How internationally-acclaimed DJ Samantha Michelle crafted her music career
Toronto-born, London-bred, bicoastal DJ Samantha Michelle is a creative, gypsy soul. With a signature look and sound, her music career is about spreading the spirit of good times and sharing the love for rhythm, rock, and positive energy.
“My sound is unique in the landscape I work within, because the music I play is just what I wanna dance to – that’s the truth of it,” Samantha shares. “Really, artistry should be about expressing your own authenticity, staying true to yourself… and I love rock and roll.”
Looking back at her roots, Samantha has always felt most connected to the sound and spirit of the 60s and 70s: “It was the holy trinity of Dylan, Springsteen, and Tom Petty who escorted me down the rabbit hole of a life in music.”
Her DJing career kicked off in 2012 by happy accident. “I wanted to play music people secretly loved in places they would least expect.”
Feeling the need to offer up something fresh, fun and different, Samantha plugged in her iPod at a party at London’s Groucho Club. “People got confused in the best way possible. As the night went on, people loved it. It showed me the immense power that comes from playing the right song, for the right people at the right moment.”
This experience quickly transformed into a full-time focus as Samantha soon found herself traveling the world, performing at clubs, festivals, fashion parties, and corporate events.
She opened for Mark Ronson for the WSJ at Cannes Lions 2019, and again at The World Economic Forum in Davos in 2020. Playing music festivals is always a favorite for Samantha, as she notes Glastonbury, The Secret Garden Party, Red Rooster, and even headlining MemphoFest 2019 in Tennessee – closing out the festival after Brandi Carlile in their epic “incendia dome,” which breathed fire, in a DJ booth barricaded by fire.
“I’m a total adrenaline junkie and I love to operate out of my comfort zone, beyond the zone of what feels safe and familiar. I like to push myself, seek out challenges, so I can rise to ‘em!”
Other career highlights include back-to-back bicoastal gigs for Dolce & Gabbana, performances at a series of summer charity events in the Hamptons, and the launch of Lotus Cars’ new luxury model. She has also performed at private events for the Rolling Stone, Harper’s Bazaar, NEXUS, Liquid Media Group, Cinetic Media, Bulgari, Saks Fifth Avenue, Carolina Herrera, and Christie’s.
“Music is an entryway for me to move my imagination, and that’s where the impactful work happens.”
Inspired to help organizations, brands, and companies achieve their event goals, Samantha sounds the experience and brings the vibe, so to be brought back time and time again.
Over the years, Samantha has worked with the Artists for Peace and Justice, an organization that partners with communities in Haiti to create pathways out of poverty by expanding access to education. Working with Generation SOS, a charity organization that helps kids and teens navigate substance abuse and misuse, Samantha DJ’d and MC’d its “Be Free Festival” fundraiser event in Bridgehampton.
Above all, Samantha’s main passion is music. “For me, it’s a mythical language that transcends the affable and explicable and connects our souls and spirits to the divine. I am passionate about creating a community based on togetherness. And that’s something I feel I can achieve with my DJ’g – creating these memorable and unique experiences for audiences to connect with their inner child, the part of themselves that maybe doesn’t always get a chance to come out and play… It is healthy and good for the soul.”
It is this aim that informs Samantha’s creative process, how she curates, mixes and mashes up music, blends genres, reads the room, crafts a sound live in the moment to take her audience to a place of pure, total, unabashed joy. She clearly loves what she does, with her whole heart.
When asked about the driving force behind her success, Samantha says: “Success has everything to do with maintaining an upward trajectory. As an artist, the goal post, or the finish line, is ever receding and that’s what is so exciting about it all – there’s always more magic that can be made with my music career. But day in and day out, I try to just focus on pushing forward, looking for new ways to challenge myself creatively and technically, looking for new audiences and communities to connect with, and looking to expand the scope of clients I get to collaborate with.”
The world is wild, wonderful, and big. Thus, begging for dance floors at every corner. Listen up, as Samantha Michelle continues creating memorable experiences, like the nights that make us smile big to help us escape and make us feel more connected.