles, Jenifer Lewis, Bette Midler, Will Smith, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Jim Carey, JLo, Neil Patrick Harris, Jamie Foxx.
I admire people who use their mind and talents to their fullest potential.
8) About the EP, a long time project I believe, Jump High was sure enough creative! Tell us about the creative process you went though, you and your team, to write and produce your EP.
Back in 2012, I performed as a Michael Jackson Tribute Artist at the Summer Sonic Music Festival in Tokyo.
There were THOUSANDS of people there and some of the biggest acts in the world.
After we performed, we got to stand back stage and watch Jamiroquai perform. I turned around and saw one of my classmates from New Bedford, MA… from high school days! His name is Americo Barbosa. It was the weirdest thing running into a classmate back stage at one of the biggest musical festivals- in Tokyo of all places!
We hadn’t had touch since high school and I had no idea he was even into music back then. He was working sound for Rihanna and had also been traveling the world. It was just such a strange coincidence so naturally we kept in touch, I continued to tour, as did he.
Finally, after AGT we were both back in our hometown for the first time in years.
I played him some of my stuff, we had some musical conversations, he went home- made the beat for Jump High, came back to my place, and I wrote it- whistle solo and all- in about 15 minutes.
We make a great team, and I think it was definitely written in the stars that we work together. This project is our creation.
I have a co-writer for one song, Season 7 American Idol Contestant Chikezie Eze, we’re like running water we vibe all day. And that’s the team 🙂
9) Won’t Gimme Love and I Got You be part of it?
Gimme Love and I Got You won’t be apart of this project, though I still love to perform them from time to time.
They were written by an amazing writer named Jane Handcock who I got to spend some time with in Atlanta a few years back.
I really look forward to collaborating with her again!
Those songs were really about a different time for me, though.
I had no idea who I was at that time.
I know Jane has grown, too so I can’t wait to get back with her.
10) Finally, at your home show, we’ve discovered another face of Samantha, with your impressions of your whole time singers inspirations, you were actually funny, not to say hilarious. Clever enough to remind us you can make it in acting too. Are you setting the way for Comedy? (If it’s not too soon to talk about it).
The funny thing is this whole singer/ songwriter thing is all the way brand new.
I never thought I would be a recording artist and I still don’t really consider myself one.
I always thought I would be a stage performer, Broadway… it was my dream to be on show’s like « Whose Line Is It Anyway » and “Wildn’Out” or “In Living Color.”
Comedy is my drug, I LOVE movies and TV, I can recite scripts to you word for word of some of my favorite films.
I love to impersonate people.
What’s been hard in this business is that I have so many interests and people have really tried to break me down to committing to one “image” or “style” but that’s not me.
I’m a rainbow and that’s why I love people like Jenifer Lewis, Whoopi, Jamie Fox, Bette Midler and Neil Patrick Harris.
Thank you very much Samantha for your time, honest answers, your laugh we can imagine hearing while reading your responses, as we know you as this cheerful smiling face.Wishing you the best for your EP release, and keep on posting comments on MJ’s videos 😉Congratulations on everything, be still, just the you are.
Don’t miss her at the International Portuguese Music Awards!