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Meet Samara Bradley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samara Bradley.

Samara, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia. Both of my parents are musicians, so I was in a home environment where being an artist was pretty much always respected and encouraged. My parents got divorced when I was too young to remember but the trauma of that entire situation (remarriages, growing up in a split household, living in a predominately white neighborhood in a white home as a half-black kid, etc.) has made music play even more of a key role in my life.

In second grade I started learning the violin but quickly realized that the way I like to musically express myself is through my voice. That became my main focus, along with songwriting, producing, and arranging.

My dad pushed me to start writing songs when I expressed interest in doing music professionally. It all spiraled after that and I now have over 200 written songs!

Fast forward to now, I graduated with a music degree from California Institute of the Arts in May 2019, I am a global representative for Converse with a bunch of other amazing creatives, and am working on putting together my next EP to hopefully release in early 2020!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been entirely the opposite of smooth. Apart from growing up in a broken home, my weird family situation, and having a rough childhood overall, choosing a non-traditional career path meant that a ton of people in my life were going to constantly look down on me and attempt to talk me into doing something else. I always tried to take that criticism as more of a reason to work even harder.

There was an instance recently where I accidentally overheard a family member mocking me and laughing about my decision to “move to LA and pursue music”. After the initial shock, I found myself feeling even more confident in myself and in my own ability. I have grown so much as an artist since I moved out here and have had incredible, life-changing experiences, so to have somebody try to downplay what I had accomplished made me recognize the fact that I feel really good about where I am in my life and am not worried about my future.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I’m a vocalist, songwriter, producer, and performer and I play multiple instruments for recording purposes only. I’ve been working solo pretty much forever, so I have had a lot of time to practice arranging and composing for all the different instruments that I put into my music.

In regards to lyrics, although you can’t always choose the content that comes out when you sit down to write, I try to make music that focuses on self-empowerment and strength. Sometimes I try to write as if I’m writing words that I needed to hear when I was younger in hopes that someday somebody in a similar position that I was in will find solace in my music.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The most important thing to me is feeling confident in my decisions while I travel down my own path. I don’t believe in regretting what has happened in the past and I don’t ever want to dwell or wonder what could have happened if I did things differently. I never want to lose the excitement that I feel when I think about everything that I have yet to experience and I try to always view my hardships as more reason to move forward.

I also do not compare myself to other people, whether that be musically or otherwise. I don’t want to sound like anybody except for myself. It has taken me a while to get there and is especially tricky when the people around you are trying to put you into the musical box that they think you should be in, but I feel happy in my sound and the direction in which I am growing.

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Image Credit:

Nicole Orlowski (Tauri), Cassius Pettit, Converse Media Team

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