We caught up with singer Samantha Urbani at the Alice + Olivia presentation last week! Check out our exclusive interview.
The Knockturnal: Tell me about performing today and how exciting that is.
Samantha Urbani: It’s actually very exciting because this is my first time singing live since January of 2020. This is my first live performance back, so it is exciting. It’s interesting. I was kind of like leaning into all these other creative practices over the last year and a half, and to just jump back into singing and getting comfortable is a very nice feeling. I didn’t really know how it would feel, and it just feels natural and celebratory, and like community essence, you know what I mean?
The Knockturnal: Absolutely. Tell us about the songs you sang.
Samantha Urbani: I just sang two songs. There was one that’s called “Friend Crush.” That was by my old band Friends, and then we covered “New Slang” by The Shins, which has always been one of my favorite kind of like indie songs from the last 20 years. But I covered it last summer for a Stereogum compilation and gave it a funky update, so I would like to think it was a cute and unexpected moment.
The Knockturnal: That’s awesome, you sounded fantastic. Tell us about your style.
Samantha Urbani: I definitely think that my style is androgynous, non-gendered. But I can lean very hard into different archetypes. Some days I want to look super glam, some days I wanna be super cozy and laid-back, but my style icons are Janet Jackson, Lisa Bonet, all the amazing women from the 80s and 90s who kinda cut their hair super short, wore big power blazers, and showed empowerment and comfort and strength in their silhouette. You know?
The Knockturnal: What else are you looking forward to that you want to share? New music?
Samantha Urbani: Yeah, I have new music, but I don’t really have a release date for it or anything. But playing more shows and just continuing my own creative pursuits. I do a lot of different things. I teach at NYU now, which is really amazing. I’m off this semester, but I’m there every other semester.
The Knockurnal: What do you teach?
Samantha Urbani: I’m an adjunct professor, I mentor students who are in the Clive Davis songwriting and production program. It’s been super rewarding and fun. And just taking in the different elements … my work has always been about community and bringing people together, and I used to tour non-stop, but now I have these other outlets, just like giving advice to people ten years younger than me. And it’s great! I love that, yeah!