Sam Callahan: Demons

Sam’s new track, Demons, signals not just a change in direction for the singer/songwriter as an artist, but also a progressively matured sound, to go with the way the artist has grown in person, since we first heard of him back in 2013. 
The new music shows an honest and emotionally raw side to Sam’s life and journey through a career in music that takes the listener all the way from fun, fame and fortune to fake friends, life struggles and so many other real and relatable situations. 
Since we last saw him, the clean cut and fresh-out-the-box version of Sam Callahan that was portrayed on the 2013 series of The X Factor is long gone!
“Behind all of us is a story and a past that has made us into who we are today, and I’m really excited to be able to share mine with those who’ve supported me through it, in releasing my new single, Demons” said Sam. 

“Since 2013, I’ve grown in so many ways, and dealt with lot of issues that have influenced my life a lot and also the decisions I’ve made; but it all started a long time ago, way before anyone had any idea who ‘Sam Callahan’ was. Being able to address a lot of this, and openly and honestly confront my own ‘Demons’, as well as those I’ve experienced second hand through people I once trusted and regarded as close to me, is a super therapeutic and cathartic experience.
Not to everyone’s knowledge, Sam was initially signed to a pop group by Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice) and pop mogul Simon Fuller, fresh out of school at the age of 16. 
With high hopes for his future and pop career, Sam and the group recorded 30 odd songs across various different genres. The band also sported about 15 different names, over time. “The direction was completely unclear”, said Sam, meaning that before long, he’d made the tricky decision to leave and take matters into his own hands as an independent solo artist. At which point Sam began traveling the length and breadth of the UK, performing his own songs at unpaid gigs, to gain any exposure he could, whilst relying on just a low-income part-time job, to fund these hopes and dreams.
Then came the point where funds dried up completely and The X Factor seemed like the ideal opportunity to gain a possible leg up in the industry and perform to a much wider audience, to elevate his career.
“The X Factor changed me; the process wasn’t plain sailing and I had to grow up real fast in many ways,” said Sam. “Forget the normal internet trolls and sofa critics, I had 24/7 protection from a stalker, who would sit outside The X Factor house and would regularly try to gain entry.”
“Then on week 5 of the live shows and after much dispute from the production team, I’d been allowed to play the guitar in front of the live audience. During rehearsals, the click track (in-ear monitors to ensure that any instrument playing stays in time with the backing music) was present and the rehearsals went seamlessly, but during the live performance in front of twelve million people, the click track was nowhere to be heard and I began the performance out of time. After receiving poor feedback from the judges – and having to deal with my own emotions as well as various critics, following what I knew originally could have been one of my best performances, I was voted off.”
What with all of the above, the physical commotion on The X Factor tour in 2014, that has already been publicly documented and many other stories to tell, Sam’s time on the show was certainly no walk in the park.
When we asked Sam about how life has been since the show, he revealed to us that his new song ‘Demons’ talks about just that. So the subject matter doesn’t begin and end with the hurdles the young artist had faced on TV. In Sam’s words; “It never really ends.”

 He told us how Demon’s refers to one or two individuals he considered to be his closest friends throughout their school lives, he said, “I began writing this song partially as a letter to them, to make them understand just how they had made me feel at certain times! One of them would copy everything I did, down to the way I branded myself, the filters I’d use on my social media images and even the clothes I’d wear, yet he would criticise me daily; Every move I made, to the point where he genuinely manipulated my thoughts and I really began to second guess what it was I was doing, whether or not I was good enough or capable enough! It was like a toxic relationship.” Sam Said; “This particular individual would abuse other relationships in his life again and again and I’d always make excuses for him. Then when he found himself alone, again, I was the only one consoling him and helping him deal with his emotions.”
“Eventually he landed his dream job, but the scene and career he got involved in was rife with drugs and alcohol and he began to immerse himself in it too. He was attracted to toxicity. One day he called me and asked me to help him. At this point, his girlfriend had left him and he was sitting in his living room alone doing cocaine off the coffee table at 9:30am in the morning. 
I arrived at his place and attempted to talk him round. This, unfortunately, was not the only time that happened.”
We asked Sam, “So when did you last speak to this person?” And his reply; “Well, I heard through the grapevine, not long after this, that he was actually responsible for a WhatsApp group named, ‘We hate Sam Callahan’, that involved a few other old school friends. So, I decided to distance myself for a while. Then I answered the phone to him when he called one day and of course, I had a few questions to ask! He denied everything, but after consciously removing myself from various toxic members of that group, over the past few years he said, ‘Our old mates don’t want go out with you anymore because you’re boisterous’. If only you could meet the people he was talking about, you’d understand why that’s utter madness! Especially considering I’m usually on the sofa with my girlfriend, in my comfiest clothes, by 9pm these days.”

Sam concluded that the conversation went round in circles, before ending at a point where not much had really been achieved. He said, “The reality is, if these kinds of people don’t understand why they’re so deeply in the wrong, it shouldn’t be up to you make them. I know so many of my audience will recognise the kind of toxic relationship I’m talking about here in their own friendships and relationships. And it can be hard to seperate yourself from them, at first.
Everyone is different and as you grow older you just begin to recognise those around you who’re likely to head in a direction that you don’t necessarily want for your own life! I bet you can think of some right now. But Demons is just about taking comfort in the fact that closing those doors and burning those bridges is a good thing, no matter how hard it feels at the time. Sometimes it’s necessary for our own progression, growth and good mental health! I guess it’s a form of self care, actually.”