“Life recently iz wildddd” is the caption on Samira’s latest Instagram post and it could not be a better fit for describing the rising popstar last months. From working on her solo music with esteemed pop producer Cutfather and his team to releasing her solo debut single, ‘Like This, Like That’, and having it played on Love Island.
The pop newcomer Samira made her first steps into the music industry in 2022 with the collaboration single ‘I Love Your Smile’ with W.D.C. – a cover of the 90s Shanice classic hit, which amassed over 3 million streams and reached the Top 5 on the UK Club Chart – but she is not new to music, performing and being on stages. After years of honing her craft on stage at the West End, appearing in production like Mamma Mia!, The Nutcracker and Dreamgirls, Samira is ready to make her mark in the music world.
We chatted with the talented all-rounder Samira about her new single, career and plans for the future, her musical inspirations and much more.
Hello Samira! I saw Love Island played your new single, ‘Like This, Like That’! How are things going?
So so good! I’m loving everyone’s reactions, everyone is loving the track and I am so happy it’s out there now. It was played on Love Island, I think the whole 3 minutes, so it was good to see!
Congratulations! And congratulations on releasing your debut solo single. Can you tell us more about how ‘Like This, Like That’ came together, the creative process, and the vibe of the song?
I created ‘Like This, Like That’ in Copenhagen with Cutfather’s team, who are legends; they are amazing and worked on some of my favourite songs from Kylie’s to The Pussycat Dolls; I was so excited to work with them.
I wanted to do a track that was a bit more dancy, a bit more sexy and a bit more moody. We started to create this track and ‘Like This, Like That’ is just such a catchy, catchphrase to say. It’s how someone or something makes you feel, a bit like this and like that, without explanation. I absolutely loved when we came up with that tagline and the chorus, it was just so fun to create because it’s a deep and dark song. I am originally a dancer and wanted to create something I could completely let loose on and dance to and choreograph with amazing dance sequences, which you will see, hopefully soon, in the music video that is coming out. It’s really dance-based, really to show me off.
Can’t wait to see the video! Can you give us any spoilers? I saw some photos and videos on your Instagram…
All I am going to say is that it’s very full-on. It’s very dance-based and very different from ‘I Love Your Smile’ because it is dark, moody and sexy. That’s all!
For this single, you worked with the well-known pop music producer Cutfather – who’s worked with Kylie Minogue and The Pussycat Dolls, just to name a few artists. How the collaboration came together and how was work with him and the team?
Luckily, we have a few connections from working with Cutfather’s team on ‘I Love Your Smile’, so I went to Copenhagen and met him and his team. I’ve done a few songs with Cutfather, which hopefully will come out later in my career.
It’s such a good vibe when I go there; what I love about Cutfather and the team is that their work hectic is so amazing. They know how to make pop music, they have done such big hits and I knew they were absolutely going to smash my vision and we will going to make such a good tune.
We are really good mates now and I love going to Copenhagen; it’s one of my favourite places to go and write music. Danish and Scandinavian know how to make pop!
Do you feel more inspired when you are out there rather than in your day-in-day-out places?
When I go to Copenhagen, sometimes we have to fit so much in just a couple of days of studio sessions; we get off the plane and go straight to the studio to work through the morning, go to sleep and return to the studio.
You are pushed to create something in such a short time, but for me is so inspiring writing with different writers and working with different producers. Being there has a different vibe, almost like being on holiday but working at the same time and being with your mates! It’s “time to work, time to” go, but it’s really nice and I get very inspired when I am out there.
3 words to describe “Like This, Like That” to someone who never heard it before.
Dramatic, danceable and gritty/sexy.
You previously released “I Love Your Smile” with W.D.C. – how different are the songs and the experience of working on a collaboration and on your own solo single?
‘I Love Your Smile’ was such a good collaboration for me to do because it was my first intro to the music world and came out at a good time – after a couple of years of COVID – ‘I Love You Smile’ was such a beautiful message and I loved working with W.D.C., it was a fun experience.
I think the difference with ‘Like This, Like That’ is that I wrote this song, I had the vision for this song, I was the leader of the creative of the song and so it feels so special that now that this song is out and seeing people’s reactions to something that first I created in my head but then I created as leader of it.
That’s what the main difference is; I ‘Love Your Smile’ is so special and I love the song; whenever the song shuffles when I am cleaning I go “oh that’s me!” but ‘Like This, Like That’ shows who I am as a true artist, how serious I am about being an artist and shows my ability on all aspects.
You have a solid experience on the West End stages and you are a dancer. How has this helped you discover your path toward becoming a solo artist?
Being in the West End and training from such a young age, you aim to be a professional dancer, hopefully in the West End, and fit in moving and acting, but it gives you a good discipline for the industry. One of the main things I’ve taken from my career is that it can be cut-throat, it can be quite hard, and also if you really want something, you have to go and get it, and you have to push for it and that’s something I got from that experience.
Because if you sit back, you don’t put in the work and you don’t chase your dreams you’re going to be left behind and I kind of feel that it’s the same in the music industry. You got to be there, you have to push for it, you have to go for it, and you might have some kickbacks but you need to keep going.
Then being on stage, performing, and being in rooms with amazing people gives you the look you want in your career later. Being on stage is where I feel more comfortable and absolutely love it. It clarifies that this is exactly what I want to do in my solo career.
Will you bring ‘Like This, Like That’ on any stages soon?
Hopefully! Hopefully! Summer is looking good… Summer is looking very good. I can’t wait!
How did you first get into making music? What made you think, ‘I want to do this’?
I’ve always loved writing my own songs. I still find videos on my laptop of when I was little writing on the piano. I have a backlog of lyrics; some of them are crazy, I don’t know what I was going through! Some of them could be used now, you never know!
I’ve just always loved it and I fell into musical theater and I absolutely loved being in the shows but you have a lot of spare time – you go to the shows in the evenings or you do shows in the day – and in my spare time, I was always at home sitting at my piano, writing, singing covers, watching music videos all the time.
I have a very vivid and creative mind and I knew I had a lot of ideas and I was just “You know what? This is something I really really want to do”, especially during lockdown – with a lot of spare time – I threw myself into writing a lot of lyrics, just writing a lot of random songs, find beats on YouTube and write. That just confirmed that I got to do it.
That’s also when I thought: “I have always wanted to do it since I was a child so this is what I am going to do now, I am going to focus solely on music.”.
Do you have a writing process or do you go with the flow?
I go with the flow. I think that writing is your own diary and your own journal. Poets write about how they feel; it’s the same thing for me. You go through something, you can put it down in a song; it’s actually a very rewarding feeling.
Sometimes I am just in that musical kind of feeling and I just write something on the piano; it could be just a verse, a couple of sentences and that’s something you can build on and come back later. It’s just a good release, music is like therapy.
What are your biggest inspirations both musically and in your life?
When I was younger I was obsessed with Disney Channel, I cannot lie! I was obsessed with Hannah Montana, Hollywood and big popstars. I looked up at Britney Spears and I still love her so much, she is amazing. Everything she did, she is such a great performer and she just gave it all. I love those popstars that are throwing everything on the stage and just give in it.
These people are my inspirations; Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus were huge ones growing up for me. Rihanna was a massive one for me, I still listen to all her albums.
Obviously growing up, my parents used to play a lot of different music. I was so lucky.
My mum is a jazz dancer so I was listening to jazz music, but also a bit of funk, QUEEN and I am obsessed with Freddie Mercury. My father used to play reggae, I had such good musical influences and inspiration around me growing up. I am so happy that I’ve been able to add a little bit of these inspirations in my own songs, and also when performing.
When I was shooting the video for ‘Like This, Like That’, I thought, “What would Britney do? What would Lady Gaga do? What would Christina Aguilera do?” you always got to think about these artists and they really bring me to life.
What have you been listening to recently?
‘Like This, Like That’ by me!
Honestly, I always listen to throwback songs, I can’t lie! Since Rihanna’s Superbowl, I’ve been listening to all her old tunes and wow, she was a pop girly, she still is, but she is just everything! My best friend and I always listen to ‘00s music because that’s just the best era ever.
I put my phone on shuffle and it’s all the throwbacks; I love a bit of S Club 7, a bit of Kylie, just love it all!
But recently I’ve been listening to Sam Smith’s new album, love that!
What’s on your bucket list?
My bucket list? How long have we got?!
Be signed by a major label, hopefully.
Have a Top 10 hit.
I hope to chart one day in America. And being invited to awards shows like MTV Music Awards or the VMAs.
One day being nominated for a BRITs will be nice!
What can we expect from you in the following months?
A performance. I want people to hear my name and songs and think, “Wow! She is going to be such an amazing upcoming popstar. She has the whole package; she will give you what you need – a performance, songs, dancing and tricks on stage.”.
To be able to perform songs that are not always the same songs, I want to show versatility and I just hope to be one of the “New Artists to Watch” and for everyone to take me seriously and be like, “wow, Samira!” so I can live up to my last name, Mighty!
Listen to Samira’s ‘Like This, Like That’.