Samantha Preis, a London-based singer-songwriter, has been described as possessing a “soulful,” “introspective,” and simply “captivating” voice. Her songwriting depicts stories of the complex vision surrounding the human condition, and simply every day life–from heartbreak, the art of letting go, and discovering yourself as an individual, Samantha’s music has begun its journey across the globe–from her home base in London, to the U.S., Middle East and beyond. Her latest single, “Lost For Me,” is available on all music streaming sites, as well as her debut album Good News, which was released in 2013.
A Perfect Playlist: How would you describe your sound?
Samantha Preis: Others have described me as sounding Pop/Jazz/Folk, or compared me with artists such as Norah Jones, Laura Nyro, Kate Bush, Tori Amos, etc.
APP: Yeah, your voice reminds me of Norah Jones mixed with a bit of Florence and the Machine. Who are a few of your influences when it comes to your unique style?
SP: The Beatles, Michael Hedges, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Steely Dan, Jethro Tull, Debussy, Jobim, Burt Bacharach, Django Reinhardt, Frank Sinatra, Gershwin, Bill Evans…. all jazz really… a lot of music from the 60’s and 70’s… I could go on and on!
APP: Tell me a little bit about your latest single, “Lost For Me.” What’s the story behind that song?
SP: The song is about an individual venturing into the unknown, armed with very little except memories of people and experiences that have shaped her. These things help guide her through her journey. I feel that people and experiences in our lives stay with us far after they are physically gone and give us direction and meaning.
APP: Favorite gig you’ve ever done?
SP: Cafe Universel – a jazz bar in Paris’ Latin Quarter – it’s a small, intimate venue where true art-lovers come to feel something.
APP: That sounds wonderful. What advice can you give to young artists who are looking to begin songwriting?
SP: Play what you feel. Write for yourself, not for anyone else.
APP: There is a theory that songs are just waiting to be written–we are constantly surrounded by them in a sense, and songwriters pin them down, capturing their story in the form of a song. If one artist doesn’t claim the song, someone else will. Do you agree with that theory? What is your songwriting process?
SP: I don’t believe songwriting is a competition. A lot of songwriters seem to feel like they need to write a song a day, or that the more songs they write, the more likely one of them will become a “hit.” I am not that way. I write when I am inspired to. I may go months without writing a song, or a very long time without feeling the desire to play at all. I have found that my best material comes in spurts and is often unplanned– it’s almost as if I am channeling something in the room that comes through me… like TV air waves!
APP: What records have you been listening to/loving lately?
SP: Loving everything by Kings of Convenience – totally brilliant. Also Chad Vangaalen is fascinating.
APP: What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in terms of your musical career?
APP: If you could bring back one artist from the dead to perform with, who would it be and why?
SP: David Bowie or Prince, possibly. I feel they both supported the idea that there are no rules in art. They created music/art they truly believed in, even when it may have been seen as unusual. People loved them for it because it was honest and real and their enthusiasm for what they did was contagious.
APP: Anything else you’d like to say to the readers of A Perfect Playlist?
SP: Love yourself. Love what you do. Keep on rocking in the free world 😉
Find Samantha here: