Upcoming singer-songwriter & producer, Samantha Margret, has released the official video to accompany her recently acclaimed empowering single “Feminist Gf”.
Samantha has kindly taken the time to speak with me about the release of her incredible single, along with getting to find out more from the artist herself.
Hey Samantha, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. Can you start by telling the readers a little bit about yourself?
Samantha: Thanks so much for having me! Well, I’m a singer songwriter from California. I am obsessed with fruit (as food, as prints on clothing, as jewelry). I have a black cat named Sirius who mostly enjoys pretending to cuddle as a preamble to biting, and I’m very excited to be here with you all. More recently, I’ve taken up all the classic quarantine hobbies including baking bread, reorganizing all of my things in rainbow order, and re-watching Gilmore Girls.
When did you first discover your musical passion?
Samantha: Singing is my first love. I would wander around my elementary school with a tape recorder “writing songs,” but I don’t come from a musical family. No one in my family played an instrument or had ever been in the music industry. It didn’t seem like a real job. My dad loves music. He would print out the lyrics to his favorite country songs and sing me to sleep with this huge repertoire, and my grandfather was a real musical theater buff, and they loved when I did school musicals or sang in choir. In college, I joined an all-women a cappella group called Significant Others. All along, I was writing music and taking lessons, but I couldn’t imagine it as a career. I didn’t even know what a full-time musician did all day. Then, I started working and I was miserable. I guess I always had this little dream brewing in the back of my mind that I would figure out how to be a songwriter, and when I wasn’t following that path it broke my heart. After that it took about a year to understand what the business side of things looked like, and another year to figure out who I was as an artist. (Although that journey is endless.)
What was the first song that you performed in front of a live audience & do you still include on your set-list?
Samantha: What a great question! As a kid, my dad put me in a big beehive wig, and I sang “Crazy” —the Patsy Cline song—at a talent show. But the first song of my own that I did at an open mic was called “What If,” and I actually released it about a year later. I got really lucky. The host of that open mic was this sweet guy named Pete Sommer. I was so nervous to perform my own music that I had to start over twice, but Pete encouraged me. He’s a West Coast Songwriters member, and he told me I should enter the competitions. The fact that someone thought my songs could be in a competition was a big deal to me. I still include “What If” in my setlist from time to time, but I’m a sucker for new songs. I have to remind myself that it’s fun for the audience to hear something they know.
How would you describe your musical style to someone unfamiliar with your work?
Samantha: I’m a pop writer, and I like to make music that is listenable and innovative at the same time. When I’m writing for myself, my focus is to never write the same song twice. Every story has been written before in one way or another, but we all have some favorites that break the mold just enough to stand out for us. That’s always my aim: something familiar and original.
You recently released the brand new single “Feminist gf”, which sounds incredible by the way. How did the idea to create this song first come together?
Samantha: Thank you! Some songs take a long time to write, but this one came together really fast. I had a call with a guy I know, and we got on the topic of Instagram. Then, he said “I love it when hot bitches fail.” I was pretty shocked. I mean, I expect that kind of thing from random trolls or sexist front-of-house engineers, but this wasn’t some stranger. I knew him. I knew his girlfriend. I had heard him call himself a feminist. I didn’t know what to say.
After the call, I was mad at him, and I was mad at myself for not responding. I wrote “Feminist gf” in a pure rage, start to finish.
What does the song personally mean to you?
Samantha: As I moved into producing “Feminist gf,” it became really clear that I had channeled a lot of past grudges into it. Yes, it was about the guy on the call, but it was also about the way that people use the word feminism like it goes on a t-shirt. I stopped writing with men for a while because they kept thinking it was a date, or, in one case, I ended up stuck listening to a co-writer rant about how women won’t date him because we’re “too shallow.” The same men who are eager to call themselves a feminist are often totally closed off to any perspective that contradicts that self-image. They might not want to listen to me, but I want to say it. That’s what the song is for.
How did your family & friends react when they first heard the single?
Samantha: It’s been a really great response from family and friends. I learned a lot about being an outspoken woman from my mom, so she has loved this song from the start. A lot of my friends knew about the original call, so they were pumped for the song to come out too. I think my partner was most excited though. He couldn’t wait to share it at work. He’s an engineer and very much in the nine to five world, so it’s a lot of fun for him to share my music with his colleagues. They all think I’m much more glamorous than I am.
If listeners could take away any message from this song, what would you like it to be?
Samantha: My producer, John Caviness, said his mom really likes the song. That for me is the ultimate goal. I hope it gives moms and grandmas everywhere a little swearing and hardcore feminism in their lives. Seriously though, I want womxn to draw power from this song. Whatever you need to say to the person who has been keeping you down, you can.
Are there any further musical releases planned that you are able to tell us about at the moment?
Samantha: Yes! The next single is called “Saucy.” It’s my first song with a rap feature, so I’m pretty excited about that. My friend, Son of Paper, did a phenomenal rap about sauces. “Feminist gf” was pretty hard hitting, so this next single is a little break. It’s still a song about being who you are and feeling good about it, but it’s more lighthearted and silly. I’m aiming for a December release.
What are some of the things you enjoy outside of the music?
Samantha: I love to paint. I recently did a series of portraits of women I admire in all different colors. Virginia Woolf is green and purple and Anne Carson is red and orange. When I started working on music more seriously, I needed a creative outlet with no stakes. When I paint, I remind myself that, if it comes out bad, I can always burn it. No one will mind.
Who would be your dream musical duet partner & why?
Samantha: Sara Bareilles has always been a role model for me. Her writing is poetic, and her voice is emotive. She gets to the root of a lot of truths that most of us either don’t want to face or don’t know how to put into words. I play a cover of her song “Gravity” at a lot of my live shows. I would love to sing it with her.
What was the first album that you can recall purchasing & do you still listen to it now?
Samantha: I bought a copy of P!nk’s album Missundaztood as a preteen and really felt like a teenager. My cousins weren’t allowed to listen to it because of the swearing, but my dad said, “the message is good, so the swearing is for a good cause.” I still use that line to explain my own music. He liked what P!nk stood for I think. We’re still big P!nk fans in my family. I listen to her newer music a lot more than I listen to Missundaztood, but I’m definitely going to go back and listen to it now that we’ve talked about it.
What advice would you offer someone looking to pursue a career within the music Industry?
Samantha: It’s been really helpful to think of myself as the founder of my own business. If someone were starting their own company in any other industry, they wouldn’t wait around for other people to tell them how to do it or to start it for them. But, as musicians, we are often told that we need other people before we can do anything. It’s great to have a team, but there’s so much you can do for yourself if you seek wisdom from peers and mentors. You don’t need to get signed to make music you’re proud of and find people who love it.
Finally, is there a message you would like to share with the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?
Samantha: I’ve been trying to remind myself that there are plenty of small joys all around me, and it is okay to take a break and enjoy them. With COVID, the fires (I’m in Northern California right now), and the election, there’s a lot to think about and a lot to do. I think balance is key. Sometimes we need to be speaking out and acting on our convictions and other times we need to rest up so we can do it again the next day.
You can check out the official video for “Feminist Gf” below.