Q&A with Sam Rife

Sam Rife is a country recording artist who has written songs for Florida Georgia Line, Kelsea Ballerini, and Hunter Hayes. Check out her Spotify here!

What artist would be your dream collaboration?

Ever since I heard JoJo (Levesque) sing when I was a little girl, I knew I waned to be just like her. She is so strong and powerful and never tried to be someone she wasn’t. Her authenticity made me never want to settle for anything lest that my original sound. She blew everyone away from such a young age and demanded that she be taken seriously. She wrote about real emotion and gave my someone to identify with. I watched her growing up, and found similar individuals to inspire myself with to keep pushing myself as a reminder that there are strong, independent women out there chasing their dreams too. 

Back before the mess that is Corona, I used to run a small venue in Columbia , South Carolina. There’s another young female artist that I have been following ever since she played my venue named Kasey Tyndal. She has such a strong, badass female energy that radiated through her set, so I would have to say my dream collaboration would be to write and perform something along with her that has the energy to burn down the whole town. We need more powerful female voices to write and sing the songs that give us a voice. 

What song are you most proud of and why?

I am the most proud of my song, The Road. It’s almost a bittersweet feeling when a different song of mine becomes the most popular because The Road will always be the nudge that I needed. I had wanted to move to Nashville my whole life, but I got too comfortable in the safety of steady jobs and familiar places. I played The Road at my first original show, and I remember looking out at the audience when I played the song I had written and I thought to myself, shocked almost, ‘These people are relating to this song’. Then I submitted The Road to my producer and he liked it. Then, when I cut the song and everyone that the same type of reaction. More like a “woah” type of reaction. It was then that I knew I had to move to Nashville. All because “The Road” taught me what I was capable of. 

What is your star sign, and do you feel like it represents your artistic style? Why or why not? 

My star sign is Aquarius, and I have a love-hate relationship with my star sign because there are moments when I feel like it could not be more wrong, and then moments where it causes me to take a seat haha. I do feel like it represents my style because I would rather die than be the same as everyone else. I feel like I am nothing without my identity and if I’m blending in to a crowd, I am not serving myself. I feel that female musicians get lumped into a pretty, frilly, fluffy sound when all I want is for them to sing with their soul. I don’t want to sound pretty, I want to make you feel something. I want to be that voice you hear that tells you to stand strong and break free from what everyone wants you to be or sound like. 

What is your go-to gas station order?

When my band and I are on the road, we are no stranger to the gas station life, in fact, we have a favorite that we will absolutely push limits to ensure we go there instead of other places. We hope to be sponsored by them someday haha. My go-to gas station order consists of 3-4 different drinks at all times. My selection is usually the biggest water they sell, a Vitiamin Water, Bang Energy, and maybe some type of Body Armour or Gatorade mixed in. I was only allowed to Lunchables for special occasions growing up, so when I’m on the road you can typically find me with some type of gas-station charcuterie haha! You can also find me with some type of fruit or veggies mixed in there, especially if they sell the chili-lime seasoning on the side (gas station chef kiss).

What are some of your non-musical influences, like books or movies? 

I find passion in the telling of stories. There are so many incredible people who can teach us from what they’ve been through. I find this influence in documentaries or in television and find myself constantly enthralled with someone else’s walk through life. I also love me some true crime. I love it. I have read a few books on Kasey Anthony, Chris Watts, and some of the biggest crime of my generation and it fascinates me. My band gets so tired of listening to true crime in the car when we’re on tour but I’d like to think it keeps my mind sharp. 

What’s a lyric from one of your songs that is especially meaningful to you? Tell us a bit about it! 

As mentioned in great detail before, The Road has a special hold on me. I wrote The Road when I was sitting home in comfortable life but watching the one I love go chase his dreams. At the end of the day, you’re only as stable in your relationship as the next show. The Road is a metaphor for the grind, the chase, the dream. The constant inner conflict I was having trouble with, is how easy it is for your partner to cancel, reschedule, or leave you behind, if it means they get one step closer to their dream. So fragile. Dwindling. For this reason, I think the lyrics, “Go on and give me up/ Turn your back on/ this girl you said you love/” mean the most to me. 

What advice would you give to your younger self? 

Ughhh this question gets me right in the gut every time. I know exactly what I would say to her! I would hug her so tight and I would tell her, “You. Are. Beautiful. You are strong. You are courageous. You are everything you need.” I could go on and on. I struggled my ENTIRE LIFE with body image and confidence. I remember getting phone calls in the middle of the night from bullies calling me fat and then hanging up. I look at photos of myself as a child and I was a beautiful little girl. I was not fat by any stretch. I let those bullies get into my head and I hate thinking about all the opportunities I missed out in my life because I didn’t have confidence or didn’t think I was pretty enough. I could talk about this all day but I’ll stop now but everyone out there, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. BELIEVE IT. 

What are your goals for the year, and what can we expect to see from you in the future? 

The biggest goal I have for myself in 2022 is to find a team. I believe I have everything it takes to be your next favorite artist, but I need to know where to begin. I want to find a team that believes in me and that is going to help me with opportunities and finding my way to the top. I have great music coming out next year as well as some awesome shows. My biggest dream and goal for 2022 is to find myself and believe in myself. I have help myself back for far too long and it’s time to start living the opportunities I spent my whole life believing I would never find. Thank you so much for having me ! I hope you find yourself on my team and a big believer in Sam Rife. 

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