Sam Campbell reveals their unfiltered self…
By Larry Olsen
At 30 years old, singer/songwriter Sam Campbell has deep roots in the serene and picturesque town of Belfast in Prince Edward Island. However, against that peaceful landscape, their early childhood was marked by sexual abuse, tumultuous relationships and internal torment.
Seeking a fresh start, Sam moved to Alberta, hoping to redefine themselves in a place where nobody knew their history. However, they quickly discovered that they could not run from mental illness. Within months, Sam was trapped in a world of substance abuse and self-destructive behaviour.
The path to recovery has been anything but smooth. Sam describes it as a long journey in search of the right combination of medication, therapy and support. They found solace in in the written word, channelling their emotions into poems, lyrics and personal reflections. Along the way, Sam also discovered their unique voice. Its beauty is on full display in “Where Do I Go,” Sam’s triumphant new single, out now from So Fierce Music.
You really lay it all out on the table in ‘Where Do I Go.’ What inspired it?
I was in a dark place and I was trying to find some way for anybody to relate to me or even hear me. I just wrote down my complete experience with depression and asked myself honestly if this was where I wanted to stay, or did I have the strength to fight for something better. As it turns out, I had gotten past the white windowsills and made myself align with my goals and ambitions. I hope that inspires someone to pull themselves out of their darkness and on to a more fulfilling life.
How long have you been dealing with mental illness?
I have struggled with mental illness my whole life, as young as six, I do believe. I had struggled with trichotillomania [a compulsive urge to pull out one’s hair] at that age; it did improve, but I still have it and it’s quite intense at times. Once negative life experiences and addiction hit, [when I was] around 16, the illness kind of went haywire and I was all over the place until now.
What were the first signs that something wasn’t right?
Everyone has a different experience with mental illness, but my first signs were poor emotion regulation, outbursts of rage, trichotillomania, and I was a perfectionist to the point of upset.
Were you self-medicating with alcohol?
I believe that I was. Before I tried hard drugs, alcohol was the shoulder to lean on when I didn’t want to think or deal with the symptoms. It was a rare occasion that I would drink and it wouldn’t be to excess.
Did alcohol abuse eventually lead to substance abuse?
I think I led myself there. I wanted to try anything and everything to see if I could get a grip on myself. Once I dropped all of the vices and tried anything and everything in regards to healing, life slowly started it improve.
How would you describe the road to recovery?
Long, hard, and worth it! It’s something you have to work at and be conscious of at all times. It’s a lot of saying no to protect your recovery, learning your worth and boundaries, and discovering who you are outside of being a bar star. As difficult as it is at the start, just like any other skill, you get better at it and it becomes second nature. You also get the benefit of becoming happier and content with your past, planning your present moves and building a future that you want and can be proud of!
How are your struggles reflected in your music?
My struggles are what I write about most. I write about past relationships, depression, love and distrust. I break down a scenario or feeling and it somehow becomes a song. It’s hard to explain.
Is music a form of treatment for you?
Absolutely! Releasing those raw emotions through song helps me to reflect and feel what I need to in order to process the event or emotion that I am stuck on.
Is it important that your music be reflective of your identity?
It is important for my music to be reflective of my experience as my identity grows and develops. I want people to really feel what I am writing about. I want my music to tell people what I went through and that I came out stronger because of that. I want to inspire people to be the best version of themselves and work hard on their happiness.
How do you identify today?
I simply identify as Sam.
You have discovered an equal affinity for both genders.
I have! I play a different role in each type of relationship so I can appreciate them as they are in a traditional sense.When I am with a man, I appreciate that he is a confident leader, hardworking, a little beardy, and can handle my ups and downs with grace. When I am with a female, I want to become that for her minus the beardy part. For the physical, I do like similar things in both sexes. Curvy upper lip, seductive eyes, booty and hips, and a kissable neck are the first things that I look at.
What’s next for Sam Campbell? Where do you go from here?
Well, I have been signed to So Fierce Music and have been feeling so much love and support from music producer Velvet Code and his gang of superheroes. With the help of So Fierce and the You Do You Foundation, an organization that helps struggling 2SLGBTQIA+ and QBIPOC music artists, I am preparing to release a five-song EP!
For more on Sam Campbell and other So Fierce artists, visit https://www.sofiercemusic.com.
LARRY OLSEN defines himself as a teacher, reader, writer and dreamer. He lives in Palm Springs, Calif., with his partner of 22 years. In his spare time, he enjoys interviewing underground artists and exposing their unique talents to the light.