Grammy-nominated DJ, music producer, composer and music/film director Sam I (formerly known as Sam Spiegel)’s new self-directed short film Heaven, featuring acclaimed dancer Nevaeh Meraz alongside Sam’s latest single “Don’t Give Up” featuring Sia, Busta Rhymes and Vic Mensa from his new album Random Shit from the Internet Era (out now via Spectrophonic Sound), is out today. Starring alongside Meraz in the film is award-winning actress Catherine Keener. Watch/share the film at https://fanlink.to/SamI_Heaven.
Sam explains about the film, which addresses issues of depression, suicide, and mental health awareness:
I met Nevaeh through her posting dance videos to my music and tagging me. I was struck by her. She dances with so much feeling. It’s all there…right on the surface. She lays it all out in her expression, not hiding anything.
I love dance, and I knew I wanted to do a film around dance for the album release, so I invited a handful of dancers whom I had connected with through my music, and then I interviewed them all about their lives. Nevaeh instantly struck me as fascinating. At the time she was 18, and she had already lived a thousand lives. She’s battled mental health issues and struggled with depression, but her passion for her art form helped carry her through, and I really related to that because my love of music really helped get me through my depression that I had during and after Lyme Disease.
With some help from my friend Dallas, I wrote a short film based on some of Nevaeh’s real-life experiences and planned to shoot it in March, but then COVID hit, and we weren’t able to shoot. In the meantime, I kept writing and tweaking the script and talking to Nevaeh. We started to hang and choreograph the dance sequence together. As I saw the piece come together I got really excited about it. It was so inspiring to see this amazing dancer express her pain, her struggles, and ultimately her self-actualization, through this art form that means so much to her and at which she’s so good at.
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services is teaming with Sam around the release of the film to help fundraise for mental health awareness; fans can donate to Didi Hirsch MHS at https://fanlink.to/SamxDidi or by texting “DIDI” to 41-444.
Additionally, Sam is kicking off a new collaborative project with electronic artist Schmuck the Loyal entitled TRY. The pair’s first single, “Hyperspace,” recently premiered during Apple’s announcement of the new iPhone 12. Stream the track at https://fanlink.to/TryHyperspace and share it via YouTube at https://youtu.be/hlmgOuPrbhg.