IT was 2015 when Samantha Lloyd waved goodbye to her full time office job to pursue a dream she’d had since being a little girl. Standing on a stage and singing to a live audience was always something the 25-year-old wanted to do. Performing had always been at the centre of this young woman’s heart and not only did Samantha’s Debut EP – “Now That You’re Gone” reach number 12 in the iTunes Country Album Chart in 2016, she was also nominated for the Horizon Act of the Year at the British Country Music Awards in the same year.
“I had been working in an office but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do so I eventually walked away after about three and a half years and pursued my singing, said Samantha. “I started gigging and I had only been in the industry 10 months when I was nominated for the British Country Music Award. I was working so hard at the time and I still am, just like a lot of other artists.”
But although it was Country music where Samantha’s first musical limelight came from it is not where the Stoke-on-Trent singer/songwriter sees her future and she is now on a discovery mission to pinpoint her very own unique niche. In 2017 Samantha released her own song – So Don’t Try – which highlights a different sound from previous songs and can be found on Spotify and iTunes.
“It is not country where my heart was, it’s not who I am,” says Samantha. “I like to write from experiences, I find it difficult to make things up and all my songs mean something to me. The sound I am looking to create now is very different to anything which I have done before.”
Samantha adds: “I want to write something I really believe in and I am really proud of, I am just finding my sound. Don’t get me wrong I am very proud of what I have done before but I am finding me now. I want to write a song people will listen to and go – ‘Oh that’s so powerful’ and something which people can relate to.”
As well as her writing and singing talents Samantha also plays the guitar which she is continually practising on her journey. “I do play the guitar, but I want to play it better,” she laughs. “But I think that’s a good sign – that I am always learning and something to progress with.”
As a teenager Samantha learned a great deal when a student at the Jill Clewes’ Academy for Theatre Arts, in Bradwell and still uses a lot of the skills she learned there between the age of 16 – 18.
“I did my training at the Academy and I learned so much there and it stays with you over the years,” she says. “I had a couple of singing lessons after but I learned so much at the Academy.”
Whilst working on her individual style, Samantha has a busy schedule performing at various venues throughout the UK and is also now keen to build up her own fan base.
“I do not have a manager or anything and I am always busy either contacting venues or dropping off my business cards,” she said. “I do all sorts of gigs – anything from 60’s to current, to Motown, pop, rock and ballads and weddings. I do also perform my own songs and ideally it would be great if I could get some support slots for different artists and build up a fan base of my own.”
Samantha can also be seen busking in the town centres of Stoke-on-Trent where she often performs her own songs.
“I love busking,” she smiles. “It’s amazing. You just do your own thing and it’s great when people stop and watch and listen. I love being outdoors anyway and it’s great to be able to do that and play my guitar and sing my own songs.”
Samantha had a dream as a young girl, she is now on her own journey in turning that dream into a reality of her own.
You may see Samantha busking in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Hanley or Stafford.