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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. Australian native, New Zealand-bred soulful reggae star Sammy Johnson just released his new EP “Sleepwalker” online on January 26th through all digital platforms including iTunes, Spotify, and Google. 

Sammy Johnson collides his Polynesian roots with his love for modern jazz and R&B artists like D’Angelo, Amy Winehouse, and Lauryn Hill, which results in a passionate musical hybrid that is undeniably soothing. He 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. Since his debut, Sammy Johnson has since enjoyed multiple sold-out performances and large festival appearances.

Throughout the journey of ‘Sleepwalker,’ Sammy gives an honest piece of his life to listeners to come along for the ride. He expresses his gratitude and surreal experience of touring around the world singing music that he created. “I’m like a sleepwalker, cause I’m living in a dream.” The words are relatable to not only musicians but people of all ages, as life can feel surreal at times, during the good and the bad. As the sweet music lulls, ‘Sleepwalker’ expresses as much beauty as it’s words ring true.

“Sleepwalker is basically a collation of all my experiences over the last two years. From moving to the U.S, then navigating my way through Hollywood, the music industry, a new label, and relationships it all came out in the songs,” continued Sammy. With all these new surroundings I felt like I had some much more to prove across the board, the process in creating Sleepwalker wasn’t easy I found myself in so many different circumstances that I’d never experienced before. Originally I thought I knew what my fans wanted to hear and what would get radio play so started off in that direction but after several failed attempts and a lot of missed deadlines, I finally found a handful of producers like Chazrox Productions, Cambo Music, and Chaps Music, that really challenged my creativity and naturally brought out something way different than I had anticipated. Sleepwalker is like the other side of the story we don’t usually tell. I hope through my experiences people will find the courage to share their own stories. As we share our stories we own them and by owning them we allow ourselves to heal.”

Sammy Johnson has been waving the flag for the Pacific Island sound and has quickly become a leader of the scene alongside new school artists like J Boog and veterans like Katchafire. The Native-Kiwi-now-Los-Angeles-resident, Sammy J, got his big break via Youtube after his video for “Don’t Say Goodbye” became a viral sensation, racking up over 10,000,000 plays. Sammy who was working as a social worker at the time, made the decision to pursue music full-time following the newfound popularity of the song that soon become a staple of modern era Island Sound. Not too long after, a Hawaiian-based producer contacted him to work on an album and was offered a record deal with Island Empire Records, home to groups like Common Kings, Tenelle and Fiji.

With the recent release of ‘Sleepwalker,’ Sammy Johnson is finding his way onto the radars of many, and has been touring with The Green on their Marching Orders tour. 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.”

Check out Sammy Johnson on his remaining tour dates with The Green and Leilani Wolfgramm:

FEB 06 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Bar & Grill

FEB 07 – Austin, TX @ Scott Inn

FEB 09 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom

MAR 03 – San Francisco, CA @ Mezzanine

MAY 25 – Monterey, CA @ California Roots Music & Arts Festival




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