EXCLUSIVE: Sam Johnson Interview
Sam Johnson sat down with Stage Right Secrets to chat about “Peter Pan,” what life is like in quarantine, and new music to come. Read our exclusive Q&A, below.
Congrats on “Peter Pan,” you originally wrote the song for a friend and changed it to I, how did the two versions differ in lyrics?
Thanks! The lyrics changed a fair bit. I wanted it to evolve into more of a song about me so there were lots of tweaks made to reflect that. Everything from the second verse onwards wasn’t even written by the time we decided to swap everything to ‘I’, so you can imagine things from there being more telling of my tale.
Walk us through the creative process behind it.
Funnily enough I was writing a completely different song with my friend Odd Martin in Kobalts studios in London at the time when right at the end of the day I came up with the chords to Peter Pan. He started playing and embellishing them on the piano and I just started singing really. The melody kind of dropped out of me which is always a good sign, and the opening lyrics came soon after. We then discussed the idea of it becoming more of an autobiographical story about me but ran out of time as Odd had to go back to Norway. I then spent the next few months touring it around shows in London and Europe as only a half song and it really seemed to be connecting with people, so when I got home I started picking up the second verse whenever I felt inspired and wrote the rest of it all in my bedroom.
There are quite a few standout lyrics, do you have a personal favorite?
Thank you! Definitely- “I tried asking the stars how they lived in the dark, They told me it’s easy when you know who you are, Well how do you do? I’m the boy that you thought you once knew”.
What do you envision for a music video?
It’s funny I’ve thought about this a lot recently. I tend to always imagine me standing in a mirror with my younger self singing back to me in the reflection.
You have more new music on the way, what can you tell us about it?
Yes not long now! I can tell you it’s a lot grander and more ambitious. It’s probably the most ‘pop’ sounding song I’ll have released yet. I’m excited.
Since most of the country is or was in quarantine, what did you do to pass the time?
I spent most of my time writing, exercising, or reading Harry Potter. I’ve eaten my way through a lot of the series now and am surprised and worried at how much I’m enjoying it as a bloke in my mid twenties.
Did you find it easier or harder to be creative while stuck at home?
Surprisingly, I think it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to my creativity. I’ve realised over the last few months that I was getting quite consumed by the pace of my previous life in London. I was going here, there, and everywhere, working with a lot of different people everyday and found myself forgetting who I was a lot in the process. Having had some peace and quiet to reflect on this and work on myself a little, I feel a lot happier with where I’m at and am feeling really prolific. I’ve knocked out like four different songs in the last two days and think that my next body of work is going to be the best I’ve ever written.
What do you see for the future of the music industry?
Man, it’s hard to say. I’d like to remain positive and hope things will eventually go back to normal, but quite honestly I think a lot of artists and businesses are going to suffer. Particularly the live industry. Promoters and agents have been thrown out to sea without a life jacket by Covid and are having to adapt very quickly to the situation with no end in sight. However, I hope that we will all collectively find a way. The music industry is inevitably built on passion, talent, and love, and I think that will see us through to a brighter future.
What else can fans expect from you in 2020?
Another 3 songs and hopefully some live music solutions. I really wanna see everyone in the flesh again.