Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:48:40
On her latest release Bombay Calling, Samsaya takes pop down a new highway. She adds a personal panache and sultry swing to big hooks and bouncy anthems, creating something that’s instantly undeniable in the process. Bombay Calling illustrates just how diverse and dynamic she is...
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Samsaya talks Bombay Calling, her EP iTunes link, and so much more.
What was your vision for Bombay Calling?
The producer Fred Ball and I had a lot of fun with it. I always felt like a bit of an alien in the studio. It's tricky to get the same energy you get when you play live. I love playing live. I was so happy when I met Fred. He's a fun guy, and it felt like we were doing shows in the studio. I wanted to get that fun and electric vibe.
What ties everything together for you?
For me, it's like traveling. That's the best way to explain it. It's not like destination travel, but it's more like time travel. Actually, the little kid on the first track is me when I was six-years-old. I used to tape these cassettes for my uncle. I'd send him recorded stories of my life because he was in India, and I was in Norway. He had those recordings. I thought it was funny because "Bombay Calling" is about traveling back and forth from India to Norway. They're such different places that they feel like separate planets. I remember when the doors would open on the plane, and I'd get out. I almost wouldn't be able to breathe because it was like a different atmosphere [Laughs]. I was really dramatic as a kid. I tried to capture some of that in the song. In songs like "Jaywalking", there's a process of not trying to define everything in life but tapping into it.
It's very natural and urgent.
That's what is so great about music. Music was and still is my best friend. If I didn't feel like I fit in or I didn't know how to talk about things, I could sing about them, write about them, or feel them out in music. That has been such a big support in my life. It's been a celebration to have that. I wanted the record to be that for others as well. When you're really honest in your music and you're tapping into emotions, people have a chance to feel with you. They can relate the music to their own lives and have these emotions themselves. The songs would make me feel strong in situations when I felt it was impossible. I want people to feel empowered when they put on the songs. I want them to leave the show feeling like they can save the world. They really tap into that strength I feel people have inside.
What's the story behind "Good With The Bad"?
It comes from when you get stuck in the grey zone sometimes. You don't know what's wrong. Something is wrong though. The days don't change. For some reason, you feel like you've got nothing. I don't know if it's because we see so many different things on a daily basis that we get detached from what we have or we don't even realize. "Good With The Bad" is about that. You're taking that moment, shutting down, looking around yourself, and realizing what is there. Life is so short. You don't want to lose that. You want to live it to the fullest. It's not about wasting it or just going crazy that night and losing your mind. It's about seizing it, being awake, and aware. I've been able to travel a lot with music, see people, and meet them. When I'm depressed, I wrote this song to stop, enjoy what I'm doing, and see where I'm at. I didn't have to constantly run. I can feel what I'm doing. At that point, it becomes more real to me. You make time to see and experience what's around you. You can see life is amazing.
What artists shaped you?
There are so many artists and inspirational people. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Ghandi shaped me. My friend told me, "You were listening to Jimi Hendrix and you had Gandhi and King books in your hands!" That always inspired me. People would do things that weren't necessarily popular, but they were doing what came from their hearts. I listen to André 3000 for instance. These people are real to themselves even though they live in environments with a dominant culture. They do their own thing, and that appeals to me.
If Bombay Calling were a movie or a combination of movies, what would it be?
Wow, nice question! When I write songs, I try to think of them as small movies. It's interesting. There's a film I used to love when I was really young called Mr. India. Let's see! E.T. is a good one for sure. There are so many great movies. I love Star Warsbecause I love Yoda. I love characters. I'm focusing on that one muscle. It's the most fantastic muscle we have, and it's the heart.
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