“What we can’t control can be embraced,” begins Samantha Marie Saglibene, summarizing her journey through life and music. And even as the leaves fall, she finds herself in a personal rebirth, her art and spirit in a season of blossoming akin to spring.
Within her, there’s a world where the idea of ‘home’ stretches far beyond the physical, rooted deeply in connections, places, and the soft reflections that speak to us in the quiet moments of return. “I am someone that can feel comfortable in different environments, and create ‘home’ wherever I go,” she reflects, revealing the adaptive, nomadic nature of her spirit that finds solace in the familiar and the new alike.
Saglibene’s latest release “Summers” sings with a lightness that speaks of July—arguably one of my favorite tracks on the album. It carries the wistful essence of summer’s end, those warm moments that hold onto the day’s last light. The song is an invitation to relax, to let one’s thoughts meander and mingle with the music, a perfect accompaniment for dreaming and descending into a serene contemplation.
In our interview, we talk about the symbolism of seasons in her life, the journey towards accepting imperfection, and the evolving concept of home.
photography by Megan Odell (3) and press (2)
Tell us about your journey from the beaches of southern Florida to the city of Los Angeles. What were the major turning points?
This wasn’t a hard decision for me, as I had been traveling back and forth from Los Angeles to Florida often at the time, in 2021, and had created close bonds in the creative industry here in LA. I knew that Florida was really comforting for me, as that is my childhood. I also knew I was growing, and that Los Angeles felt incredibly natural to be at, as I was always there. When I drove my car cross country, I remember thinking, “Ok, now it’s happening”. Haha!
Music has clearly been a therapeutic outlet for you. How did you initially discover this about yourself?
This is always the most difficult question for me. Growing up in theatre, I began singing at age 10, and it was never really a question, and I loved to put on a show. I was never not singing, and I found that theatre taught me the opposite of what society had taught me, and a lot of it surrounded the idea of freedom of expression, no matter if that was starkly contrasted from society’s teachings, or not. Singing, dancing, and acting never cease to amaze me, and I can always improve, and it is always rewarding.
However, the one thing that ties me undoubtedly to music being a therapeutic outlet, is songwriting. Human life, as complex as it is, can also be as simple as a song. This will always be fascinating to me, and it’s been the most rewarding part of being an artist.
You’ve spoken about a friend in Los Angeles who was pivotal in encouraging you to pursue music. Do you still share a close bond with this friend?
We don’t talk as much as we had when I first moved to Los Angeles, but we do keep in contact. This person continues to inspire me, and I hope I might be doing the same for them.
“I think that love is an emotion that drives me the most, where I feel most happy and connected.”
“Summers” feels deeply personal, with themes of change, love, and hope. Was there a specific moment that sparked the idea for this album?
This is another hard one to answer! Last Summer, it started as an idea and really spiraled from there. I knew I had to get an out, in terms of emotions I was feeling at the time of the concept creation for the album. It happened sort of naturally, the idea of it being a concept album surrounded by the season of Summer. Because Summer has always been a time for immense change and growth for me, for some reason, I decided to make peace with the things I was really afraid of sometimes, which was loss and change. With that comes new hope, new love, and I also had a lot of fun weaving “Summer” themed ideas, concepts, and words into the songs.
July stands out as one of my favorites from the album. Can you share the inspiration behind this track?
This track is so different from all the others! I got the pleasure of producing this with another female artist I really admire, Alex Sloane. This track was inspired by toxic relationships, hence the lyric “I feel calm that’s when you feel insane’. I wanted this track to feel like a weird dream, a break in the album. I wanted to capture the addictive feeling that comes quite natural to toxic relationships that we see and sometimes experience so much in our current society.
Whenever summer comes around, I find myself feeling more alive and inspired than any other time of the year. You also described summer as a season of immense change for you. Can you tell us more about that?
That’s incredible! I find it a bit odd, but it’s usually Summer where I see and feel really big changes for myself. Big moves, relationships ending or beginning, the feeling of the seasons changing once again, pivotal experiences, and time. Growing up, having Summer being out of school, I always remembered feeling so different going into another school year, having the Summer away to learn and grow, and change. It’s always a little bittersweet when the season ends, and I really wanted to play on the loss of it, in a new way.
I also played on their idea of “Summer” representing a certain feeling. I journaled “Summer is that but a feeling, it’s never really there right in front of you, but you know It when you feel it, even in the winter” while developing the concept for the album.
“I am someone that can feel comfortable in different environments, and create “home” wherever I go.”
In a world where seasons symbolize emotions and phases of life, which season do you feel you’re in right now, and why?
This is such a fun question! Even though it is Fall, I feel like I am in Spring right now. Maybe it’s the warm weather in Los Angeles, but I have had a lot of new beginnings recently, and life feels very fresh and clear.
In a world where seasons symbolize emotions and phases of life, which season do you feel you’re in right now, and why? This is such a fun question! Even though it is fall, I feel like I am in spring right now. Maybe it’s the warm weather in Los Angeles, but I have had a lot of new beginnings recently, and life feels very fresh and clear.
I had a lot to let go of this year: certain fears, certain relationships, and many thinking patterns were shed. I am someone who has struggled with severe OCD since I was seven years old, and growing up, I’ve had to learn how to manage the effects it has on my thinking and my life. I am at a place where I feel the strongest against it and have been able to embrace mistakes and imperfection, considering OCD is centered around making things “perfect” and “just right.”
Things I was so vividly afraid of last year, or in my past, feel like things I am freely accepting now. Some of those are trying to control the way people view me, in person and online, my appearance, getting older, and more. It feels really good to let go.
Given the personal stories packed into “Summers”, what would you like your listeners to take away from it? I would really like my listeners to take away the beauty in imperfection, for all of us. What we can’t control can be embraced, and we explored the themes of loss, change, and death within the album. Can we learn to love our fears? We also explored freedom, hope, and love. Can we learn to invite those into our lives without so much expectation? Some of the songs were purposefully left as freestyle writings, and some instrumental flaws were left in, wanting to really dive into the acceptance of imperfection.
“What we can’t control can be embraced, and we explored the themes of loss, change, and death within the album. Can we learn to love our fears?”
You’ve traveled, changed environments, and transformed. How has the notion of “home” changed for you over the years? I have! There are a lot of places that I go that feel like a second skin, and of course, my home and the beach in Florida feels like that. You go back, and it’s like you never left. As I do travel a lot, I am someone that can feel comfortable in different environments, and create “home” wherever I go, I guess? Maybe? Sometimes I travel somewhere, stay a few weeks, and think to myself, “I could live here.” Haha!
The notion of “home” hasn’t really changed—it still means certain people, places, and feelings for me. That can be felt in different places. The comfort I get from going to Florida is my favorite.
The music industry today seems saturated with songs that revolve around mental health themes. How do you ensure your voice and experience stand out in such an environment? I really love this question, and it is something that as I grow into becoming more confident with my lyricism and my sound, I would like to dive deeper into. I feel that some artists have a way of really speaking to these issues in an authentic way, and then on the flip side, some aren’t doing that, and I believe an audience can tell. Saturated, yes, I do agree.
And what’s your take on the authenticity of the music industry when it comes to discussing mental health? Do you feel it’s become a trend or that there’s genuine understanding and representation? I feel as if I have really seen both sides of this, and I believe that both exist. I’ve worked with someone who wanted to cut my song short to fit a pop format time limit structure or take my lyrics and make them less suggestive, and it’s a crushing feeling to know that some are creating for the wrong reasons.
“I had a lot to let go of this year: certain fears, certain relationships, and many thinking patterns were shed. I am at a place where I feel the strongest against it and have been able to embrace mistakes and imperfection.”
Music aside, what other forms of self-expression or healing have you explored? Writing has always been at the forefront of even making music for me, so creative writing in the form of poetry, and even journaling is really helpful for me to get a lot out that’s on my mind. I really take into account mediation, exercise, kindness, friends and family, and love and care for myself and others. These things are more important than they may seem, and easier said than done sometimes! Haha.
With platforms like Spotify and Apple Music making it easier for artists to release music, how do you navigate the balance between producing quantity versus quality? Incredible question! When you release music, it is typically done through a distribution service or company that licenses it directly to platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify.
For me, Spotify is extremely rewarding to artists, and especially independent artists, to add details to their profile to show their aesthetic, style, and story. They have additives such as videos for fans, direct selling of merchandise, and displays your tour dates. Apple Music is a lot harder to decorate as a smaller artist.
For the quality over quantity, I feel that as my first year of releasing music this year, I had to get out a quantity of music to explore, craft, and find what I liked best for my sound. I feel confident for 2024 that I have really been able to narrow that down, and look forward to intentionally releasing quality over quantity next year.
Which emotion drives you the most in life? Ahhh! This is another tricky question! I love the push and pull of sadness, and the feeling of happiness or hope and the “yin and yang” of it all. I’m grateful for all of the madness of emotions, up and down. I think that love is an emotion that drives me the most, where I feel most happy and connected. Some examples are laughing with best friends, being with my family, loving someone unconditionally, connecting with an audience at a live music show, and feeling connected as a whole. Sort of like a “We are all in this together” feeling.
Thank you so much for your time! Thank you! These questions were so well thought out, and I really enjoyed taking the time to respond. I hope to do this again in the near future! Have a great rest of your holiday season.
Check out Summers here: open.spotify.com
Follow Samantha Marie Saglibene for more: