Get To Know You: We Speak To Samantha Harvey

Late last month Samantha Harvey revealed the video for her new single, ‘Get To Know You‘, released through Tileyard Music. The Suffolk-based artist sat down with Lisa Hafey to have a chat about her music and her plans for the future, before facing a quick-fire round of video questions.

Hello Samantha! Lovely to meet you in real life! We’ve spoken on the phone last year, when we were talking about your EP, ‘Please’. Now you’ve released a new single, ‘Get To Know You’. How’s that going?

Really really well! It’s so nice to release something different! The ‘Please’ EP is great, but there’s only one upbeat song on there; this one I feel is really different. ‘Please’ was an emotional record…

It was really wrenching wasn’t it!

It was! It’s nice to release one that’s – not depressing haha! You know what I mean!

It’s upbeat – it’s full on dance isn’t it!

It just makes people feel happy rather than sad. And it’s good  to have a mixture, so when they’re feeling sad they can listen to ‘Please’, and if they’re feeling happy…

So how is ‘Get To Know You’ performing?

Really well. I think Spotify is doing an amazing job. This is the most playlisted song I’ve ever had. I think it’s nearly up to 500,000 streams already!

That’s incredible! It’s only been out for 5 minutes!

I know! It’s growing every day in streaming numbers, so I’m really proud of it.

Your fans are liking it?

They’re loving it! It’s good to see people dancing and singing along to it. People are listening to it over and over again, and they’re not sick of it yet!

That’s brilliant! It’s always a good sign!

I’m not sick of it either, and that’s also a good sign!

I watched the video when it first came out, and I watched it again this morning, it’s pretty funny! [It’s so random!] Who’s the guy!

He’s just a model!

He’s JUST a model!?

I didn’t know him before that, it was like, “hi nice to meet you, now you’re going to be my boyfriend in this video”. [laughs]

It says to me, that you have a flair for comedy…

I wanted it to be different…people have said to me, this is very different to your last video, but I liked that. Last one was a massive budget video shot in Sweden, in the snow, in the freezing cold, I was standing in the middle of a lake thinking, “Why am I doing this?”

It was all very WHAM!

This one was really different – it was complicated because you had to do every scene – obviously you had to go into the next scene seamlessly – it was tricky, we had to rehearse it quite a few times, so it’s completely different, random, but also cool.

I liked all the different colours, the bubble-gum colours, the pastels.

That was my idea, I wanted it to be like that. And I dyed my hair pink for it as well!

Have you ever considered going into TV? I know you’ve done vlogs…

I don’t know. I don’t think I’d like to see myself on TV all the time. When you’re in control of your own videos and vlogging, you can cut out bits you don’t like, if you don’t like what you look like or something you said or whatever. But TV is a big responsibility and also, if I ever did anything on TV, I’d never watch it back. I don’t like to see myself back on TV.

But you don’t mind watching your videos.

I don’t mind them because I can edit bits out of that. If I pull a funny face, or the lighting is bad, I can delete it. If it’s on TV, then I’m a bit scared. For instance, people ask if I’d ever do the X Factor, and I’m like, I don’t think so. I know it’s damaged people, and watching themselves back, and I feel I’m very vulnerable, and that would happen to me.

I think too, that show is aiming for views, they’ll try and be controversial…

They’ll try and make me seem like I’m something I’m not…

And you don’t want that!

And people think that’s the only way to get big, but it’s not. I’m not in it to get famous either, I’m doing it because I enjoy it.

And that’s what you should do! You should be in it for the enjoyment! As an artist you have this desire to get that music out – you don’t want to be doing it for the money. If anyone is doing it for the money then…

…they’re in the wrong job! [both laugh]

You’ve just done a series around schools talking about internet bullying and so on – how did that go?

It’s a different experience going into schools now that I’m older, and seeing how people probably saw me when I was at school. I was talking about mental health and staying safe online, and also performing songs for them. It was interesting because I was talking to young people in years 6 to 11, and I had about 4-5 sessions a day, an hour each one, and the year 6-10s were amazing, but the year 11s were really hard work! I was at that age too! You ask them to put their hands up, you ask them what cyberbullying is and they’re a bit embarrassed to put their hands up.

The younger ones were okay with it though?

They were so confident, they don’t care what anyone thinks about them! Whereas the year 11s, I was singing and saying, “come on dance” and they’re all like, “Nahh”.

It was a success though!

It really was! And the number of messages I got on Instagram afterwards, stuff like how they’d changed their perception on things, or they’d changed all their protocols to private not public, or I’m not going to speak to anyone I don’t know, and so on. And talking about their mental health as well, opening up to me about what was going on at home and so on.

It’s a lot to take on!

I feel a bit bad when I get hundreds of messages a day and I can’t respond to every single one, but I tried to answer all the ones from the schools.

And on your own social media, have you had any problems there yourself?

I get the odd one, but I don’t get bombarded with hate. I feel as though I’m very lucky, I feel people see me as the girl next door, relatable, which is what I’ve always wanted to be. I don’t expect everyone to love me, or like my voice, I accept that, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. And that’s what I was trying to promote in schools as well, don’t make yourself into somebody you’re not, people will accept you for who you are. It doesn’t matter what you look like – it makes me sad all these girls who compare themselves to others on Instagram – mental health is a very big issue, and the generation growing up now especially, it’s awful, seeing people to compare themselves to. I’m just trying to get across to them that it’s okay, for instance, I wear makeup because I like how it makes me feel and I enjoy putting it on – but getting things done to yourself because, “she’s got that done and gets all that attention, so maybe I need to as well” isn’t exactly the right way to go about things.

You’ve done covers, who’s your favourite artist to cover, and why?

I love Ed Sheeran!

[Both laugh] You’re not allowed to answer Ed yet because I KNOW you love him!

Haha! His songs are always really fun to do, whether it’s an upbeat one or an emotional one, or it’s perfect for a wedding – I know everyone’s going to like it because everyone loves Ed. I love his songs too!

I know you do! Because you’re from Suffolk too! And he’s your neighbour! [I wish!]

I said that at the schools as well! They would ask, “are you from where Ed Sheeran’s from?” and I’d say, “yes he literally lives next door!” or “actually, he’s my brother!” and all the kids were like, “WHAT!” and I’d say “noo not really”.

But he is your favourite to cover…

Yes he’s my favourite. And I think he also comes across as really relatable and down to earth as well.

So it’s Britney Spears’ birthday today! Happy Britmas! Would you ever consider covering any of her songs?

I would! I have done loads of covers of ‘Toxic’, very slowed down versions. I should do another one…

Do it after this! Go home and do a Britney cover, in honour of her birthday! So you’ve worked with lots of artists, who is your favourite?

Craig David. He’s amazing. I’ve done a few shows with him because my agency works with his management. He’s really appreciative, he didn’t choose for me to be there, but afterwards he said, “thank you for being there today.” I think it’s the little things like that, that mean so much, for him to say things like, “I really love your voice, I’ve seen your stuff online” – he didn’t have to say that – but because he did, it made me think he’s a legend.

It makes him sound like a real person, not a diva.

It’s hard going up to people I’ve supported, because you think, oh they get it all the time, but I have to think, “do it for the Instagram!” I always think, oh what if they’re like, “Go away”, because they get this all the time. But then, what if people think the same about me, and I love meeting my fans.

What are your plans for 2020? Can you believe it’s December already?

I know! I’m doing more original music, and more covers on Spotify and Apple Music, touring hopefully around June (tickets on sale soon), and going to the US.

What’s your favourite part of the US?

I love Florida, but I’ve not seen much of it because I was performing, but I really liked LA as well. I went to New York, but I didn’t really get time to spend looking around there either – you’re just constantly on, and I felt it was a bit like London, which completely exhausts me. The feeling was exactly the same.

There’s something about Los Angeles, that makes you feel really creative…

It just makes you feel so happy! I wake up and I’m ready to take on the day, the weather is lovely…

We did a quick fire round of questions after this:

Find Samantha Harvey online on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Spotify.

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email lisa@essentiallypop.com

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