We talk with Singer/Songwriter Cara Samantha about being on American Idol and more
Cara Samantha is determined to be successful and is unafraid to make cheesy music if behind the cheese the music is still good. She is friendly with a big constant smile, and her stage presence is equal parts vivaciousness and searching. Searching for her own sounds while standing behind other artists, or in front of cover bands, and now with her own original music.
When did you start writing your own songs?
I only started playing my own stuff a year ago. I started with musical theater. In that profession, and I guess in this one too, you take what you can get. Cruise ships were great because it let me learn how to start playing with a band. I learned what I like and what I don’t like in cover bands and doing backup vocals.
Of the places you’ve played, what kind of set up/venue do you enjoy most?
I’m familiar with Manhattan, I’m in Queens right now– I love Astoria– but Brooklyn is a foreign country to me. My favorite venue though is Rockwood Music Hall (in the Lower East Side). I’ve played there three times. Once with a band, once with just an acoustic guitar, and then once with my jazz trio.
How did you end up auditioning for American Idol?
I never wanted to audition for American Idol. I’m the type of person who is against mainstream music and mainstream art until everyone else kind of accepts it. I’m slow to figure it out, it takes me a year or so. I thought American Idol was just exploiting artists and I didn’t want to do that. But my voice teacher used to sing back up on the show and she recommended that I give it a try. I had nothing to lose so I went with some friends. The first time I auditioned I got all no’s from Randy, Steven Tyler, and Jennifer Lopez. I auditioned again because it was my last year of eligibility. This time I made it to Hollywood.
What did you get from the judges this time?
The highlight was getting feedback from Mariah Carey. She’s my idol, if I had not gone through, I would have still been happy hearing what she had to say about my voice.
How do you feel about being ‘American Idol’s’ Cara Samantha? Does that inhibit you or allow you to do your own thing?
I’m okay with it. I made it to Hollywood week. I’ve never felt completely one way or the other in terms of making my own music. I think it helps that I listen to the radio and what could potentially be cheesy music is good to some people.
For more information on Cara Samantha, please visit www.carasamantha.com.