SJae (Samantha Powell) is the first UK female music producer and is hailed in the US as the “best in the business.”
Ahead of her debut EP, “FIRST,” SJae recently released her single, “Acid Rain.”
We talked to her about the song and her upcoming music.
What was the inspiration behind “Acid Rain?”
Acid Rain was inspired by more than a few tearful conversations between myself and my good friend and neighbor at that time, Hilary Bernstein (Hilaire), over evening glasses of wine in the hot tub, and puppy playdates. It’s the story of how painful it is to be triggered over that one ex that just really got under your skin, that overwhelming, stomach churning dread that you feel in your solar plexus when something reminds you of them out of the blue. Combining that with us both being huge 80s fans, both music and movies. We would go to Cinespia movie showings at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and watch movies like the Lost Boys and Breakfast Club.
How does it feel to be the first UK female music producer and what advice would you give other women in the UK who want to follow your path?
On the one hand, that’s a crazy title to process, as it’s really all I’ve ever done, because I wouldn’t take no for an answer in terms of being discouraged from or disbelieved in, that role over the years, so I just got on with it, without considering I was the first or one of few; on the other hand, it feels very frustrating that it’s still an issue. Things are getting slightly better, but I remember back in the day when my publisher and I had to act like ‘Sammy’ was a guy, in order to even get me on sessions as a ‘track’ person, if they submitted me as ‘Samantha’, I would be allowed to contribute as a lyricist only.
For other women wanting to follow this path, I would tell them do it, do it, do it! The belief that women are not technical is an outdated fallacy, we have all kinds of unique skills to bring to this field. Trust yourself and your instincts, learn and hone your craft, because you still have to be 5 times as good as your male counterparts, but don’t let anyone make you second guess yourself, your taste and your decisions!
If you could give a theme to your upcoming EP, what do you think it would be and why?
It’s pretty emotionally honest but feel-good! There are some strong emotional messages in there, but I’ve dressed them up in what I’m hoping is feel-good, head-nod-able tracks that make you screw up your face to the beat, then smile and then dance.
How does to it feel to release your debut EP to the world?
It feels really good, it’s been a long time coming! I had no idea how much work it was doing it independently if I’m being honest, but it’s also really fun. I’m working on letting go of the (potentially British cultural) notion of how self-indulgent it is to talk about yourself and your music this way, as I’m used to letting other artists do that and staying behind the scenes!
What would you like to say to your supporters?
A MASSIVE thank you! There’s a lot of incredible music out there and I’m super grateful to anyone that takes time out of there day to listen to my music when they could be listening to literally billions of other songs! It’s not easy making a living in the music industry, but the support and encouragement from people who appreciate the music, really keeps you going.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your upcoming EP, your career, or anything else in general?
I’d love to hear from anyone who wants to chat on social media interested in production, anybody who might need some encouragement, or any collaboration ideas for the next EP!
Make sure to stream “FIRST” when it drops on March 22nd.
What do you think of “Acid Rain?” Let us know on Twitter at @CelebMix.