One good thing about music (other than "when it hits, you feel no pain") is that it knows no barriers. One genre that's managed to be ubiquitous despite its very specific sound is reggae. You can find examples of it everywhere, from its home base of Jamaica to Europe, the Americas and even Australia — which is where singer/songwriter Sammy Johnson hails from. Sammy found himself thrust into the spotlight when his video for his reggae track "Don't Say Goodbye" racked up 10 million views on YouTube. The momentum helped him push out two albums, 2013's Prelude and a self-titled effort in 2014, and his 2016 EP Lion's Roar. Now a resident of Los Angeles, Sammy is readying the release of his upcoming project, which we're getting a first listen of with his new song "SleepWalker."
"SleepWalker" is a reflective look at Sammy's journey in music thus far, which has been an interesting one. Starting with slow-paced, dreamy guitar chords and equally dreamy vocal, he lays out what life as a musician is really like — the good and bad. "I spend my days in the studio / Writing songs for people I don't know / How did I end up here?" he sings. "To all my friends, for all they know / I'm probably selling out every show / If only they knew." From there, a familiar reggae rhythm kicks in as he gives us the chorus, in which he compares himself to a sleepwalker because "I'm living in a dream." It's an apt metaphor for someone whose dreams have literally come true who now has to deal with the reality that all those dreams entail.
"It's been three years since I packed up my suitcase and moved to the U.S. and five years since I quit my 9-5 for the music industry," Sammy said about the song. "Having ventured through the Australian, New Zealand, and American markets, I feel like I've seen it all and experienced a lot of amazing and not-so-amazing moments. I think when people view the music industry, they see the fans, the fame, the sold-out shows and success but they don't see the obstacles and potholes we encounter, as artists, along our paths to success. 'SleepWalker' is a vulnerable reflection of my musical journey the last few years."
The honest, heartfelt number is sure to get fans and music lovers ready for his upcoming release, which is set to arrive early next year. It should also get people anxious to see him on his current Mixed Feelings Tour, which he's co-headlining with fellow artist Anuhea. The tour is already underway, having started in September in Dallas, with the next stop happening tonight (October 12th) at Charleston, South Carolina's The Music Farm. You can check out the remaining tour dates below and find ticket information on Sammy's website. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates. But before you do any of that, take a listen to Sammy Johnson's "SleepWalker" right here.
Sammy Johnson Tour Dates:
Thurs, October 12 – The Music Farm – Charleston, SC
Fri, October 13 – The Visualite Theatre – Charlotte, NC
Sun, October 15 – Highline Ballroom – New York, NY
Tues, October 17 – Gypsy Sally’s – Washington, DC
Wed, October 18 – Shaka’s – Virginia Beach, VA
Fri, October 20 – Rex Theatre – Pittsburgh, PA
Sat, October 21 – Ludlow Garage – Cincinnati, OH
Sun, October 22 – Tonic Room – Chicago, IL
Wed, October 25 – Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
Fri, October 27 – Marquis Theatre – Denver, CO
Tues, October 31 – The Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA
Wed, November 1 – Goldfield Post – Sacramento, CA
Thu, November 2 – Cornerstone – Berkeley, CA
Sat, November 4 – Jazzbones – Tacoma, WA
Wed, November 8 – Hodi’s Half Note – Fort Collins, CO
Fri, November 10 – Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas – Las Vegas, NV
Sat, November 11 – The Parish at House of Blues Anaheim – Anaheim, CA
Fri, November 17 – Sol Venue – Carson, CA