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Music can promote universal healing, says SA Grammy winner

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GILLIAN KLAWANSKY

“I’m not somebody who’s short of words and I’m a little bit speechless right now,” said Samson. “My win is a testament to the integrity of the Recording Academy. I have 78 followers on Twitter, and I have a few hundred followers on Instagram. Basically, I have no real numbers. So, for me to have a Grammy means that the voting members and the academy are truly basing it on the music and the messaging. It has nothing to do with other outside forces, and that’s a beautiful thing.”

“A big rush of adrenalin.” That’s how Samson, a former King Davidian who moved to the United States at the age of 14, described the feeling on hearing his name being announced as the winner. “I was very nervous remembering everyone who I really wanted to thank by name. It’s so important to acknowledge your family and the people who have helped you. It’s everyone really, every single person who’s ever been in my life has gone into my work.”

It’s this collaborative philosophy that underpins Samson’s company, CoCreative Music, which offers music therapy, education, and studio recording to facilitate healing and creativity. “I want to spread the CoCreative approach. There’s no one particular way to be “co-creative”, it’s really this creative partnership between teacher and student, artist and producer, and producer and student. There’s always been this division between the recording world, the production world, and simply singing little songs in the classroom.”

Samson believes such divisions should be eroded, and children need a bigger platform. “Kids have such strong messages so it can become about them letting the largeness of their voice shine through because now we’re paying attention. I grew up at a time when ‘children should be seen and not heard’ was the mantra. We’ve outgrown that, it never served us to begin with, so it’s time to let it go.”

On the heels of his Grammy win, Samson plans to spread this message, and to promote music therapy. “I want to encourage other artists of all mediums to utilise their talent to facilitate talent in others.” He also hopes to use his music to promote universal healing. “Music is energetic, it’s not a tangible, physical thing. It can go all over the world, and that’s something we have now that we never had before.”

For someone who’s used to working in a home-based therapy practice and private recording studio, the Grammy experience was huge, said Samson. “It was overstimulating. I left early so I could get a massage! It was a spectacular event, and as wonderful as it was for me to be around a million celebrities, artists, and loud music, there’s only so much my body wants to process in one moment. I felt I had to go back to some basic self-care, to decompress. So I took off my sparkly jacket, went to Macy’s to get a sweatshirt so no-one would recognise me, and then I got a massage. I just cried on the table, I was so grateful.”

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