Samanta Liza’s total immersion in the music industry enables her to connect to her artistry on a psychic level. “On the one hand, I love being involved in essentially every aspect of the music industry. On the other hand, it requires a lot of energy and time,” she admits. “The most compelling part of bringing music to life is that initial moment when one of two things happen: 1) Randomly an idea strikes me from what seems to be out of the blue or 2) The dots finally connect after I’ve spent some time jamming on a new project. Number one is definitely a lot more satisfying because random strikes of inspiration make me feel like I’m a medium of sorts. For example two days ago, I found myself composing a beautiful piano piece in B Major, and even though Major keys are usually considered happy, I felt the urge to sing something sad, which made me think ‘someone out there is sad right now’ and maybe that’s why I felt that urge. When I make music, I channel feelings, thoughts, moods, vibes – whatever it may be – and hopefully people relate to it.”
Her debut album is a meditation on the unpredictable whirlwind of emotions life can sometimes bring. “Days of E.N.D., which stands for Days of Extremely Nonsensical Drama, is the biggest creative project I’ve ever worked on (so far). It’s my first baby. Days of E.N.D. is a collection of thoughts, feelings, and experiences. When we experience an intense passion for someone for the first time in a long time, it can be all-consuming. When you’re in it, it’s almost as if you are experiencing tunnel vision. Everything and nothing makes sense all at the same time. When we fall in love, sometimes we see it coming, other times we don’t and you suddenly feel this overwhelming feeling of adoration for someone. This person has your heart, but you’re not tunnel visioned, everything is clear and your mind is at ease. Sometimes, when we are with someone, they bring out the best in us. Other times, they bring out the worst. And, there’s really no way of growing – no way of truly and deeply knowing ourselves – without experiencing a lot of different, unique moments. Moments alone. Moments with others. Days of E.N.D. is a reflection of many different moments that I’ve experienced and that I’ve watched others experience.”
Even as these moments ebb and flow away, Samanta remains confident that the resonance of her album will endure. “It’s so funny because I feel like I am constantly learning, growing, and evolving, and in a way, many of the songs in this album are no longer representative of who I am or how I feel. But, as I listen to the album today and especially as I listen to it with others around, I realize that it doesn’t matter if I no longer identify with some of the tracks on the album. Someone else will, and as long as someone else will, that’s what matters.” In her mind, connection makes human existence worthwhile. “I want you to think about three questions: 1) What matters to you? 2) What makes you feel alive? 3) Why?…Humans are tribal in nature. That is no secret. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the meaning of life. When I was younger, I was fascinated by astrophysics. I wanted to understand the universe. The more I learned, the more I questioned why anything matters. At the end of the day, we all die, and eventually humans as we know it probably won’t exist anymore, and maybe the universe will collapse on itself, and so well, nothing really matters in the end. But, the more I looked inwards, the more I understood about myself, the more I grew. I started to appreciate relativism: not only in the sense that ‘everything is relative’ and ‘everything is subjective’ and ‘well it depends on your perspective,’ but also in the sense that what matters is now. Today. What matters is how I treat you and how you treat me. How I make you feel and how you make me feel. Because at the end of the day, you are human and I understand what it feels like to be human. To feel heard, seen, honored, respected. To feel loved. That is what matters. My relationship with myself matters. My relationship with my family, friends, coworkers. My partner. That is my purpose. It’s sort of like Schrodinger’s Cat. It’s neither dead nor alive until it’s observed. Nothing exists in a vacuum. So yeah, without togetherness, life is nothingness.”
She is a firm believer that platonic relationships should be valued just as much as romantic relationships. “I think it’s really important to have strong platonic relationships. I know a lot of people, but I have a small group of really close friends and these individuals are so, so important to me. There’s not many movies about that one platonic love that changes your life. All of your needs and desires cannot be fulfilled by one person. That is unrealistic and quite frankly unfair. It’s asking a lot from that one person, and well, would you expect yourself to answer to your partner’s every single desire and need? No. That’s what friendships are for.” A healthy social biome requires many forms and sources of affection and intimacy. “Truly loving someone, and truly knowing yourself, means that you understand that the entire world doesn’t revolve around this partnership. Not only can you have a life outside of your romantic relationships, but you can also feel deeply connected to others and love them. I love my close friends, and I prioritize spending time with them because these relationships matter to me just as much as my relationship with my romantic partner.”
She concedes that society is chemically wired to continue to allow romantic relationships to eclipse all others. “Consider oxytocin: ‘the love drug.’ It is the naturally occurring drug that we can keep abusing, so long as we are sexually excited, or in love. I think we are designed to be this way. It is also the hormone that releases in your brain during childbirth. So, it sounds to me like it’s possibly even a survival instinct – for us to place so much emphasis on our romantic relationships – because that is how we perpetuate the human race.” The solution can be found in simply committing to your friends along with your partners. “Prioritize your platonic relationships and keep nurturing them even after you have ‘found the one.’ Don’t disappear. Keep each other involved. Be inclusive. Celebrate special moments together. Tell each other you love each other. Hey, maybe even write about it. Haha. Just be there for each other and don’t take them for granted. Come to think of it. Looking at my tracklist now, I seem guilty of placing more emphasis on romantic relationships myself. But, my platonic relationships were heavily involved in my album creation process, so my emphasis on my platonic relationships comes through in the sense of time spent together. In my next album, there will be at least one song about a platonic relationship. There, I said it.”
Samanta wants Days of E.N.D. to galvanize self discovery. “I hope that my album will encourage listeners to do one of two things: feel and/or reflect. Feeling moved by music is a special experience. Personally, when I listen to music that not only sounds good but also tells an interesting story, I become all-consumed and cannot focus on anything else. I hope that listeners will feel that way when listening to my album. If the album causes you to reflect on something, and if that reflection causes you to learn something new about yourself or someone else, even better. For me, the album creation process was a journey, and I learned a lot about myself – and others – throughout it. I hope that listeners will learn something too.” This self introspection is one of her most cherished gifts from the album. “I learned that I am a very sensitive and emotional person. I learned that I am driven and disciplined, and I complete what I set out to accomplish. And to add to that, I learned that this manifestation power, as some people call it, is really just a combination of having a vision and following through on that vision over time, and maybe a little bit of luck. You increase your chances of experiencing luck by exposing yourself more frequently to the scenarios in which you’d consider yourself lucky though. So, you really do just have to put yourself out there.” And recognizing your limits can be equally important. “I learned that while I can do a whole lot, I am not invincible, and sometimes I need to take breaks. I learned to listen to my body. My mind. I learned to value alone time. My relationship with myself evolved a significant amount throughout this album creation process, and for that I am eternally grateful.” Maybe our greatest potential for love can be found in our hidden capacity to fall in love with ourselves.
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Samanta Liza Contemplates the Highs and Lows of Human Emotion in Debut Album, “Days of E.N.D.” Photo Credit: Yuliya Skya.