Interview: Sam Fischer

Amrit Virdi

After rising to fame with TikTok hit This City, Australian singer-songwriter Sam Fischer has thrived in the pop music scene, recently embarking on ‘A Simple Tour’ in the past couple of months. As he took the show to Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms, Amrit Virdi caught up with him to discuss the whirlwind of the past year and a half, as well as his plans for the future.

“I’ve never been to Nottingham, it’s fun! The first show of the tour I had jitters but you just kind of settle into it”, Fischer explains as he reflects on finally being able to play shows again. With his music connecting with fans from across the globe during the pandemic and tumultuous lockdowns which sent the music industry into a spiral, this is Sam’s first proper tour.

As he aptly put it, “It was weird having all the success from my living room because it just didn’t feel real. The music had travelled further round the world than I had and I wasn’t able to meet the people who gave me the life I was living. That felt strange and I felt in a way like a little undeserving of all the love because I didn’t feel like I’d worked for it. I have put in my hard yards and been through a lot in this industry, but to have the success during the pandemic was just a different beast because I wasn’t able to go out and live it.”

This City… has massed nearly 396 million Spotify streams, and launched Fischer’s career to new heights

It was March of 2019 when Fischer, who “didn’t have TikTok” at the time, was exposed to the phenomena of the social media beast. “I didn’t know what it was. We were getting YouTube comments like “Here from TikTok”, and I got a message on Instagram that was like ‘Hey don’t know if you knew this but your song is all over this app’”.

This City, tackling pressures in the industry and feeling lonely in search of your career, has massed nearly 396 million Spotify streams, and launched Fischer’s career to new heights. When asked if he felt any pressure to live up to this momentum, it was clear that the singer had a distinct mentality towards the topic. “No not really, it was such a freak thing that happened, that feeling pressure to live up to it or like make it happen again is something that is totally out of my control. I kind of find peace in that feeling because If I didn’t have a way to control my anxiety with that, I would just lose my f*****g mind. TikTok is a strange beast.”

With wisdom and knowledge on the industry, having come at it from an angle of working extremely hard for 10 years, moving to LA in 2012 and then becoming an overnight success, Fischer’s advice for those wanting to be musicians is important and draws upon  his personal experience. “Surround yourself with people who support the cause, definitely. Be prepared to face a lot of rejection and get okay with it. One no is just an opportunity to find a yes. It’s a whole other world and don’t take it too seriously,” he reflects.

Fischer revealed his passion for music stemmed from a young age

“The second you start taking yourself too seriously as an artist is the second that no one else is going to take you as seriously, and you’re going to start being disappointed in the people around you. Just try and enjoy the process and live in every day of it.”

After a humorous quip about how he wanted to be a tennis player growing up, Fischer revealed his passion for music stemmed from a young age, as he grew up inspired by the likes of Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Donny Hathaway, John Mayer, James Taylor, Ed Sheeran and Billy Joel. “I felt like music was such a language and I was able to speak it from a young age. I started playing violin when I was three, saxophone when I was 10 and piano and guitar came later. Music’s always been in me. My little brother is a musician as well and my mum is very musical so it’s always been around.”

Surprisingly, he admitted that “my parents refused to buy me more albums of the artists that I wanted to listen to, so I was like fine, I’m going to write my own music and listen to that then,” leading to his first song Wake Up being written when he was 12 years old. Simply being a song about waking up, Sam admitted “I was a simple kid!” as his humorous personality shone through.

His mother’s love of classical music and his father’s love of sundance pop-rock, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson are what he claimed “defined the first seven or eight years of my life until I started discovering music on my own,” delving into the singer songwriter world.

Fischer’s discography is full of raw and emotive lyricism, as he explains “My goal for songwriting is creating a safe place for people to feel seen and understood and understand their feelings. I’ve always been someone who lives with my heart on my sleeve.” With his fans in mind for every release, he reveals “I don’t really think about how personal it is. It’s really personal but is that f*****g weird? I don’t really think about how I’m about to put out a song which is a page out of my diary. I don’t think about it, I’m happy to do it.”

Yet his latest collaboration with Sam Feldt saw his musical journey take a shift into the electronic and dance genres, with upbeat and lively track Pick Me Up. Fischer originally wrote the song acoustically, and Feldt “came in and made it this big dance track. He smashed it.” While experimentation isn’t off the cards, Fischer wants to remain true to his singer-songwriter roots. “I enjoy doing that stuff but I am excited to just establish my sound with everything that’s coming and try to focus there. But I’m not going to shy away from a great opportunity – it just needs to be the right song and feel like me.”

Fischer sees TikTok’s current domination of the industry as both a “blessing and a curse”

Also recently collaborating with Demi Lovato on What Other People Say, he had only good words to say about them. “We just like clicked straight away. They’re awesome, such a great energy. At the end of the day they’re just a regular person and it’s wild to intimately know someone who so many people have such a misconception about, the majority of things people have said about Demi are so far from the truth, they are so chill, so cool to work with, rocked up early, stayed late, really put in their whole heart and was great to work with.” Maisie Peters, Jazmine Sullivan and Remi Wolf are just some names which Fischer expressed an interest to work with in the future.

Speaking about the future, Fischer sees TikTok’s current domination of the industry as both a “blessing and a curse”. Regarding the rise of streaming culture he reveals, “It feels like you have to tease your song two months before it comes out. That part sucks – you have to do all this promo before promo even begins and I just want to enjoy the process and the anticipation of the song coming. I hope people still listen to the full song when it comes out but it’s already out there.”

Yet he doesn’t knock it’s ability to boost people’s careers. “The music industry itself has changed and hasn’t changed – songs are still being written in the traditional way, albums are still being made, I think now there’s just a lot more opportunities for new and small artists to get heard which I think is great. TikTok has been around for a while now so it’s not this new beast – it’s been great for new music, I can’t complain!”

When describing hopes for the trajectory of his career, it is simply “touring, putting out an album (many albums) living the life I wish I’d been living the last two years. Just catching up!” With the success of This City, there’s no doubt that Fischer’s career will be on the rise – he is definitely one to watch in the industry.

Amrit Virdi

Featured image courtesy of Chuff Media. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @samfischer via @instagram.com. No changes were made to these images.

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