Samantha Harvey is based near Needham Market who’s new single ‘Company’ has shot up to Number 1 on the iTunes chart and has over 100k streams on Spotify.
It wasn’t always recording studios and music videos though, her career started all the way back at the age of eight when she attended an amateur dramatics group where she performed at The Regal Theatre in Stowmarket.
From there, she took performing arts at Suffolk New College and found her passion for all things performance. We took a deeper look into her career and the release of her new music.
Can you tell us a bit about your early career?
In college, I didn’t feel like music and performing was work. I had to do practical stuff but it was mainly going in and doing lessons on subjects that I love, I always thought that was amazing. It was such a transition from high school. In college my dream job was to be a performer on a cruise ship, you know it was either that or the West End for a lot of people in my college year.
When I left college, reality hit that I needed to pay rent at home and I had to get a job. I worked in admin for a while, and then I was looking online and found an advert on Gumtree for a band that were looking for a singer. So I reached out to them, auditioned and they let me in! I started doing weddings and pubs gigs and built it up over time. I started to get my own solo gigs from that. At the gigs, people would also say ‘instead of us waiting to see you at your next gig, why not post some covers on Facebook’.
I was super nervous about it, I’d never posted my covers before. So I sat down one evening with an acoustic instrumental from Youtube and just started singing raw, all with the bathroom reverb. People started really reacting to them and then someone told me I needed to change my Facebook profile to public so that even more people could see it. As soon as I did that it just blew up overnight. I remember laying in bed just watching the views go up and up. It just blew up & I couldn’t believe it!
I started doing monthly song requests, people would always reach out and have me do a cover for someone close to them that may be struggling with an illness. My platform grew massively and from there my life changed & opportunities came flying in. Eventually I was lucky enough to be able to have it as my full-time job.
What was it like putting the single together?
Basically, when I met my management, they were like ‘you don’t necessarily need a record label, let’s invest the money instead to release your independent single’. I managed to save up £20,000 from when I was working all the way back from the age of ten. I saved up every penny with the thought of buying a house but I followed my managements advice and put it into my first independent single. It was so worrying because there was always the thought that it would flop and nothing would come of it but I took a leap of faith and I’m so glad I did.
It’s one thing people liking your post on Facebook, it’s an entirely different thing to actually be purchasing the single and listening to it. So luckily it got noticed and I had a few record label meetings and they snapped me up and gave me a really good deal. I was with them for a couple of years but things came to a mutual end eventually because we were struggling to get new music out. With social media, I feel like you’ve got to hit it at the right time and if you leave it for an extended time people will just forget about you and move on to the next big thing.
I’ve found it’s really tough with a label because obviously they control everything but we parted ways and now I’m with new management and i’m doing it all through an independent record label. Thankfully, it’s all going really well for me, I’m in control of everything. It’s brilliant and I’m loving it!
It must be going well, you’ve reached No.1 on the iTunes chart!
I know, I can’t believe it! Somebody messaged me to say it was in the top 200 and I giggled because I just hadn’t expected that and then in the next 24 hours I started doing a social media campaign about it and then all of the sudden it rocketed up to number one. I just couldn’t believe it. I was doing an Instagram live and I said ‘if it gets into top 40, I’ll eat a bit of dog food’, not thinking that it actually would get past that. And then people went and bought the single so I did end up eating dog food on the livestream. EW!
Do you have any plans for after lockdown?
Yes so we have a plan to release music every couple of months so the next one should hopefully be middle of April time. Then I’m going to release a few more covers on Apple and Spotify because I love doing covers as well. We’re working towards a tour in November but it’s hard to know whether that’ll go ahead at the minute with everything up in the air. My agent is putting me forward for a few supporting acts gigs at festivals so if that happens it’ll be super exciting but I can’t say any names in case I jinx it!
What would you like to say to the people who have supported you?
Thank you so much, I am so grateful. Releasing music is like a roller coaster of emotions, a couple of months you’re on a really huge buzz and then you have a couple of months of downtime when you feel like nothing’s really going on. It’s emotionally and physically exhausting but it can also be the most amazing industry to be in. I feel like because I’m so grateful and have a strong belief that what you put out there you get back, I honestly feel like that works so well for me. The more grateful I am, the more it brings that same good luck again, if that makes sense at all!
How can people buy it?
It’s on all platforms, Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, Youtube, all of it! If you would like to you can check my covers out on Facebook and Youtube too because I still love doing them when I can.