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Sam Fischer

Sat, June 8, 2024
Doors: 7:30 pm

The Atlantis
Washington, DC

Tickets are non-transferable until 72 hours prior to the show time. Any tickets suspected of being purchased for the sole purpose of reselling can be cancelled at the discretion of The Atlantis / Ticketmaster, and buyers may be denied future ticket purchases for I.M.P. shows. Opening acts, door times, and set times are always subject to change.

Sam Fischer

They say you get your whole life to write your first album, but it took Sam Fischer just ‘a cool 35 minutes’ to create his favourite track on it, Landslide. It came about back in 2018 at a song-writing camp in the Hollywood hills.

“It was midnight when we started this song,” says Sam. “Everyone had got on the beers. It started as a party rock type vibe but turned into this acoustic lullaby. We ended up writing the most tender love song, and it hasn’t changed at all since that day. I’m so excited for people to hear it.”

Despite having written for the likes of Demi Lovato, Keith Urban, Ciara, Cian Ducrot and Cat Burns, and finding global success with viral TikTok hit This City, Sam’s debut album, I Love You Please Don’t Hate Me, is his first extended body of work. It is a compilation of tracks he has written over his career, and the common theme is his relationship with himself – which at times has been fraught.

“The album name is a pretty good summary of what’s to come,” he explains. “It’s like, ‘I’ve been terrible to you, but I’ll be better. You’re worth it, but you’ve also been an arsehole.”

Sam grew up on a farm outside of Sydney, later moving to the city with his parents. Music was integral to his childhood – he started playing the violin at the age of three, and later the saxophone. His mum would listen to Enya at home while his dad had three albums on rotation – The Bodyguard soundtrack, Michael Jackson HIStory on Film, Volume II and a rock compilation. By 12 he was writing his own music.

He recalls his parents buying him his first album. “It was a Human Nature record,” he explains. “I listened to it over and over again, and learned all the songs. I asked them to buy me another album, and they said no! I was like, ‘excuse me!’ So I decided to write my own albums out of sheer spite! Proving people wrong has been a major driving force in my life.”

He joined a jazz band at his high school and won a scholarship at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston when he was 18. It was a pivotal four years in his life. Not only did he learn his craft, but he met his wife Erin, who now does backing vocals in his band. It’s also where he met his guitarist, fellow Australian, Marton Bisits.

“He was one of the first people I met. We used to play these tiny little gigs, and now we’ve been working together for 13 years.”

After graduating Sam moved to LA to try and make it as a singer and songwriter. But it was tough, and he struggled to make ends meet. While sleeping on any soft surface he could find, he did backing vocals for the band Holychild, worked for cash as a delivery driver for an Australian meat pie shop in downtown LA called ‘The Bronzed Aussie’ and said yes to any and every session he could find.

When he finally landed a record deal with a new label under Columbia Records in 2017, it was short-lived. He was dropped after ten months having released no music but gaining an identity crisis. Sam almost let it deter him, but in 2018, as a last ditch effort at being an artist, he self-released his EP Not A Hobby which included a track called This City, documenting his LA struggles. That song ended up completely changing his life.

Early in 2019 he noticed that the track had gone from 4000 streams a day on Spotify, to 10,000, then later to 60,000. “I was wondering what was going on? The track had been out for a year already. Then I got a message from someone named LeeThe4th saying, ‘I wanted to let you know that your track This City is the biggest song on a new app called ‘TikTok’ right now.’ I was like, ‘What’s TikTok?!’”

It was still very early days of the app. “I downloaded it and the first thing I saw was a girl lip syncing to my song. There were about 700,000 videos using it, but it didn’t have my name on it or the title. I had gone viral but nobody knew it was me” He and his manager set about changing that.

Within months Lewis Capaldi had been in touch asking him to support him on the US leg of his tour. “After the final night of the tour, Spotify put This City on their Pop Rising playlist. It was doing 4 million streams a week by then. The previous year it had done 4 million streams in the whole 12 months!” It is now at over a billion.

It was in October of the same year that he got a call from RCA Records in the UK. At the time, he was in Nashville working on a song, Polaroid, which would later be released as a Keith Urban single. “They said, ‘We think you’ve got a hit on your hands!’” They flew him to London with his manager the very next day and within 48 hours of landing in the UK he had been offered a record deal.

“The first meeting was three hours long and I must have played them 30 songs,” he says. RCA re-released This City, and there were big plans to promote it, including touring with Niall Horan in the US, but then the pandemic hit. So he set about doing a promotional tour from his LA apartment. His first TV gig? Performing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on a segment called ‘Live from the Lavatory’.

“I performed an acoustic version of This City with my wife and Marton, my guitarist. We filmed it and texted it to my manager and it was played on TV. We were like, ‘OK, so that’s our TV debut.’ When we finished filming, we had a shot of tequila and then Marton went home because he wasn’t legally allowed to be in my apartment.”

He also went on to perform remotely on The Late Late Show with James Corden and The Ellen Show. “I had a wild amount of people messaging me about the song during the pandemic and telling me how the song was helping them. Those messages made me realize the song was becoming something much bigger than me. It’s amazing to think that This City was one of the markers of the pandemic for so many and helped people get through it.”

He’s since recorded a single with Demi Lovato, What Other People Say, which was released in 2021. “I actually wrote it two weeks before I went on tour with Lewis in 2019,” says Sam. “I thought it was the best song I’d ever written. My publisher sent it to her manager Scooter Braun, and it brought Demi to tears. We didn’t meet until we were on the set of the music video. Now we text and check in on each other. She’s a good egg.”

Sam is no stranger to collaboration having released his These Cities EP in 2020 featuring artists like Anne-Marie and Kane Brown, as well as writing and appearing on Sam Feldt’s 2021 dance track, Pick Me Up. Staying true to form it was important for Sam to have collaborations with other artists on his debut album.

Amy Shark features on High On You, while his good friend Meghan Trainor pops up on Alright. He wrote Alright back in 2018 after experiencing a panic attack in the shower.

“I never have panic attacks,” he says. “I was telling myself, ‘I’m going to be alright, I’m going to be alright’ and that mantra was turned into the chorus. I performed it for the first time on tour with Lewis. Meghan was at one of the shows and she texted me after, saying, ‘Yo, what was that song? I want to jump on it.’ It’s a banger and it’s has really rounded out the whole album.”

Now Sam is looking forward to getting back to performing live in front of an audience again. “I’m excited to tour as much as possible. And really work my arse off to show the world who I am and what I can do as an artist.”

Venue Information:
The Atlantis
2047 9th St NW
Washington, DC, 20001

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