Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

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Interview: Sam Fischer

10 min read

Australian singer-songwriter Sam Fischer seems to have the pop world in the palm of his hand. Having worked with a number of the biggest acts in the genre including Amy Shark, Meghan Trainor and Demi Lovato over the last couple of years, the rising Sydney star is today celebrating the highly anticipated release of his debut album. Titled I Love You Please Don’t Hate Me, the record boasts come of the catchiest pop gems of the year with each song highlighting the musicians emotive, personal and powerful songwriting skills.

Ahead of the records release, we caught up with Sam to talk about the new collection of songs and his pop star collaborations. Here is what he had to tell us…

Brendon Veevers: Hey Sam! How are you doing today and where in the world does this interview find you?

Sam Fischer: I’ve just flew from Washington DC on the east coast of the US. I’m in London now. I spent the last two months in Australia. My body doesn’t know where I am! But physically, I am in London.

BV: Your debut album is coming out on December 1st. Debut albums are a pretty huge moment for a musician. How are you feeling as release date draws closer?

SF: I feel weirdly calm about everything. This album has taken me 4,000 years to get out – it’s been in the works for a long time. I think it’s going to be an amazing, cathartic moment once it’s released. I’m just excited to be an artist with an album out. It’s great.

BV: The album’s title is I Love You Please Don’t Hate Me – a very powerful title. Can you tell us a little about why you landed on that for the album title?

SF: I chose the title because a) I think it’s my favourite song on the record. But on top of that, this whole album is a reflection on the state of my mind over the last four or five years. It’s just a big, honest conversation with myself, unpacking all the feelings that I’ve felt in the most human way possible. I guess you could also look at it in two parts: there’s the I Love You part of the album which is all the positive and loved up songs, and the Please Don’t Hate Me part is more confessions of where I’m at.

BV: On Facebook a couple of months ago you said about the album “It’s not exactly been a conventional few years to say the least and I’m a different person now than I was when I started this album”. Can you talk to us a little about this and the most prominent changes in your life?

SF: When This City took off, I was in a position where I wanted to quit being an artist, but I was flung back into the spotlight with the track. There were three months towards the end of 2019 and into 2020 where I felt like a genuine star. But then the pandemic happened, which changed all of us. I could barely pay my rent back when This City was released. But now, I think I’m just a more realistic person; in some ways it’s sad that I don’t get as excited with things as I used to, but I’m sometimes afraid of getting my hopes up and having them dashed.

I think what’s going to be great is that with this album, everything I haven’t been able to move on from in what I talk about on the album, I hope that once it’s out I’ll be able to let go of all the emotional baggage that I’ve been carrying around. But yeah, I feel like I’m a more grounded person, some of the people around me that I worked with at the start of the album is different compared to now… it wasn’t quite the romantic process that every artist dreams of when making an album. But here we are! I couldn’t be more proud to have this record out, and that’s what counts.

BV: Your nephews seem to be very proud of Uncle Sam going by some other posts we came across recently. Apart from having nephews that can brag about their popstar uncle, how has the transition from struggling musician to rising global star with pop stars on his speed dial been for you so far?

SF: My nephew really is the star of the family now! But yeah, it’s been fucking great. It was a weird time to start rising during the pandemic, but I’m really just so grateful for it all. Now where we’re in a time that tours are back and people are releasing albums, I’m in a little bit of a catch up mode where the momentum that I had at the start of the pandemic was so unreal, with global tours with big stars lined up and all sorts, then it all got shut down. So, I’m excited to build my live business now, because that’s where I shine the most.

BV: On that note, in a short space of time you have worked with some pretty incredible artists in the industry including Demi Lovato who you duet with on What Other People Say which is on the upcoming album. How did that come about?

SF: People ask me all the time about how my collaborations come about. It sounds arrogant, but I really think it’s the power of a good song. Then it’s just about meeting an artist and seeing if you get along, being human, you know? The one with Demi, that was official channels. Demi had recorded the whole song and was gonna release it. But then This City got big, and both of our teams linked up with each other and we decided to do it as a duet. It was an unbelievable experience, and getting to know Demi was so great. We’re still in close contact now. If you told me that my debut album would feature three badass female superstars, I would’ve said ‘I wish’ – but it’s happening now!

BV: You also worked with Meghan Trainor on the track Alright. She has become such a prolific songwriter over the last ten years – what would you say you took away from working with Meghan?

SF: Meghan and I are homies, we were friends first. We met each other around 2018 and that’s when we originally recorded Alright. One thing about Meghan is that she knows exactly what she wants. Her taste and standards are exceptionally high, and she strives for nothing but perfection. She’s an absolute powerhouse and honestly deserves way more respect than she gets. So, it was that work ethic she has that I took away from the experience for sure. I’m very lucky to be friends with her and her family.

BV: When it comes to collaborations, is there something that you look for in other artists that you want to record a song with? Also, when it comes to writing for other artists, is there a check list of requirements you have before deciding to work with someone?

SF: I don’t think I look for any kind of checklist. Sometimes when I write a song, I’ll dream and think about getting some big artists to feature on it. But sometimes it’s just about sending a message – you never know. If you don’t ask, you don’t receive. I’ve been lucky enough to receive a good few times now. I’m a fan of my peers, and there are so many artists that I’d love to work with just to experience them on a human level and be friends with them.

BV: Your writing comes from a very personal place. Do you ever find it difficult to revisit feelings of anxiety or trauma or personal struggle when you perform these songs or is therapeutic to do that?

SF: I don’t ever find it difficult to go to that place emotionally. Before I write a song, if there’s an intense thing that’s happened to me that I want to write about, the most anxiety inducing thing is not being able to find the words to what I’m feeling. That gives me anxiety. So, sometimes it takes a but more time in the writing process. But when I perform them, I don’t know about other artists but sometimes you can just end up looking into the crowd and thinking about what everyone else is doing like some drunk person doing some silly stuff! But when I sing big emotional songs, it’s amazing to see people emotionally connecting with them. I don’t every shy away from getting personal, real and being an open book on stage. Because the comments and reactions I get from my fans are just so beautiful. It’s bigger than me sometimes.

BV: Challenges with mental health are explored quite a lot on the record. You sing very openly about things connected to this topic on the album but in general do you think mental health still carries a stigma to it that stops people from talking about it?

SF: No. I think we’ve reached this point where artists are very open in talking about mental health – they always have been, but it just hasn’t been taken as seriously until now. But I think out of all sorts of people in the public eye, athletes are showing that mental health breaks are needed. Look at Naomi Osaka, she was the biggest tennis star in the world a few years ago and she need to take a break for her mental health, which sent shockwaves through the tennis community in a really positive way. So, I think these conversations are becoming more of the norm now and any stigma that’s associated with artists going through mental health problems is more demeaning than anything else. Nobody wishes for people to go through mental health crises, so for artists to sing about it is a really important thing. I’m just really fortunate to have songs that people relate to, and to be signed with a team like RCA and Sony Music UK who take mental health seriously.

BV: You have found massive success through TikTok and social media platforms. What has been so special for you around this particular platform?

SF: When the algorithm gives on TikTok, it gives so much. It’s a really powerful tool that’s given artists the chance to break into the industry. When This City went viral on TikTok, it was at the very beginning of virality on TikTok, but it had this long life as well which I got super lucky with. I didn’t even have TikTok when it went viral – I wish I did so that I can find out why it happened and be the biggest artist in the world! But I think it’s good for music discovery. There will always be new apps that come and go, so we’ll just see where it goes.

BV: When it comes to live shows, what do you enjoy the most about touring and live performances?

SF: I love playing live. I think the coolest thing is when people come to see my shows and they realise I’m not just a sad acoustic act. My shows have a lot of energy, sick transitions, great arrangements, my brilliant band… The one thing I haven’t been able to do is to play, because of the pandemic. I was supposed to tour alongside Niall Horan playing these massive venues, but then the pandemic hit. So, we’ve had to go and go again and it’s hard and expensive to tour nowadays. But it’s everything to me. All I want to do is play live. I’m the bets version of myself on stage; I’m the funniest I’ve ever been, I’m the sexiest I’ve ever been, I’m the most talented person I’ve ever been and the most confident too. I just want the world to be able to experience that version of me, because you can’t get that across in a 15 second TikTok.

BV: What plans do you have for touring or shows for fans to get tickets to?

SF: So, the album is out December 1st.  My LA show is on December 7th, New York is December 12th and next year, we have tour and travel plans! I’m going to be relocating to the UK so I’ll be doing a lot more here and in Europe, as well as touring Australia a lot. There might even be a cheeky collaboration in the works. But overall, I just want to be a pest. I want people to be sick of me!

Sam Fischer’s debut album I Love You Please Don’t Hate Me is out today. 

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