What’s it like to be a Canadian musician? Just ask Montreal native and singer/songwriter Sam Olson. Having worked at this since she was a little girl, Sam knows just how much passion and hard work it takes to make it in our fair country. She also knows how to celebrate every victory, like being asked to perform at Canadian Music Week in Toronto earlier in May.
Canadian Music Week is an event that happens in Toronto every year, bringing together talent from across the globe, but of course focusing on Canadian artists. And it’s not just a showcase for up and comers. This year, big names like The Weekend, Tokyo Police Club, Kiesza, and more performed alongside the up and comers, like Sam Olson.
What was it like to be there? For Sam, it was about the energy and being surrounded by people who were all there for one reason: the love of music.
CMW wasn’t Sam’s first rodeo. But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t nervous. “I don’t know what it was…that day I was full of the jitters. I got to the club, Jonny Jackson, and I did a ton of jumping jacks backstage, took a shot, and then walked onto that stage and heard the drummer do that first one-two and I just threw all caution to the wind.” It’s that caution to the wind attitude that makes Sam such a stellar performer. And that’s because she gets on stage with the notion that “no matter how many times you perform your set, it’s the first time someone else is seeing it”. Her goal with each song she writes and each performance she does is to bring the energy, but also to make people feel something. “I don’t like singers that yell at me, I like singers that make me feel something.”
That’s exactly what she set out to do while recording her most recent songs. “I got more personal,” she said. Her latest original up on Soundcloud, “Leaving” is just that. She chose the vulnerable track because she felt that it was something everyone could relate to: watching someone you love leave. “It can be about any kind of relationship…it’s one of the hardest and saddest things.” She got vulnerable for the one thing she admires in other artists: she wanted people to feel something. The overwhelming positive feedback she’s received further validated her choice.
The next single we can look forward to from Sam Olson is a personal favourite of hers, “Twenty-Something”. “It’s about being in your twenties, in that age where you want to still be carefree and fun but then there’s real life too. It’s where I’m at, where most of my friends are at. It speaks to most of the people I know. I like that”. We happen to also love the relatable track.
We couldn’t end our chat without knowing one thing though: What would be a perfect day in Montreal for Sam Olson? “A Sunday. I love being on my bike and I love brunch. So I’d ride my bike to Sparrow for the Turkish Breakfast. Then the day can be a Tams or Atwater Market/Canal day and end with a BBQ. Or one of my favourite things to do on a summer Sunday in Montreal is go to Piknic Electronik.”
One final piece of advice from the songstress? “Be sure of yourself. Everyone has an opinion. Listen to yourself.”