Somewhere between the charisma of Frank Sinatra, the empathetic tone of Bob Marley and the smooth and sultry vocal runs of Lauryn Hill, lives the warm and kind voice of Sammy Johnson. The Australian native, New Zealand-bred soulful reggae star has just announced the release of his new EP Moonlight Lovers, set to drop on December 14th, 2018 off Mensch House Records! Sammy has also just released the first single “A Dozen Roses” off his upcoming EP on SoulBounce!
A celebration of island reggae music, all of the songs on Moonlight Lovers were played and produced by Polynesian artists and musicians. Sammy says,“This is by far my favourite body of work because from concept to finish I was able to create exactly what I had dreamed of doing. During the process, I reconnected with people and my heritage and created new memories.”
Growing up with an Australian mother and a Polynesian father, Sammy always felt a disconnect with his Polynesian side, he says, “I looked more polynesian but that was the extent of my knowledge, until one day a friend of mine gave me an album that basically opened me up to a whole world of music and culture I never knew. The album was Gratitude by Fiji.” Inspired by his Polynesian heritage, Sammy used old Polynesian folklore from Sina and the Eel (Samoa), Pana of the reef (Maori), Hinemoa & Tutanekai (Maori) and many others to tell the stories through song. Sammy says, “For me the writing process is all about being in the right space and being open to whatever is speaking to my soul at that time.”
Standout tracks on Moonlight Lovers include the lovely first song “Fools,” Sammy’s smooth voice serenades over a calming island strum in the background. The title track of the album, “Moonlight Lovers” is an alluring duet with Tree Vaifale about falling deeply in love. Sammy croons “You and I, until the sun goes down again.” “Getting Over You” will get listeners hips’ swinging to the dubby and catchy song about a trying to get over a long lost love, featuring Kaylan Arnold and Adough.
Sammy has remained busy releasing a constant influx of music since his breakthrough self-titled 2014 EP, which peaked at #3 on the Billboard Reggae Charts. He has since seen an organic growth as a result of his hard work and dedication to his craft, working as a music therapist social worker to a touring soul artist thanks in part to his first viral video “Don’t Say Goodbye.” Since his debut, Sammy Johnson has since enjoyed multiple sold-out performances and large festival appearances, and released his critically acclaimed EP ‘Sleepwalker’ earlier this year.
With the recent release of his single newest single “A Dozen Roses” off his upcoming EP Moonlight Lovers, Sammy Johnson is finding his way onto the radars of many, and is touring along the west coast for his winter tour. Supporting acts include vibrant artists NomaD, Etana, and Swells. Sammy’s goal for this tour is to make each stop a unique and interactive experience, reacting to the given energies rather than forcing uninspiring by-the-script performances so many touring bands fall victim to. Speaking on this sentiment, Sammy stated “When fans come to my show, I want them to really feel like they’re a part of it.”