Up ahead, dazzling LA-based pop artist, Sam Casper (@samxxcasper on Instagram) discusses her music career. Samantha has chosen to be herself and have fun with creating as an act of defiance against her belief that the industry has been stripped of its authenticity. She has a monthly newsletter available on her website samcasper.com and her music is streaming everywhere.
Who is Sam Casper?
Who is Sam Casper? Sam Casper is me, Samantha, the only difference is that Sam Casper is always in full glam, she is self-assured and hardly ever takes time off. I love Halloween and wanted to incorporate something related to that for my last name and that is when Casper came about. When I was first deciding what I wanted my stage name to be I didn’t want to use my real name and that was a time when everyone called me Sam. I am now realizing that Samantha is so much sexier and more mature. With new music and live shows, I will slowly shift from Sam Casper to Samantha.
When did you decide to pursue music?
I decided to pursue music seriously while I was living in New York after I dropped out of college and quit my 18-year-old managing position at Brandy Melville (hilarious I know, but I did meet some incredible ladies along the way). David Bowie and Bob Dylan were my musical awakening. Their music showed me that it can all be done with a little bit of glamor and wit.
What’s your newest single about?
My newest single was created during a time when I was living in a cockroach and mice-infested apartment, too afraid to fall asleep for fear of something crawling on me so I would stay up watching old movies. The movie at that time was something glamorous and filled with riches and love. Following the starlet on the screen, I decided if I only had a little bit of luck, I could get out of this damn apartment, start singing in front of thousands of people, and end up on that hill like the actress in the movie. Good Luck speaks to all of the young artists who are struggling to be heard in the sea of other creators, staying up late, and obsessing over what it is they are working on. Before you know it, you’ll be that person on stage that you used to look up to when you were living in some nasty apartment building … With just a little bit of luck.
From your EP Red as Love in 2019 to your single “‘Good Luck” in 2022, do you see a progression in style or sense a redirection?
Thankfully I am always progressing as an artist, I believe true artists are constantly on the hunt for a feeling that sets them free. I absolutely see a forward movement in my songwriting as well my artistic direction. I have been taking vocal lessons which have helped me tremendously through the process of re-discovering my vocal confidence. My single, Good Luck was more of a, “ok let’s just release something that sounds fun.”. Red as Love was baby me, my first shot at producing and composing music with a stranger I met that year, Miles Singleton (sweet angel, hope Germany is treating you well). Sometimes I get embarrassed at how raw that EP was and want to delete it from the internet but then I remember that it’s all part of the beautiful process of creating.
What has been your favorite project so far?
Not in a self-loathing type of way, but I don’t have a favorite project so far. I love the music videos that I’ve done, but I believe my favorite project is the one I’m doing right now, living in Hollywood and creating my favorite stories in the middle of the night.
What’s your artistic process like? Is it more sporadic or have you maintained a writing routine?
My artistic process is fucking ridiculous and tiring but I adore it. On a night where I know I am going to start on a new song I usually wake up around 2 pm, go for a walk around Hollywood, take a bubble bath, and then cook a very filling meal that will sustain me until midnight. I light all of my candles, put on an outfit that fits the mood, pour some champagne, put on a record, and then project an old movie on the wall. I would say that I am a writer before a singer so I find it very important to write keywords that relate to the type of song I would like to start on. Each song is a story, descriptive and emotional. It is important that I’m not too drunk or else I’ll just make a joke of it all, which isn’t always a bad thing.If I don’t do any of the above, I’ll just go to Jones down the street, have a few martinis then come back home and whip out a new song that may never see the light of day. I still believe that practice makes perfect.
Your music videos are very cinematic, have you considered making a short film or dabbling in other forms of media?
I would love to direct a short film, I have absolutely thought about it, but I’ll save that for the filmmakers of the world. I am more than happy to collaborate on a film with someone but I’m the type of person who would become completely overwhelmed with the task and sabotage the whole thing. I do hope to one day act in a movie and win an Oscar because let’s face it, if you’re going to do something, you may as well be the best at it. I took acting classes as a kid and have always wanted to be an actress before I was a singer, but I am enjoying the process of creating music.
Do you enjoy performing live or is there a bit of nervousness?
Performing live is one of my favorite acts of self-expression. I have always loved performing in front of people. As a young girl, I would put on shows for my family in my grandma’s basement, selling them tickets and then showcasing a dance with my cousins. Don’t get me wrong, the hours leading up to a show always leave me feeling a bit anxious, I’m starting to realize I should just sleep up until the last hour before going on stage.
Where do you take inspiration from? What has influenced your style musically?
My inspiration comes from the 1920-1970s. Fifty imperative years have shaped the person that I have become and will continue to be. Movies also play such a crucial role in both my music and style. I appreciate the facade of what was Old Hollywood, I say facade because there were a lot of dark things happening behind closed doors. Give me rage, glitz, glamor, drugs, expensive champagne and fur coats.
How do you maintain this level of femininity? Have you always been a confident person?
Oh! Being a woman is the absolute greatest gift anyone could ask for. However, I do have many ups and downs when it comes to my confidence and how I carry myself. I believe in order to achieve peak confidence and self-love, one must go through a complete mental breakdown. It is important to check in with yourself and question whether or not you are being the person that you would admire if you weren’t the one inside of your body. You can’t build yourself up without starting with a strong foundation.