Sammy Rae discusses music themes, hopes for future ahead of Austin concert

Molly Tompkins, Life&Arts Reporter

From rolling on the floor to belting on the microphone, Sammy Rae & The Friends’ performance encompasses a wide spectrum of emotion — from heartbreak’s lows to lovestruck’s highs. Her songs of self-love take everyday objects, such as denim jackets and hoop earrings, and make them extraordinary symbols of confidence. 

Sammy Rae & The Friends began their second tour, “If It All Goes South,” in Austin on Oct. 1. Before the show, The Daily Texan sat down with Sammy Rae to discuss the themes of her music and hopes for the future. 


The Daily Texan: On Instagram, you reveal both your triumphs and bad days. What makes you feel comfortable in being vulnerable with your fans?

Sammy Rae: My whole mantra in life is you should be in constant pursuit of the most authentic, true version of yourself. If that version is sad or doesn’t feel lovable, there’s something for me to learn about myself from feeling that way. Getting ready for a show takes an hour of putting my face together and doing my hair. It’s not the most accurate and most full version of who I am, because I’m also a person. I think it’s very important that we give that sense of reality. 

DT: How do you make sure your inner child doesn’t get lost? 

SR: I’m in the business of helping my inner child. I go out on stage, jump up and down, play with my friends, roll around on the floor and blow bubbles. Whenever I start to get too serious or full of myself or worried, I meditate on what my inner child would do right now. Chances are my inner child would like a lot of bubblegum. With the show, we want to make a space where we’re so fully ourselves, people have no choice but to feel inspired to be themselves.

DT: What is your biggest goal for the “If It All Goes South” Tour?

SR: Play harder than ever before. The whole theme is: it could all go south and be a lot of fun. I’ve got this crazy goal where people bring us scarves and bandanas so we can decorate the stage with gifts from the audience. At the end we’ll give those scarves and bandanas back to the audience as a means of making people feel like they’re part of the show. 

DT:  How has clothing enabled you to embody your inner self?

SR: There’s this picture of my dad in like 1998, and he’s holding a very young version of me. He’s got this dope denim jacket on. When I was starting to figure out how I wanted to dress, I was like, ‘Dad, let me have it. Let me take it to New York.’ Whenever I wear it, I feel like I’m carrying him with me … I would just put that jacket on and suddenly feel super confident. It’s like a superhero cape of sorts. I just rolled all that up into the song about doing whatever it takes to make you feel confident.

DT: How have friends contributed to your life?

SR: Some people find most people much earlier in life, and I found my forever people when I was a little bit older. I’m eternally grateful for that. Then, lucky me, we started a band, and now I get to spend my whole life with them. It’s a joy to have a sense of community and know people have your back. We can’t walk through life alone. I’m a people’s person. I spent so much time looking for a sense of community, and to have finally found it just means so much to me.