My introduction to SAMIA came April 18, 2019, when she opened for Hippo Campus at The Egyptian Room at Old National Centre in Indianapolis. Looking like a waif, but with the attitude of a kick boxer, she bared her soul to the audience with each song. Accompanied by a touring guitarist, bassist, and drummer, her voice was sweet, yet surprisingly rich and strong. Her music, which alternated between pain, sadness, anger, reflection and irony, was powerful, and at times heart-wrenching. The mother in me wanted to scoop her up and comfort her when she spoke of the middle-school torment she endured, but when she came out swinging on the downbeat of her next song, I knew she was a survivor.
Throughout her set, SAMIA earned the attention – and respect – of the crowd by not only blowing them away with her vocals, but also by maintaining eye contact, and by explaining the meanings behind her songs. For a woman who’s barely into her 20s to have such confidence and poise onstage is unusual – but I get the feeling unusual is the norm for SAMIA.