In Conversation with Canadian Electro-pop Songstress Eden Samara

Canadian electro-pop songstress Eden Samara grew up in a small eccentric town in the mountains of Nelson BC. She cut her teeth on the underground rave scene, and spent her days writing music and singing in the local choir. In 2016 a solo backpacking trip to experience Europe’s vibrant music scene caused a shift in the young artist, and realizing her heart lay in songwriting, Eden left the theatre and began developing her musical career. What followed was fragments of what took shape as the Days EP, an exploration of societal expectations and human interaction in the digital age.

Having recently shared the title track ‘Days’ upcoming EP, we caught up with Eden to chat playlists, gear, and inspiration…

Set the tone for us. Why the arts? 
It’s always been the arts for me, but it took a long time to figure out what that looked like. I’ve written music my whole life but fell into musical theatre as a kid and pursued that professionally for a while. I loved the theatre because I was fascinated by human interaction and storytelling through art, but eventually realized I hated acting and was only in it for the music.
So I changed my life around and started over.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea? 
Usually, I’ll have an idea first based on something I heard in my head, or a musical concept I want to play around with. But when you start translating mental ideas into a DAW it changes. My production skills are improving but still very basic, so often one of my producers is in the room to help execute my idea. They are all crazy talented friends of mine from Toronto who offer their own unique skillset to whatever we’re creating.

Does your material feature any collaborations? 
Collaboration is my favorite part of making music. It hit home for me this year that continuing to create art with my friends is the ultimate life goal. Though I wrote most of the lyrics and melodies for the EP myself, the production was a big group of my friends coming together. I owe so much to Sydney Galbraith and Josh Wiles who were on board right from the earliest demos, and John Mavro who I’ve known since kindergarten acted as a lyrical consultant. John introduced me to Jim Junior who is an insane producer & artist now being stolen away by the UK (how rude) and we became buds. Ryan Pierre helped connect me back to my early love of dance music and we wrote the first version of what became the opening track. All of these people were an integral part of creating DAYS.

What’s on your current playlist? 
I have so many playlists! I’m one of those nerds who is obsessed with music. In the last few years, it’s become necessary to educate myself on the history and lineage of dance music if I’m going to be using those musical influences in a respectful way. I guess lately I’ve been listening to a lot of DJ Rashad, the syncopation in footwork is like musical ASMR. I’m in love with Ouri, Rosalía. Ralph & A l l i e who are from Toronto, Connan Mockasin, DJ Python, Dev Hynes and Solange. Beverly Glenn-Copeland. This is a dangerous game, I can go on forever.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage. 
My golden rule for performing is that if I’m having a good time or deeply feeling something, the audience will be too. Performing is a feedback loop between artist and audience, so your energy has to be open to connecting. When I go to see artists who are energetically closed off on stage it’s no fun.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound? 
I stayed fairly inside the box with this EP in terms of vocal experimentation, but vocals are what inspire me most when writing, lots of harmonies and layers and rhythms. Moving forward things will get inevitably get weirder and more intricate.

Take us through a day in the recording studio. 
Depending on how much time we have, there might be some shooting the shit beforehand. If it’s a vocal day that’s when things feel more serious and I’m just doing as many takes as possible before we run out of time. Or it might be a day where there’s no specific goal in mind, just musical exploration.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set? 
Always water.

What gets your creative juices flowing? 
Dancing. Unfortunate situations. Politics. Psychedelics. Life in general?

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
I have a very primitive amount of it right now while I save for the good stuff. Mainly I’ll just use a laptop with Ableton to make a demo and record vocals at a friend’s place. Sometimes I use my Omnichord to quickly throw out chord ideas if I’m extra lazy. I think these days it doesn’t really matter what you have – I’ve made demos I loved on GarageBand for iPhone while singing into the mic on a pair of apple earbuds.

Any side projects you’re working on? 
Ryan and I have a bunch of dance tracks that we’re currently trying to figure out what to do with. We might release them under an alias or they might become the next chapter of this artist project…it’s up for debate.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry? 
Well for one, I’ve gotten much better at self-editing my songs. They’ve always been quite wordy, but I have a lot to say! I also had zero clue how to produce, and now I have basic Logic & Ableton skills, as well as better language around how sound works in general.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year? 
I have another single coming out next month as part of the EP rollout. Then the Days EP drops April 5th, which will be such a relief after tinkering over it for way too long. A couple of videos that I’m very excited about as well. The rest of the year I’ll play some shows in Canada and do lots more writing, hopefully for other artists.


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