Living With and For Jazz

For an emerging singer, getting the debut album acknowledged so well that it receives five different submissions for Grammy consideration could be a dream moment! Former Flower Mound resident Samantha Fierke is not only living that moment but is also getting ready to prosper in the industry.

“Every tune I wrote for Mirage was carefully crafted over time. Every tune breathes through me, and every note and word is placed with dear intention,” the 20-year-old jazz singer said. “Mirage has allowed me to get closer to some big players in the scene and have a body of work that I feel truly reflects me.”

With eight original tracks that touch on feelings of mutual, simultaneous hope and despair, Mirage is Samantha’s first full-length record. Before this, the singer released a five-song EP titled “Sam.”

Fierke grew up exploring everything – environment, people, ideas, music, culture, etc. The family fully encouraged and supported Sam from an early age which helped them discover their interest in the arts with great curiosity and an open mind.

“Why jazz?” is one question Sam frequently gets asked. “I’ve played many styles and traditions of music over the years, but jazz fully captured my senses,” said Fierke, who is currently pursuing a jazz composition degree at Berklee College of Music. “Jazz also is so broad and all-encompassing that I never feel boxed in, and there’s always more beyond what I can see and hear myself. It fills all the gaps in my head.”

Music has shaped Sam gradually over time. Different skills learned through the music endeavors have strengthened their value of community and support and their work ethic. “Music has allowed me to connect and empathize with people in a unique way. Working as a musician really teaches you that people depend on you, and everything you do affects those around you. The intention is so important,” the vocalist shared.

Fierke calls Mirage a journey to self-discovery. The tracks represent the singer’s observations and experiences through life in modern-day America, betrayal and loss of friendships, withstanding abusive relationships, reacting to our global climate crisis, or navigating personal emotional lulls. For Fierke, the journey of self-discovery made real sense when they received their autism diagnosis. “My journey with Autism was much more complicated as I was undiagnosed until 2020. I have known I had ADHD from a very young age which has led to some severe struggles in school, work, and home alike. It has also shaped many of my key traits and characteristics, which I hold so dear,” Fierke shared.

“Once I was properly diagnosed, my whole life started making much more sense, and I finally felt like I knew myself and was in charge of my own story.”

Fierke plans to continue writing and performing their own original music. They currently perform with The Sam Fierke Quartet, but the members are changing based on location and availability.

“I currently also play tenor sax and sing with some student-led big bands at Berklee, like the NJO (New Jazz Orchestra),” Fierke said. “I’m looking forward to a full career and a fuller heart.”

Their regular days are occupied with classes, homework, practice sessions, training, event bookings, etc. “Some days, though, I just like to play Mario Kart with my partner, water my many plants, bike around Boston, and cook extravagant dinners for my friends,” Firerke said. “I love reading, cooking, foraging, and biking, but I find my hobbies are always shifting as I find new fun things to explore.”

Sam’s parents have moved from Flower Mound to Columbia, but their extended family and near-ones are in and around Dallas. They support Sam with all their hearts.

“They are always the first stop to spread the message about any projects I have. I can’t wait to finally play some shows in the DFW area,” Fierke said.

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