Sam Behymer

6 Nov

“Music is about what we feel, what we begin to understand about ourselves when we hear our own thoughts sung back to us from the radio.”

When you’re asked what you like about a specific artists, I’m assuming you name either their voice or songwriting…or both. Those are two very important key aspects when it comes down to people accepting your music. I’m bringing this up because earlier today, I was thinking of Sam Behymer’s music. Her voice alone renews my faith in music today. Other than her talented voice, she has lots of other things going for her; her clever lyrics in her songs to name one. Originally from Texas, Sam Behymer is now pursuing her dreams in Los Angeles, California. Her most recent EP, Bluebirds In, is like a breath of fresh air. I recently interviewed Sam and talked music, being featured on a hit TV show, and her successes thus far.

Q. How did you get your start in music and since starting, what has been your biggest success?

A. I come from a very musical family.  All of my clearest memories of childhood are musical. As a little girl I fought boredom by experimenting with my dad’s giant Yamaha synthesizer. He had a collection of classic rock mixed tapes in an old brown briefcase that we used to listen to on the drives back and forth from California to Texas visiting family and we would all four of us sing along at the top of our lungs for hours on end. The artists we listened to on those drives – Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Elton John, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Don Henley – are the artists that helped shape my musical mind from the very beginning. So, I suppose that’s how I got started. And honestly, I don’t know that I can say what my biggest success has been thus far. Every day is a success. The last note of every show and the way it rings out through the room is a success. The time I spend with so many incredible musicians is a success.

Q. Your music has been featured on So You Think You Can Dance Canada Edition. What was it like having your music showcased on such a successful show?

A. I LOVE So You Think You Can Dance. When I was first contacted about “Dear Los Angeles” being featured on the Canadian version of the show I just about went through the roof. Nathalie’s dance was gorgeous and I still cry every time I watch the clip.  I am very, very proud of that accomplishment.

Q. Since beginning your music quest, have there been any letdowns? If so, how have you overcome those hurdles?

A. Oh my, there are letdowns all the time! I’ve played shows to empty rooms and I’ve played grossly underprepared to less-than-pleased audiences. But, the most difficult hurdle is not having the support of loved ones. There have been times when my decision to pursue music has not been popular among the people dearest to me, and that is much much harder to swallow than playing to an empty room.

Q. Your EP, Bluebirds In, is composed of five songs that are full of wonderful lyrics and melodies. In the recording process, what was one of your favorite moments?

A. There were so many beautiful moments and so many hilarious ones throughout the recording process, but my absolute favorite was listening to the finished mixes in the car for the very first time. It was just glorious. Aaron Burch, who produced the record, did such an incredible job capturing the sound, and hearing it in all its glory for the first time as we barreled down the 101 freeway is a feeling I will never forget.

Q. If you had to pick one song on the top 40 radio to cover, which one would you choose and why?

A. Let’s just say I’m very much looking forward to young Mr. Bieber’s Christmas album…

Q. Speaking of top 40 music, in your opinion, do you feel like there isn’t enough talent in the music industry these days?

A. There’s plenty of talent. It’s just much easier to be heard than it used to be, and that makes it much harder to make a real impact. But, there are plenty of mainstream artists for whom I have the utmost respect and I am still very hopeful about the future of popular music. People tend to lose sight of what’s important when debating the merits of Top 40 – music is about what we feel, what we begin to understand about ourselves when we hear our own thoughts sung back to us from the radio. Maybe what’s on the radio doesn’t do that for you or me, but it does for someone and in my opinion that is worth something.

Q. One of my favorites on your recent EP is Hazy. What was the inspiration behind this song?

A. “Hazy” is about several things, mainly my relationship with an autistic child I worked with for a time.

Q. When just sitting down to write a new song, some artists have a preparation of sorts. Do you have a routine you stick to?

A. I try my best not to just sit down to write a song. I find that the best songs come to me when I am unprepared.  

Q. As an artist, what would be the ultimate success for you?

A. When I no longer need a “day job” to survive, then I will feel as though I’ve done what I set out to do!

Q. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring one of your songs to listen to, which would it be and why?

A. There is a song that I rarely play and have never recorded because it is my favorite of all the songs I’ve written, and that would be the one. It’s called “I Believe in Harvey Dent.” I may record it someday, but for now I like feeling as though it only belongs to me. I’m not sure why I’m so attached to it, but it’s almost like my musical security blanket. Is that ridiculous? It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?

Here is Sam’s video for If You Don’t Mind, a song that can be found on her first album, Heartmouth.


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