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INTERVIEW: Sam DeRosa

Pic by Matthew Berinato

Hi Sam, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi! I’m great. Happy to be here. Thank you for having me. 

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Baby I Know”?

This song is so important to me. It was kind of therapy that I didn’t realize I needed until the song was done. It’s honest, real, and vulnerable. Kind of like me, but in a song. 

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Yes, actually. I was doing long distance with someone who was being distant (no pun intended). We were on FaceTime and I could tell something was off / that he was hiding something. It felt weird because I’m such an open book and I share everything, especially when I’m in love. To love someone who’s scared to open up to you is a strange internal war with your heart. I knew him well enough to know when he lies: when he says he’s ok, or that nothing is wrong, etc etc. So, this song was basically my conversation. We didn’t talk until after the song was written and I’m kind of glad that’s how it happened. It gave me perspective and I got to get out my feelings first by writing them. 

Any plans to release a video for the single?

A lyric video, yes! There are some visuals of me in there. I’m excited about it because the song is doing well and it deserves some sort of video treatment. I wanted a lyric video because the words are so important to me and to the song. It felt appropriate!

How was the recording and writing process?

This is a pretty cool story. I went into the session with a guy I had met once. I had allllll of these words written into my “notes” app on my phone. When I told him about the song, I said it had to be some big female empowerment record telling him to GTFO if he was gonna be a liar. But, when I read the lyrics out loud, they didn’t say that at all. In fact, it was pretty clear that I really loved this guy and just wanted him to know that I knew him THAT well and wanted to be there. We were planning this big, cool production and then the POWER went out! How weird, right? So, we had no option but an acoustic guitar. He picked it up, played the opening chords that you hear on the track, and I just started singing. It was a 48-minute voice memo. It was really really special. Kind of felt like the universe was telling me to stop overthinking and just be emotional and open on this song. So that’s why we kept it that way.

How has your studies and overall experience back on Berklee get to influence your writing?

I don’t think songwriting can really be taught; it’s more that it’s shown. I think we are all writers in some form and just have to turn on that part of our brain. For me, Berklee gave me tools and helped me move through my writing process with more grace and understanding. I know how to get unstuck or figure out how to give deeper. Really grateful for that. 

One of your first writing gigs (lovelytheband’s “Broken”) became an instant hit – how did these out of nowhere success impacted you as an artist?

That song is so special to me but I’d by lying if I sat here and said it was instant or happened quickly. I was writing for two years until someone gave me a chance. That was one of my first co-writes with an artist/witting for an artist, but I had been hustling for a while. We wrote “broken” and “emotion” together. It’s crazy because the song took 2 years to come out. I had kind of forgotten about it! Seeing the journey that it took to get where it is now was so important in grounding me as a writer and a person. I learned that good things take time, and that there’s no blueprint for this game or how it works. I also learned to not put my eggs in one basket, or one song, and to keep my head down and keep working, no matter what. I was so busy and had written hundreds of songs since then. When the song was coming out, I was so excited, but stayed busy so that I wouldn’t let it validate me if that makes sense? I wanted to remember that day in the hot Brooklyn studio and remember the journey and how hard everyone worked between then and now. That meant the most. The song took on a life of its own and I could not be more grateful. Those guys are all so damn talented and I’m forever grateful to have met Mitchy and Christian.

As you were gearing up to release your own original work – were you feel any pressure or rather the opposite.

I was more excited than anything, but I definitely felt nervous. There’s a lot of pressure when you’re a new artist because of how much music is getting released daily. That’s a dangerous rabbit hole to go down, though, so I try not to think about it. 

Speaking of which, do you feel any pressure when collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?

I LOVE collaborating. I’m very extroverted so people give me life and I’m inspired by other creators. For my personal stuff, the ideas start on my own, and then I bring them into who I feel comfortable with. When I first started writing, I felt pressure but now I really just feel lucky and full of inspiration. 

What role does LA play in your music?

LA is a wild place haha. It can make you feel so special and then so small in the same breathe. I am used to that because NY is very similar. I am the only one in my family who has left NY so I get homesick very often. I try to channel it into my music. LA feels like a giant swimming pool of glitter and it’s hard to tell who’s real and who’s not, so I have definitely found myself writing about that recently. On that same note, though, that’s also the magic of this city. So many creative people who refuse to give up on a dream. That’s so magical to me. 

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Oh yes!! I’m releasing at least two more singles this year. They’re done and just waiting to come into the world. I’m so excited for you to hear them. I’ve been writing for the last year so I have an arsenal of musical feelings to release to the world. 

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

I can’t say quite yet, but I’ll tell you that September and October will be some pretty special months for me :). 

Will you keep diving into different aspects of love or would be tackling other different subjects?

In the last year, I’ve tackled other subjects in my songs and have gotten a lot out of it. The next two singles will be about love, though. I have a whole vision of how I want the first few releases and first album to play out. There’s definitely a theme! 

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes definitely! In August I’m doing an acoustic tour across the US with SoFar Sounds. Then we will do some more. 

What else is happening next in Sam DeRosa’s world?

Probably a nap to be honest haha. But also managing mental and physical health. Most definitely learning the balance of feeling happy inside first, and learning that this is all a journey. Career wise, I’m excited for my new music, there’s something cool happening with a network television show, and we are looking to push a single to radio by the end of this year! I’ve wanted this stuff my whole life and I think I’m constantly reminding 8-year-old Sam that she’s doing it.  Thanks so much for your time!

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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