Student Artist Feature: Samantha Huss`23

Samantha Huss is a first-year student at Colby, and music plays a big role in her life.

Huss says music has been a part of her life since she was in elementary school, when she got in trouble for writing song lyrics on pieces of paper during class. At Bronxville High School in New York, she participated in musical theater, as well as two a capella groups and the honors choir, played trumpet in her school’s honors and jazz ensembles. Huss plays the guitar, trumpet, trombone, piano, ukulele, and she sings.

At the College, Huss is a member of Mayflower Chill,  an a capella group with which she rehearses four to six hours a week. She is also in an unofficial student band called Melted Sundaze, and will likely perform with them soon. Huss plans to take music theory classes at the College to help broaden her songwriting.

Huss has been composing and recording songs since she was 14, but her creativity has earlier roots.

“I would write down things in class when I was in elementary school, and I would get in so much trouble,” said in a recent interview with the Echo, “and then my dad one day was like, ‘Well instead of doing this during class, why don’t you just sit down with a notebook and write things down, and keep them?” So I started writing them and working on them musically, and I learned more about music [in this way].” Huss said that most of the instruments she plays were self-taught for the purpose of songwriting. She plans to learn the banjo next for a song she’s currently working on.

“[My music is] kind of like a mix between folk and indie…I have a melody in my head and then I’ll write lyrics, and it’s usually about something that’s going on in my life, not to be too Taylor Swift-y… and then I’ll add other instruments in that I feel like fit the song, which is why I want to learn the banjo, because I have this one song that I feel like would be perfect with the banjo, but I don’t know how to play the banjo, so I want to learn,” Huss said. “Every instrument that I’ve learned besides trumpet, trombone, and saxophone has been to accompany my music. I don’t think I play piano, but I can play chords, so I learned piano because I wanted to add it to a song.”

Huss said that she hasn’t released any songs online, but plans to someday.

“I feel like once it’s out there…you hear about artists all the time who are writing songs and then they get picked up by someone, or people listen to it, and then they change their style to fit what’s more mainstream and what people want to hear,” Huss said. “I just feel like once I put it out there, I’m not writing music for me anymore, I’m writing it to get listeners. My goal is to have 100 songs written and recorded before I put anything out…”

Huss told the Echo that she has written 42 songs as of now. The role music plays in her life is more important than fame and fortune.

“If someone said, ‘Would you rather be super famous and have your music warped like that, but get to play music full time, you make enough money, you travel, you’re world-known; or just keep using GarageBand forever?’…I would keep GarageBand-ing. I do music cause it makes me really happy, and no matter what funk I’m in, or if I have 10 exams tomorrow, or if I just got my heart broken, no matter what, if I sit down and play some bad song, and just write some crap, then I’ll feel better… I know that if I lose the power to just write what I want to write when I want to write, it would become a chore and it would just lose that individuality… I think the best songs are the ones that have a big meaning to the person who wrote them, they’re just about something personal, even if it’s not explicitly said in the song.”

While Huss’ debut album may not have hit the shelves yet, stay tuned for her performances in Mayflower Chill and Melted Sundaze.