Artist: Sam Outlaw
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Newest Album: Popular Mechanics
What’s your favorite memory from being on stage?
I had the privilege of performing at Glenn Frey’s tribute show at the Troubadour in 2016, shortly after he passed away. Before the show, all the performers were rehearsing the finale on stage — an ensemble performance of the Eagles’ hit, “Lyin’ Eyes.” There were a bunch of incredible artists singing the song, including Bonnie Raitt, who is one of my musical idols. At some point during the rehearsal, Bonnie leaned over to me and said, “You have a really nice voice.” I was totally stunned by the compliment and will never forget it.
What other art forms — literature, film, dance, painting, etc. — inform your music?
Books and movies. The song “Polyamorous” was inspired by a book called The Secret History of Wonder Woman, about the true story love triangle that created the Wonder Woman comics. I also think a lot of my love of ’80s pop music is from watching ’80s movies as a kid: Top Gun, Back to the Future, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, etc.
What’s the toughest time you ever had writing a song?
“Polyamorous” was a real challenge because I wanted to be accurate to the story that inspired the song and empathetic to the challenges those three people faced. The song also has a built-in technical hurdle: There are not a lot of words that rhyme with ‘polyamorous,’ haha.
If you had to write a mission statement for your career, what would it be?
“Be yourself and make art for yourself.” It’s always nice when people like what you do, but if you chase approval from others you’ll lose the joy of creation, even if you’re making a bunch of money.
Since food and music go so well together, what is your dream pairing of a meal and a musician?
I’m not entirely sure if you’re referring to an actual meal with a soundtrack playing in the background or having a meal with a musician, so I’ll just answer both — I’m a huge fan of the Irish singer, Enya. Her music is so distinct from anything else and her voice is unmistakable. I’d love to have a proper Celtic meal (maybe smoked salmon?) with some good wine and Enya’s 1995 masterpiece, The Memory of Trees, playing in the background. If this question is about who I’d like to have a meal with, then the answer is, of course, Enya. She’s famously reclusive, and I’d be fine just sitting in silence in her castle, hanging out with her and her cats.
Photo Credit: Robby Klein