Rising singer-songwriter Sam Behymer was gracious enough to talk with EarnThis.net, following up on our recent post about her competing on NBC’s The Voice. Since that post, Behymer was knocked out of the televised competition but has garnered many new fans from the experience. And, as you’ll see below, she appears to be revitalized in her work.
First of all, congratulations on your recent success on The Voice and on your accelerating career as a musical artist! For a little background, how long have you been making music?
Thank you! The Voice was an incredible experience and I’m so glad I had the chance to be a part of it. I have been making music for as long as I can remember – I come from a family of musicians, so I guess you could say it’s in my blood. I took up the piano when I was very young and wrote my first compositions on my dad’s old synthesizer in our garage.
I think a lot of people are intrigued by your singing voice. How would you describe the vocal style that you aim for?
This is a question that I get asked a lot – what style of music do I sing? – and it’s definitely a tricky one to answer. For me, music is about emotion, so I would describe my vocal style as “emotional.” I know that’s not exactly what you’re asking, but I find that I don’t really fit into any one genre and I’d rather be defined by the way I connect to an audience through the honesty of my performances.
What artists inspire you most? Or, who tends to get a lot of play in your headphones?
My number one favorite musician is Bruce Springsteen. He’s a major influence on me as a songwriter because I’ve always been enamored with the drama of everything he creates. He approaches the simplest elements of the human experience and expresses them in such a cinematic way; it’s impossible not to be drawn in. My style may be completely different from his, but his music has definitely shaped who I am as an artist.
You may not be at liberty to divulge details of your experience on The Voice, so I’ll understand if some of these get skipped, but I’ll try asking a few things. What motivated you to audition for the show in the first place?
I have watched The Voice since its first season and it has been my favorite show on television since it really hit its stride (in my opinion) in Season 3. It has such a positive atmosphere and an energy of encouragement, and that makes it so much more pleasant to watch than all those other shows that rely on drama and a humiliation factor for ratings. Because it is so positive it’s the only show I had ever even considered auditioning for, and last year when I had all but given up on my music career it seemed like the perfect way to give it one more try. I never imagined I would make it as far as I did!
What parts of the experience were most challenging and most rewarding?
The most challenging part of the experience for me was staying true to myself as an artist. What I do isn’t typical, and it isn’t what your average television viewer expects to hear on a show like The Voice. At times I really doubted myself out of fear that my chances of success on the show would be hurt if I stuck to my guns and expressed myself in the weird and wonderful way that is most natural to me. But what was most rewarding about the experience was that at every turn the staff and crew and especially my coach encouraged me to be myself. They helped me learn control, and they helped me learn to draw an audience in with the honesty and emotion in my voice instead of relying on vocal gymnastics.
How did working with pop superstars as coaches impact your personal development?
I went into The Voice with some major confidence issues. I had been pursuing music on my own in Los Angeles for years, and I’d to see any real success – in fact I had run out of money and was working as a nanny full time. I was in the process of applying to graduate school. I had practically given up. But for some reason I decided to give it one more shot by auditioning, and the fact that I made it to the Blind Audition stage came as a complete shock to me. I told myself that no matter what happened beyond that day, if I could get one chair to turn it meant I had to keep trying. So, I have to keep trying. The moment Adam’s chair turned around during my performance of “Royals” is a moment I will never forget as long as I live because it’s the first time I really believed my dream could come true. And the more time I spent with Adam and the staff and crew of The Voice, the more they helped me to believe it.
Is there anyone in particular on the show who you’re secretly rooting for?
Everyone who’s still in the competition deserves to be there, and I love them all very much. Tess Boyer, Bria Kelly, and Christina Grimmie became dear friends of mine while I was there, so I’ll be screaming loud for them every week. And Josh Kaufman is one of the most impressive vocalists I’ve ever heard.
Have you found yourself inundated by new fans on social media? Do people stop you on the street now for autographs?
Haha living in Los Angeles means I’m pretty low on the totem pole as far as “celebrities” go – but I have had a few people stop me for pictures and things like that. My social media have definitely been blowing up. It’s nice to know that so many people are invested in what I do after my brief time on The Voice!
Going forward, what’s the next big thing for Sam Behymer? Taking some time to write new material? Heading into a recording studio? Touring the nation?
Cool things are in the works. I don’t have a lot of concrete information for you, but I hope to release some new music and start a small tour by the end of the year!
One bonus question: do you have any hidden talents outside of being a singer-songwriter?
Oh, I have MANY hidden talents! But if I tell you about them they won’t stay hidden…but I will say I have become a pretty okay baker in the last few years. And I can play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on the piano with my nose.
On Behymer’s website, you’ll find the links you need to connect: follow her active YouTube account, stream and purchase music on Bandcamp, or just tweet at her. (Try out the hashtag #batsam….)
Photo of Behymer by M. K. Sadler, used with permission.