A conversation with singer-songwriter, Sammy Rash.
BY SARENA MARRISA SOHAN, STAFF WRITER
Editor’s Note: This interview was edited for length and clarity.
I had the chance to chat with the spirited singer-songwriter, Sammy Rash, as he walked to the beach a couple of hours before the release of his new song, “Coachella”. Despite the song’s release being after Mason Day, the attendees of the event are no strangers to the upbeat song. The audience joined the musician in singing the refrain of “Coachella” as he previewed it during his performance.
How did performing at Mason Day come your way?
My booking agent connected me with the opportunity and I love playing shows so much, especially for a college-age crowd. So far my favorite shows have [audiences] similar age to me, so I couldn’t say no to Mason Day. It seemed like it was gonna be a great time.
You’ve gained a following on TikTok, why did you start posting on there?
I started posting before I had any songs out because I literally just wanted to see what strangers would think of my music. I didn’t want anyone that I knew to hear it because I was just getting started.
It was mid-pandemic, my senior year of high school got cut short so I had a lot of extra time. I started posting on there not initially to gain a following but to kinda see if people would like it.
People started liking it and I saw other people my age blowing up. I was like “Alright, well I think my stuff is just as good as theirs…so why can’t I do this?” I posted every day. Just me and the acoustic guitar for a couple months. One went off, and that gave me the confidence to drop it.
What song was that?
That was called “Facetime”.
It’s totally different than the stuff I have now, but it was the first thing that got some attention. I had only posted on TikTok because Instagram had people I knew from high school on there. I remember when I posted it on Instagram I was so scared. I like threw my phone in my room and went for a walk for like two hours. I was too scared to look.
As an independent artist what do you do yourself?
I do all my cover art by myself. I mix and master everything.
Up until a couple songs ago I recently started working with a producer. I’m still producing my own stuff, but I’m dropping some stuff with him too.
Tell me about the creative process. Your bio says you make music in your garage?
Yep I do, and it’s not even my garage, garage.
In the garage there’s a little Harry Potter style door in the back and it’s a little like storage room back there. It’s really small but I love it, because there’s no windows and I have no idea what time it is. It’s just silent in there.
If I’m producing the song it usually starts with acoustic guitar and then I will go in. I don’t know if this is kinda backwards for most people, but I actually make the beat after I have the whole song already there. And I like to write sometimes in different places. If it’s over his [producer] beats I’ll bring my speaker and go out on a balcony and look at the water and write while I do that or write while I’m driving. I like doing that sometimes too.
Do you have a favorite song to perform?
I would say “Smile More” maybe because I always teach the crowd that one, and it’s really fun to hear everyone screaming it. It’s usually in that point in the set, once they get involved, that people are like “Ok, this guy’s like kinda good.”
You came to the DMV for the Fitz and The Tantrums tour right?
Yeah, this was the second time I was in the area. First time I was there was for the D.C. show on that tour at the 9:30 Club and that was super fun too.
You gave a shout out to your DJ, Will. How did you guys meet?
My first show in Los Angeles. One of my friends opened for me, her name’s Hannah. She knew him [and] he had helped her with a couple shows.
He helped me with that first show. When I got the offer to go on tour I asked if he could come along to that and he came, and so now, it’s kinda like he’s just the guy.
Your whole aesthetic is around the beach and your sun logo. How did that start?
That’s just me. I’m literally on this phone call, I’m walking back to the beach right now. It wasn’t planned initially. I had a lot of pictures of the sunset because I live like a five minute walk from the beach and I go in the water everyday and it’s just like I love the beach.
A lot of my songs feel like summer and have that energy so I felt the sunset vibe matched.
How would you describe your music?
Happy, fun, beach. The songs you wanna play when you’re driving back from the beach and the sun’s going down and the windows are down and you’re a little bit sunburned and then you get in the shower and you get all the salt off and you’re with your friends.
I don’t know, that’s how I’d describe it.
What was the inspiration for “Coachella”?
The whole vibe of the song is kinda like the fun feeling of meeting a girl for the first time and you’re really nervous and you don’t know what to say. It’s just encapsulating the feeling of being in love, or maybe, infatuation.
What advice would you give someone that wants to make music?
Inspiration comes from taking action and not the other way. I will never wait around till I have an idea, it’s always just “show up”.
If I had to give advice to anyone that wants to make music I would say “show up” and create something everyday because that’s how you get better. You don’t get better from sitting and waiting for an idea to hit. The ideas come from showing up and trying.
The downpour during this year’s Mason Day may have dampened some spirits, but as Rash sings in “Smile More” you need a little rain to grow. Sammy Rash wrapped up his first headline tour last month and he will be dropping a ton of more music this year.