INTERVIEW WITH… SOUL INFLUENCED FOLK ARTIST I USED TO BE SAM
I Used To Be Sam is the musical moniker of Soulful Folk Pop artist Annie Goodchild uses for her new musical endeavor. The Singer-Songwriter who you may recognize from her work and time as a featured artist with Postmodern Jukebox. Goodchild on her forthcoming self-titled EP, tackling on identity, transracial adoption and her complex journey through all of it into self discovery. I chatted with the singer and she provided TRB with an exclusive performance of the lead single “Seamstress”. Watch and read below!
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Hi, Annie! How has your year been so far? Thanks so much for doing this performance!
I USED TO BE SAM: Hi! My year has been a labor of love. I’m tired, grateful, and really excited to share my project with everyone.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can you tell us a bit of your backstory and how that plays into your current artist story?
I USED TO BE SAM: Sure. I’ve been writing and playing music for a while now, and up until recently, I hadn’t written or talked about a major part of my identity. I am a TRA (Transracial Adoptee). For me, and I think for many adoptees, there is a kind of shame around adoption; it can be a solitary existence. So when I ended up taking a DNA test and connected for the first time with some of my birth family, and at the same time, got re-rejected by my birth mother, I knew I couldn’t hold onto that by myself anymore. That immense pain and sense of loss was really the catalyst to the “I Used To Be Sam” project. Samantha, I confirmed, had been my birth name.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I found the music video for the track ‘Seamstress’ all at once haunting and freeing. Can you talk about how the music video came together?
I USED TO BE SAM: I really wanted the visual to “Seamstress” to be almost vague and just enhance the song itself. I filmed seamstress in the woods of Switzerland on a cold and foggy day. It was physically a hard shoot, but I also think the weather and atmosphere really helped create the right tone. I knew I didn’t want a strong narrative or a lot of singing into camera, but rather have a sense of aimless wandering and carefully pick where I lip sync the words.
The one moment I do this is lyrically and musically the moment of realisation where I’m finally admitting to myself that this woman, my birth mother – who I’ve imagined, wondered about, and yearned for my whole life – will never want to know me. The idea of floating just above the ground is in some ways my ignorance and my hopes. When I finally touch my feet down to the earth it represents my knowledge of the truth and “at least now I know.”
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What lyric from ‘Seamstress’ do you feel is most apropos to our current times?
I USED TO BE SAM: One of my favourite lines from Seamstress is “I’ve hemmed all my trauma so it doesn’t drag on the ground.” I think in a time where people are finally talking about their mental health without a sense of shame, this line really rings true for me. I don’t open up very easily, and feeling vulnerable enough to get the support and help I need can sometimes feel impossible. So seeing other humans being able to challenge this fear, especially in the current adoptee community, has been really huge for me.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What’s your early prediction for the song of summer 2022?
I USED TO BE SAM: Ooh that’s hard! At least for my summer, Gabriel’s “Love and Hate in a Different Time”
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: And to close out, what’s next on the horizon for you and anything else you want to add or say?
I USED TO BE SAM: Thanks so much for having me. I’ll be releasing my EP this Sept, and performing a big release show in Basel [Switzerland] with a choir. I’m really excited to get a chance to show everyone the vocals that I’ve written and put together for this project. In the meantime, I will continue to educate myself and others on adoption and hopefully keep collaborating with other TRA’s. I also wanted to add that even if you aren’t personally affected by adoption, I think the themes of self worth, family, fear, and rejection are very human ones. So I hope my music and this project resonates with you.
I USED TO BE SAM // SOCIALS