Jazz singer Samara Joy is just 24 years old. She has more than 1.3mn social media followers and three Grammys. Most notably, she won 2023’s best new artist award, only the second jazz musician ever to join that coveted club. Today, Lilah speaks with Samara about her path: discovering jazz, her thought process as she performs, and how she finds new takes on compositions by greats such as Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus. They also discuss the challenges and pressure of being singular. Does she want to be considered the artist ‘bringing jazz to Gen Z’?


We love hearing from you. Lilah is on Instagram @lilahrap and we’re on X @lifeandartpod. You can email us at lifeandart@ft.com. We are grateful for reviews, on Apple, Spotify etc.


Links (all FT links get you past the paywall):

Lilah’s HTSI profile of Samara, for which this conversation was recorded, is here: https://on-ft-com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/3I9H4Kz

– The music video for Tight is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OkkyRkGSRY

– Samara is on TikTok @samarajoysings and Instagram @samarajoysings. You can see if she’s touring near you at www.samarajoy.com/


Special FT subscription offers for Life and Art podcast listeners, from 50% off a digital subscription to a $1/£1/€1 trial, are here: http://ft.com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/lifeandart

Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com

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