Introducing Sam Quealy, the Australian techno pop princess living in Paris and taking it by storm.
I first spotted Sam when she was dominating Paris Fashion Week, killing the runway walking for leading fashion designers, however, little did I know that was just one of her secret weapons. Whether Sam is creating and performing her own music, or choreographing and on stage with iconic French psych-punk rock band La Femme, she has the power to completely possess an audience and have them in the palm of her hands.
Dancer, singer, artist, rapper, muse, the list goes on…it feels like you were brought on this planet to do one thing, be a performer, and a damn good one at that. What brought you into the world of art and performance?
My parents were not really into the arts at all actually. When we were really young my parents enrolled my sisters in all different types of activities surfing, swimming, hockey and dancing. I went along to the dance class when I was a toddler still in a nappy and I was already dancing along with the older kids. From then I was kind of obsessed with dance and took it really seriously, devoting my life to it basically. As I got older I begged my parents to let me audition for a performing arts high school and leave my beach town – they were very supportive. It was there I started to also study theatre and music along with my dance training. I sort of combined the 3 elements of music, dance, and theatre into the project that I am doing now … live performance is what I live for. It’s something that can never be recreated more than once and I find that really exceptional.
You moved from Australia to Paris, what was the reason for that?
Yes, when I was 18 I first left Australia and was working as a professional dancer in Hong Kong, the Philippines, then USA. After that, I felt like Paris was the next step. I’m kind of spontaneous like that – once I decide something is happening in my head I just do it.
We saw you kill it on the runway at the Pressiat and Weinsanto show at Paris Fashion Week. How does it feel walking for different designers, does it feel like you get to embody different identities?
Definitely. Fashion has always been a huge inspiration for me. I love to embody the clothes, create a different walk, a different back story, a different character each time I walk…. who is she? … where are they going?….where have they been?
You just completed a world tour, that’s huge! How was that experience?
OMG, honestly indescribable. Touring for me as I mentioned is the best part of my job. I love to share my energy with people, and connect with people through music, dance, and performance. It’s honestly a feeling that cannot be matched seeing thousands of people all clapping or dancing in unison, having a shared experience, especially after covid. I probably did a little too much crowd surfing…. but I can’t help myself, I become possessed.
Your track Big Cat empowers females to take control and truly feel liberated in their sexuality. The music video to accompany looks very 80’s influenced, gritty and sexy. Do you feel that music videos act as the finishing piece to your artistic projects?
Yes for sure. The visual is a really important aspect for me to translate what I have in my head. It can be hard at times as an independent artist to find resources to create the type of imagery that I want to translate, but I have a really talented creative group of collaborators/ friends who are incredible and we all come together and make something dope.
You have a huge creative relationship with French psych-punk band, La Femme. You recently played a huge role in both choreographing and dancing in their latest music video Sacatela which was just released this week. How was that relationship formed?
Yes, was amazing this clip! I met Marlon from la femme when he came to the Yaz Bukey fashion show that I was performing at, we both were friends with the director Aymeric Bergada Du Cadet and from then we were kind of just on each other’s raiders. As time progressed I began collaborating with the band as a choreographer/ Dancer. La femme has a very 60s vibe/punk spirit and I think we vibe artistically so it kind of just went from there.
What was the last song you listened to on Spotify? No cheating!
‘Foutre le bourdel’ – La femme ( LOL), we’re performing it tomorrow at Rock en Seine so its a Gee up song.
You just released your single Groovy Jungle, it’s the perfect track for summer. Were there any particular influences for the single?
Yes, when I wrote the song I imagined a mysterious destination that I was trying to get to, where everyone was loving each other, kind of steamy, sexy, with no hate or discrimination… hippy groovy vibes … but in the jungle haha. No idea if that makes sense. The influences I guess are a mixture between Micheal Jackson and Deee-Lite. I just shot a new music video directed by Ale Washington In LA…. It’s very camp and glam.
What keeps you staying inspired to constantly create?
Art is my outlet, so I find creating to be more of a necessity rather than something that I need to do. Of course, inspiration comes in waves… sometimes I’m crazy inspired and have a million ideas and I can’t stop and I’m on a roll, and other days I feel really stuck staring at a blank canvas feeling like I’m going in circles. I always just try to chip away consistently day by day and be the best artist/performer that I can be and not compare myself to others.
At OffTheRails we truly celebrate being unapologetically authentic and breaking the rules. Something we always ask is what is the most OffTheRails thing that you have done?
Probably when I did a full stage dive backwards that lead into being a 360 flip and still surviving… also I was wearing latex and it kind of ripped off my body when I did the flip… it was TRES off the rails.
What’s next for Sam Quealy?
I’m working on my debut album which will be released in Jan 2023 featuring lots of new tracks and lots of surprises.
Also continuing touring for the rest of the year, with some shows in Berlin, Paris, Spain, Australia and London next week!