Debut “Interior Person,” written by George, Alex Lilly, Barbara Gruska, is meticulously crafted album of female-led creativity, strength, humor.
Samantha Sidley as photographed by Logan White
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Samantha Sidley | “I Like Girls” | June 21st | Release Me Records
“I’m gay and I’m proud, and I want to sing songs that are about being gay and proud,” Samantha Sidley explains about “I Like Girls,” but also about actually liking girls.
She is content in her skin, in her relationship, and about how her marriage is not just personal i.e. it includes building a recording studio in her childhood bedroom (more on that below.)
Go ahead and watch this addictive impromptu performance of “I Like Girls” over and over again!
Samantha Sidley | In The Press
“Sidley has a sweet, girlish voice, so light that at times it almost disappears. But that vocal weightlessness is somewhat deceptive. She holds in reserve an airier version of the wail deployed by Rickie Lee Jones and Laura Nyro, which injects blushes of emotional color into her mostly playful singing.”
Samantha Sidley | Live
06/06/2019: Los Angeles, CA @ The Mayfair Hotel
Samantha Sidley | About
Samantha Sidley is a jazz vocalist, born-and-raised in Los Angeles, and she likes girls.
The words “I like girls” are the first thing you’ll hear when Sidley’s debut album Interior Person (Sept. 13th, Release Me Records) opens. The song is an unassuming anthem, a future standard for an evolving culture. It’s also a fun and funny ice-breaker that you’ll sing along with.
“I Like Girls” is a peek into what plays out as a meticulously crafted debut album featuring Sidley’s beautifully trained voice taking confident ownership of songs written for her to sing by some of the most important women in her life.
Watch an impromptu living-room performance of “I Like Girls” by Samantha Sidley (foot to fax machine at 2:33!)
These other “girls” include fellow musicians Inara George, Alex Lilly, and Sidley’s “Top One” favorite musician of all-time, her wife, Barbara Gruska.
“Inara and Alex and Barbara wrote songs that are all very personal to my story – they literally are my story – and from my lesbian perspective, which I appreciate so much,” Sidley says. In addition to co-writing many of the songs here, and playing drums (masterfully) on many of the tracks (and in the video linked above), Gruska also produced Interior Person in a studio constructed in Sidley’s childhood bedroom (more on that later.)
“My whole life was a song,” Sidley says of her childhood. “If I looked at a tree, it was a song. If I felt happy, sad, joy, it was a song. When I first heard Judy Garland in ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ I remember thinking: ‘I understand.’ I’ve always considered myself an interpreter, which is sort of and undervalued art form. I like to take a song and make the story true for me.”
Sidley soon discovered Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, soul music in general, and her own personal “soulfulness” itself. You know, like all seven-year-olds do. Later, considering how annoyed 11-year-old Sidley was when her vocal instructor wouldn’t allow her to sing Holiday’s “Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be)” at her first recital, it all made perfect sense.
A decade later, Sidley got to sing whatever she wanted, performing at NYC’s legendary Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, where she lived in Dorothy Parker’s room, listened to a lot of Anita O’Day and Ella Fitzgerald, and landed a rave review in The New York Times.
Unfortunately, the universe slapped back when Sidley’s father became terminally ill. She moved back to Los Angeles to be with him until the end, and then to grieve with her mother and sister whom she considers her best friends.
“And then Barb came into our life.”
Two years of living in a house under renovations later, and Gruska had transformed Sidley’s childhood bedroom into her music studio.
The couple now lives in an apartment just down the street.
“She knows exactly how I express myself and what my intentions are,” Sidley says of her working relationship with Gruska. “Collaborating on this record has actually been a much longer collaboration of us getting to know each other.”
“All of these women have been a huge part of my artistic livelihood,” Sidley says, referring to Gruska, George and Lilly. “They have given me the stories to sing and the opportunity to share and be vulnerable. I have found strength through of all my deep sorrow by singing.”
Samantha Sidley likes girls and it’s easy to like her back.
Interior Person, the debut album from Samantha Sidley, arrives Sept. 13th, preceded by the single “I Like Girls,” out June 21st. Samantha Sidley is available for interviews. Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic for more information.
Samantha Sidley | Links
Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion | Contact