Songwriting Major Samantha Vaquez Performs Original Music at Concert

The Lahaye Event Center was a space for easy listening the night of April 24 as School of Music senior Samantha Vazquez performed her first live concert.

Hosted by Student Activities, the singer-songwriter performed six of her own songs—four from her recently released EP “Love Record” and two unrecorded originals—and covers of jivey classics “Old School” by Josie Dunne and “Love Song” by Sarah Bareilles.

“Being my first show, it kind of felt like a milestone moment for the years that I’ve been working on music,” Vazquez said. “I’ve been writing songs since sophomore year, so to see myself actually doing a concert my senior year felt like hard work paid off. Seeing that people actually like your music is something that’s very special.”

Although Vazquez has been singing since age three, songwriting was not something she had envisioned herself doing before.

“It was definitely something I stumbled onto,” Vazquez said.

Vazquez said the writing of her first song was fashioned out of experience and emotion as she walked through a knotty passage in her sophomore year. Doubting the song would become much more than a simple release, she shared it with a few friends who encouraged her to trade in her artist development major for songwriting.

After some prayer and contemplation, Vazquez made the switch.

She never looked back.

“Since that day I have not stopped songwriting,” Vazquez said.

While each of the songs on Tuesday night’s set list are special to her in one way or another, one of the songs from her EP, “Father Daughter Dance,” is particularly special because of its biblical meaning and the way it was divinely revealed to her.

“As over-spiritualized as this may sound, I know that it came straight from God,” Vazquez said. “I was literally just in a practice room and wrote the song in thirty to forty minutes. Even though I changed the lyrics to the other songs (on the EP) a thousand times, I did not change them once for ‘Father Daughter Dance.’ That song is really special to me because it felt like I genuinely did not write it on my own.”

As a child she dreamed of being a pop star, but as her faith has grown in the last two years, so have her aspirations.

“I realized that it’s important to be a voice of hope in the secular music industry and not just another person that was talking about bitterness or anything like that, (but) have a biblical worldview in my music, even if it’s not as obvious as worship music is,” Vazquez said.

According to Vazquez, writing and recording songs about love in its different seasons for “Love Record” has taught her transcendental lessons about those very things.

“It’s taught me that it’s important to cherish every season,” Vazquez said. “I think often we want to live in only the really great moments and not take the heartbreaking moments for what they’re worth and grow from both. We want to rush toward happily ever after, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting that, but love’s not always the greatest thing. Sometimes there’s heartbreak, and it’s important to not be overly optimistic about it, but not be bitter about it either. There’s always a balance.”

Although Vazquez is graduating in a few short weeks, we have not heard the last of her music.

Vazquez said she is considering releasing a single later this year with the hopes of releasing a full album next year.

“It’s really cool to see something you’ve worked on in a physical form and not just in your notebook anymore,” Vazquez said.

“Love Record” is available on iTunes and Spotify.

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