“She still sings with a street-eye view and empathy and speaks of the fragility of people’s souls but her poetic lyrics continue to deepen and widen, and when you hear something as beautiful as ‘It Rains Down’ you know she’s someone special” – Graham Reid
On tour with her third album she began painting and now lives as a visual artist. Her debut exhibition ‘Welcome To My World’ was held at Toi Ora Gallery in 2015 and featured in Artweek Auckland. Sam RB had another exhibition in May 2016 at Frasers (Mt Eden) and will again feature in Artweek Auckland at Ponsonby Central in October with her ‘Kiwi Bacon Yellow Bus’ show.
Early in life, Sam RB was drawn to songwriting in an attempt to make sense of the world. On leaving school she was forced to step back from her music. While she continued to write, songs came alive behind closed doors and were seldom shared. It took 21 years for Sam RB to find her way back to the music. Transitioning back to work was a further challenge, following an extended period of mental distress. She was employed in the ‘Like Minds Like Mine’ anti-discrimination campaign for several years before returning to her music and releasing her debut album ‘Seems I Might Be Human’ in 2010.
Her second album ‘Queen Street Acoustics’ was developed busking on Queen Street (Auckland) and captures the wonderful and life-changing transition, from being house-bound to performing live hundreds of times every year. It is an album of exploration and discovery. The diverse tracks encompass everything from love songs to social issues such as bullying and the rights of children. There are also reflections on psychosis and depression, and a tribute to NZ artist, the late Don Binney, co-written with Mike Chunn (Split Enz).
Sam RB’s latest album ‘Finding Your Way Home’ (also produced and recorded by Andrew Buckton at Studio 203) was released in 2014, and was followed by a North Island Tour. Like many of her songs they were developed on Queen Street as she busked. Graham Reid, award winning travel, arts and music writer, had this to say about her latest work,
“She still sings with a street-eye view and empathy and speaks of the fragility of people’s souls but her poetic lyrics continue to deepen and widen, and when you hear something as beautiful as It Rains Down you know she’s someone special.”
While preparing for her debut exhibition in 2015 she recorded single ‘Myselves’, which was produced and recorded at Paquin Studios by Tom Healy. It explores multiplicity, something she believes we all experience to some degree.
While Sam RB hopes to write and record again one day, at the moment it is all about the painting. Her next exhibition, Kiwi Bacon Yellow Bus is a part of Artweek Auckland (October 10th – 16th) at Ponsonby Central
‘Kiwi Bacon Yellow Bus’ is inspired by the coming together of two experiences – the sense of nostalgia that images of an older Auckland evoke; and a decade of living quite housebound. During those years of anxiety and psychosis, Sam RB imagined an ’empty world’ where it might be possible to live and explore without fear.