Stylish, graceful, dynamic, and determined, Annie Sama is  embracing all aspects of herself to the fullest: an electro-dance musician, a fashion icon, a DJ, an artist, and more.

Written by Rebecca Kahn 

Creative Director Sylvain Blais
Photographer Damian Siqueiros
Fashion Editor Cinthya Chalifoux 

 

Sharing vegan ice cream and crème brûlée with Annie Sama is a breath of fresh air on a too-hot Montreal summer day. With creativity, kindness, and excitement, Annie Sama is someone who is sure to succeed in all her future endeavours.

Her zest and appreciation for life is immediately apparent, and it’s clear after talking with her that she gains inspiration from all her experiences, surroundings, and people in her life. She divulges, “I’m always excited. I was excited for my day today – I was excited to come here. I’m excited to have a meeting with my team later.” While laughing herself, she tells me, “I always love to surround myself with people who make me laugh. I love to cry-laugh, where your cheeks hurt.”

Dabbling in dance, music, fashion, and visual art, she says, “I think I see it as a whole. I see it as me. I think that speaks for itself. That’s me. And it’s never going to be anybody else. Other people can be their own thing, but that’s me… Everybody loved music. I was creating my own melodies and stuff like that and getting very inspired by nature – I was living almost in the woods. It just made me. I think also growing up in a very, very small village, I was kind of underchallenged with literature and stuff like that. So, as soon as I got out, I was like, ‘Please feed me with information and knowledge’. It was really important for myself to go and reach out to the world.”

She sums up her music and new album simply with, “I really want people to dance, to have a good time… I want to bring people into an electronic journey where people can come to my show and dance the whole way.” While looking forward to her performance at PY1 at the end of August and at Pride festivities before then, she tells me “I’m going to be the party. Yes, I’m so going to be the party.”

She articulates a few particular moments in time to sum up what being “the party” means to her. “One time, I was at Elsewhere and the rooftop is – they built the thing like on the container – and there’s so many people doing the same movement, and the floor would just be like this [moving arms], and the whole thing wouldn’t break. It was just so weird, like to have this movement. Or, when you go dance on a boat, you have that feeling as well, when everyone’s grinding real good on the same beat at the same time – it’s quite something. It’s such a unique experience, and it’s totally worth it – to have that emotion and motion.”

Sama describes a slightly different party moment once while she was at a smaller music festival: “Starting at 4:30 in the morning when the sun comes up, I was singing to everyone, ‘Here Comes the Sun’, from the Beatles. And people would start singing with me… It’s just a special moment, and the sun is coming up… It’s these little moments where it makes a difference, and I don’t need to do a show. I can just give a gift to people and make their experience so much better.” She thrives off of doing it “just for them – just for the moment of living, this little moment, where everybody knows the song, where everybody feels that energy of love and giving. And [I’m] giving to people with what I do best.”

annie sama

Annie tells me her dance melodies for her music will “come to me like all of the sudden. Sometimes, when I’m in my shower, I run out and record myself.” She goes on to say, “I don’t only do electronic music for my albums. I like to do weird soundscapes. I really love modular synthesizers and to work the sound and make it evolve.” But her music is more than just melodies; it’s also accompanied by expert lyricism, telling me that she’s “going to keep repeating in all my songs, as a mantra throughout my work, ‘Be yourself, be loving, be yourself in this mental state that you are. Embrace it, and then work from it.’”

More than just moving to the music, she’s also always physically moving around. Annie describes herself as a nomad, with a bittersweet note in her voice as she equally laments leaving her friends while celebrating “moving forward into something.” She has a particular affinity for road trips and jet-setting from festival to festival, expressing her love for “being always on the constant move – it’s my kind of thing.” She loves nature and the ocean, as well as cities or places with a lot of personality, but she laughs as she tells me that her favourite place to travel is her suitcase: “That’s my home. Home is where I am – it has to be anyways because we’re always on the go.”

Apart from her suitcase, Sama calls two cities her home, settling down in either New York or Montreal when she’s not travelling elsewhere, and there’s pros and cons to both metropolises. “Everybody in New York comes from somewhere else, which changes a lot of things because a lot of those people, since they come from somewhere else, they saw something else. A lot of people won’t stay in their apartment because they’re too small, and people have the crappiest apartment but the nicest clothing because they won’t invest in their apartment, but they’re gonna invest in themselves. They’re going to see art and moving into the city and making the city so great – discovering knowledge, education.

Here [in Montreal], it’s a good art hub, but for people to consume art, it’s another thing sometimes. They’re gonna like free stuff, but in New York, they’re used to having a budget and they’re going to go and consume art… I’m in a francophone world. It’s harder for them to understand what I do because the electronic music scene here is growing slowly. But here, we have a lot more help from the government to develop our things, so that’s a good thing. The rent is cheaper, so it’s easier to develop products like mine and travel than starting over [in New York].”

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“THAT’S ME. AND IT’S NEVER GOING TO BE ANYBODY ELSE. OTHER PEOPLE CAN BE THEIR OWN THING, BUT THAT’S ME…”

Her music project is well-developed now, but she’s not going to stop there – Annie has big goals for her future and who she wants to work with. “I really love Diplo. For singers, I think M.I.A. is just a dope person who speaks the same language that I do. I really like her whole thing. There are smaller artists that I’m looking at and reaching out slowly for the new album, so we’ll see about that. For the future, I think, Mark Ronson, there would be a song that would be mine in his repertoire. I love what he does. I love what he did with Miley Cyrus. I love what he did with Tame Impala. I love that he works with weirder artists as well. I think Tame Impala and Miley Cyrus are artists that have a very strong voice and are themselves.”

Wearing a dress custom-made for her by her friend and stylist of this shoot, Cinthya Chalifoux, she also has big goals for her impeccable fashion and style. “I’d love to have my own line of clothing eventually. I think I’d have a great eye and to fulfill a lot of girls needs in fashion. I love the idea of the practicality and the sleekness, so that’s my go-to ideology – a mix of very high-fashion and sportswear.”

Annie comes off with an undeniable calm and cool confidence, in who she is as a person, her style, her music, and her morals, and she wants nothing more than for others to embody this same assuredness, but she tells me, “I’m not always confident, but when I have these moments, I have good people around me to remind me, ‘Annie, think positive’… It really helps so much to have good people around me. I have my breakdowns. I’m depressed sometimes. Everybody has a past… But it’s humanity, it’s who we are.”

On the flip side, she solemnly notes, “People who live in fear will be in their bubble and in judgment. Fear is the driving source of any racism or any judgment because you don’t know what you have in front of you, so you have fear, so you make a judgment.” Annie Sama still manages to find hope and purpose, though: “It’s our responsibility to really change this world, one mind at a time.”

Creative Director Sylvain Blais
Photographer Damian Siqueiros
Fashion Editor Cinthya Chalifoux
Makeup and Hair Joffrey Dumas

Written on: December 1, 2019