Sam Rochford – Artist Interview
Written by Matt Zin on September 30, 2020
Speaking of inspirations, how did you get started in music? What sparked your interests? Did you have influences, coaches, family to inspire you?
My dad plays guitar and worked for a company that facilitated music lessons and summer camps focused on music education. So I was around music my whole life growing up and I was very involved in choir in high school. I didn’t start writing music until I was 18 or 19 and I have been honing my craft ever since. I used to love watching shows like American Idol and the Voice, even though I don’t think those types of singing competitions are for me, because I loved seeing the transformation of someone that was a regular person working an office job becoming a professional entertainer in the matter of months. It made me believe I could make a transformation like that!
When did you start writing music? Do you still have some of your original songs from long ago?
Yes, but nobody is allowed to listen to them anymore! I started writing music as kind of a joke. I would make up improv songs on the spot about the dumb stuff my friends were doing just to make people laugh and I enjoyed the process so much that I began writing more serious songs. I definitely have recordings of some of my earliest work saved, but I wouldn’t want to show it to anyone. I’m grateful for the experience of writing that way because it made me the type of writer I am today, but it’s so different from what I write now that I just don’t want anyone to associate me with that work anymore.
I love your song, “So Easy.” Can you tell our listeners what this song is all about? What inspired you to write this song?
My little sister got married last November in a really small ceremony. My brother officiated the wedding, and I was supposed to make a speech as part of the ceremony so we could all be involved. I figured I would try to write a song instead of giving a speech, but it was a harder task than I thought. Since it was for a wedding, I thought I had to make it really cheesy and about two people that were soul mates that had this perfect love with no problems, but I hated the first few drafts of the song. It felt disingenuous to write about love that way because I’ve never experienced love like that, I don’t think anybody has outside of a movie. I started thinking about my relationship with my sister, my boyfriend, and all the different people I’ve loved over the course of my life and realized it wasn’t about “perfect” relationships. The most successful relationships I’ve ever been in were the ones where I felt completely accepted flaws and all. Relationships are about work, respect, and honesty, not about the crap you see in Disney movies. So once I changed my mindset, the final draft of the song was written in about 45 minutes! And it made my grandma cry at the ceremony.
How do you start your writing process? Do you write about your past experiences or do you write about other people?
My writing process usually starts with an interesting lyric. When I hear something or think of an interesting turn of phrase I text it to myself and try to sit down and write about it later. Sometimes I’ll open my phone hours later and completely forget why I texted myself a weird turn of phrase.
I write a lot about myself and my past experiences. I like to write about things that happened a long time ago, especially if I already have a song on the subject, because I like to see how my perspective has changed over time. I learn so much about myself through writing music, I find myself expressing things I didn’t even realize I was feeling. I also write a lot about other people’s experiences. Especially if people I’m close to are going through big life changes like breakups or moving to a new city, I like to try to condense their story into a three minute song.
How would you describe your music?
If you are looking at popular classifications of genres, I would describe my music as folk or Americana. Outside that, I would say that my music is very lyric driven and very personal. I try to tell stories and learn something about myself every time I write and I hope the people that listen to my songs feel the same way.
What do you want out of your music career?
This sounds so cliche, but I just want to be happy. I’ve had lots of office and restaurant jobs that just suck the life out of me. I’ve never cared about doing anything but playing music, so if I can find a way to play music and support myself then I think I’ll have life pretty figured out. I don’t have aspirations of being famous, though I know being a successful recording artist sort of comes with that territory. I just want to create because I love doing it and not worry about my bills.
Could you tell us about any tours, music, projects, that you have coming up?
Right now I’m writing my butt off and getting ready to record and release new music in the next 6 months or so. I’m playing a lot of local Nashville shows which you can keep up with on my social media. I also do a weekly Facebook Live broadcast to keep up with fans that live too far to come to a local Nashville show!
It was great getting to know you through your music Sam, please tell our listeners where your music can be found. Also, feel free to use this time for any shoutouts, special news, etc.
Thank you so much for having me! You can find links to my music and social media through my website http://www.samrochford.com
T Dawn and BTD Radio