Fast-rising singer-songwriter-producer Samuel Day is ready to take the spotlight with his music. Last year, he made waves with the release of his single, “Rise.” The song spent over 20 weeks on the ChristianMusicWeekly (CMW) radio chart. The Ohio native has already shared the stage with the likes of Colton Dixon. Now, Sam wants to take it to the next level.
I connected with Sam about his music, his creative process, his new single, “Stand Through This,” and more.
Tell us about your new single, “Stand Through This.”
"Stand Through This" is about the power of choice—especially in the face of adversity. I didn't actually write this song about 2020; I penned the lyrics in late 2019, but the song coming out now has proved to be very timely.
The lyrics are pretty literal for me: "Looking myself in the mirror again, am I going to stand through this? Yeah, I'm going to stand through this."
I can't tell you the number of times I've lived that in private. I went through a lot of personal challenges over the last decade. But each time I had to look at myself and make a choice and ask: "What kind of person am I going to be? Am I going to respond to this the way I have learned from God's Word, or am I going to freak out and make it worse?" My goal is for this song to encourage people to have the resolve to do the right thing.
You’re an artist that does everything on every piece of music you put out, correct? From artwork to musical instruments, writing, and production. That must take a lot of creative energy.
Almost everything, but I'm working toward changing that process by working with bigger teams. I'm invested in every part of the process. But, I also know that my personal bandwidth is limited. I should work smarter, not harder.
But to answer your question, historically, yes. "Rise" and "Stand Through This" are both entirely self-produced and mixed, with mastering done by mastering engineer Mike Cervantes (He’s worked with For King & Country, Elevation Worship, and Skillet).
I shot the promo pictures in my basement with a remote trigger and made the artwork from those as well as creating the lyric videos. I'll give you a laugh with some behind the scenes here: I'm wearing gym shorts off-camera in the "Rise" shoot. Pretty sure I was barefoot, too.
Going back a little further, I also directed and edited the music videos for my songs "The Roses" and "The Screen.” Now, that was a process.
That said, I'm interested in working with bigger teams moving forward. Mixer Doug Weier, who’s worked with Newsboys and MercyMe, actually mixed two songs for me a couple of years back.
Jacob Simpson, a friend of mine, shot the promos for my song, “Spotlight.” And, now I'm starting to look around at people in the filmmaking and production fields for upcoming songs and music videos. It's a learning process, but you can't do everything yourself forever—especially as you grow.
Are there any artists that you would love to bring into that creative process in the near future?
I think it would be really cool to work with Colton Dixon. I opened up for him a few years ago, which was a lot of fun. He and I are the same age and, while it seems we've led pretty different lives, we've had some similarities in our artist journeys. We both were very influenced by the rock world but have also learned and grown a lot in the pop arena. It's been cool to see him resurge recently, and I think it'd be great to reminisce about playing at The Underground venue in Cincinnati together, too.
The past year was long for all of us. What are you taking from 2020 into 2021?
Faith in God, determination, and thankfulness. I told very few people about it. But, this past year, I faced some employment difficulties much as many others did—all while I was releasing and promoting music.
The day "Rise" came out was also the day I began about a month of delivering food with DoorDash. I remember having these feelings: "You have a master’s degree, you just released this huge song about 'I'm gonna rise', and here you are delivering somebody's burrito?"
To make a longer story short, I grabbed a bunch of scriptures about being strong and God's will be being good for my life (2 Chronicles 15:7, 3 John 2, Psalm 57:10, Jeremiah 29:11, and many more). I started going over them, standing on them in faith just about every day—especially on the days where I wanted to lie down in an existential crisis.
I thanked God for the good He had done for me—no matter what things look like. I also took some practical steps to be responsible as well. Fast forward to now, and I'm doing very well. God honored that stand of faith in a lot of ways. Maybe I'll talk more about it on my YouTube channel soon.
What is currently pushing you to continue to write and record faith-based music and lyrics?
I know I mentioned it earlier, but I enjoy giving a voice to victory. I think people need words to put in their minds and mouths that get them in an attitude of strength. Words that remind them of the answer—especially on days like these.
We know what so many of the problems are, but we have to get to the point where the solution is bigger in our mind if we really want to see it become more of a reality. I believe music can be a part of helping us achieve that victory.
What do you outside the world of music?
When I’m not making music for projects or producing for other artists, I’m working in ministry and media at my church. I’ve also stepped out into the acting and filmmaking world. Here’s a fun fact, I spent a lot of my teenage years participating in martial arts. And, I’d really like to get back into it.
What’s next for you?
I'm actually deep into the production of my next song, "This Love." You're the first I've confirmed this with. It's a song I wrote years ago, but fans have been specifically asking for it lately due to recent performances and livestreams. So, I should be able to provide more news about the new song very soon.
How can we be praying for you?
I would appreciate prayer for wisdom and the right connections. Working not just with a team, but with the right team is very important to me. And, that's something I would be thankful for some faith partnership on. Onward and upward.
Kevin McNeese started NRT in 2002 and has worked in the industry since 1999 in one form or another. He has been a fan of Christian music since 1991.
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