Interview with Solo Artist Samtar

By Mick Michaels

COSMICK VIEW: Hello, Samtar! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it's greatly appreciated.

Samtar: Hey, thanks for having me.

CV: Do you feel that it's still possible for an unknown band today to be plucked out of obscurity and make it to stardom? Can a dedicated core of fans sharing their music make that possible or has the internet and social media changed the game?
Samtar:  Yeah, the internet is a wasteland of total randomness, so I think it's entirely possible to be plucked out.  I mean shit; people become famous on the internet from things as simple as recording their reaction to a double rainbow.  I'd say with music, a certain bit of talent obviously plays a big part though.  Social media may have saturated things, but I think that just allows that much more opportunity to stand out. If everyone's doing the same thing and you do something truly unique, it's that much more refreshing, y'know? 

CV: Do you feel that given the accessibility and social awareness of modern times that a music underground still even exists today as it once did?
Samtar:  Oh yeah, of course.  Like those Facebook groups that are dedicated to very niche genres of music/interests.  I found one that was a group specifically dedicated to "weirdos," haha…so, yeah definitely. 

CV: What do you see as the biggest difference in music and how it is perceived from back say 35 years ago compared to music today? Has both the music and the artist evolved from your point of view?
Samtar:  Oh man…so much.  I mean, I'm kind of young, so 35 years ago would be before I was born.  But in my opinion, today people seem to care waaaaaay more about production quality than musicianship or creativity.  Now I feel like everyone thinks they can be a musician so long as they have a good producer…which isn't entirely false, but I think it breeds a lot of shitty artists.   Everything evolves, and that's just inevitable…so yes the music and artists have evolved.  Now, whether or not it's evolved, on a whole, for the better, that's an entirely different question.  I'd say it's gotten to the point where it's just getting more and more condensed.  I.e. shorter songs that get right to the hook, and have very little content or character overall.  That's just me ranting and being bitter about contemporary music though. The underground and more obscure artists are still doing incredible things…some popular contemporary artists too.  I could go on and on with this one, so I'll wrap up with yeah, stuff is connnnstantly evolving in so many ways.

CV: Do you believe bands and artists who have the biggest impact on fans and other artists are aware that they are or is there more of a tunnel vision sort of process for them keeping them somewhat in the dark? Can influential artists see past their own work to be aware of the ripples they make?
Samtar: My guess would be you sort of have to get locked in on some sort of tunnel vision to keep going. I don't know how anyone could write while considering what everyone else is thinking about them or how their art would be perceived. Then again you have people like Kanye West, who seems to almost feed on the negativity surrounding his character, while simultaneously feeding on the adoration he gets from others…all while continuing to be a major influence, with his lovers and haters alike.

CV: Does music need to be influential to be considered worth listening to in your opinion? Or can music simply be just an enjoyable auditory experience devoid of substance?
Samtar: I used to think it needed to be influential until I heard someone compare music to visual art.  It can just be something nice to look at...or listen to.  Honestly, thinking it needs to be influential is an unnecessary, cumbersome burden, and I'd encourage all artists to shed that confinement. 

CV: The world has been rocked by the COVID pandemic.  The economy has been sent into a tail spin in its wake, unfortunately.  Bands worldwide have been restricted with performing live and some it seems, restricted from earning a living.  How has the pandemic affected your band? Are you hopeful that 2021 will see many of the restrictions lifted?
Samtar: Well I'm mostly a studio musician, a solo artist, and a total hermit. So for the most part I haven't been personally affected all that negatively. I definitely hope that restrictions will be lifted, so as long as there is proper support for safety taken into account.  I mostly just miss going out to eat and seeing friends. 

CV: What do you feel artists and bands can do right now to stay relevant, especially in an environment, such as the present, where performing in front of a live audience is being restricted? What immediate options do you see available?
Samtar: What, and give away all my creative ideas?  Just kidding.  I'd say just do more with YouTube, and social media.  Find a way to have fun at home, and change up the ways you find inspiration and creativity. 

CV: As an artist, what have you learned from the events of 2020? Are those lessons learned different for you as a person than as an artist or are they one in the same in your opinion?

Samtar: Well I went from juggling a full-time job as a chef, and a musician, to just being a serious musician full-time.  It's about a million times more rewarding, and I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing with my life right now.  I feel like if you have the means, and resources to really go full-time with your passions, you absolutely need to.  You only get one life, so you better make sure you give it your all...and enjoy it.  

CV: What's next? What can fans expect to see coming in 2021?
Samtar: Well, my second album released on January 8th, and I've already put a big dent in album 3.  So I'd imagine fans can probably expect 2 or 3 albums out of me over the next year.  I want to do quite a few things. 

CV: Thank you again Samtar for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. It was such a pleasure. I wish you all the best.
Samtar: Thanks for having me!

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My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, show host, dreamer and guitarist for the traditional Heavy Metal band Corners of Sanctuary. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me; what I couldn't say in speech, I was able to do with the written word.  Writing has given me a voice and a way for me to create on a multitude of platforms including music and song, articles, independent screenplays, books and now, artist interviews. The Cosmick View is an opportunity to raise the bar and showcase artists in a positive and inspirational light. For me, it's another out-of-this-world adventure.

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