I Used to Be Sam – Grateful

“This track can be compared with a research mission on the subconscious of the author. Deeply personal and very fragile, like our hearts of a song, the mood in which is shrouded in as if fog after cold, autumn rain. Chic arthouse with the taste of alt pop sound, with an outstanding vocal.” (Automatically Translated with Google Translate)

“Этот трек можно сравнить с исследовательской миссией по подсознанию автора. Глубоко личная и очень хрупкая, как наши сердца песня, настроение в которой окутано словно туманом после холодного, осеннего дождя. Шикарный артхаус со вкусом alt pop звучания, с выдающимся вокалом.”


Internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter and musical artist I Used To Be Sam (aka Annie Goodchild) announces their self-titled EP, set for release on 16 September. I Used To Be Sam also shares their last single, ‘Grateful’, before the release of the EP out on 16 June.

With their latest single ‘Seamstress’ championed by COLORSxSTUDIOS and Notion, and their track ‘Gentle,’ landing a premiere on Wonderland, I Used To Be Sam steps into a complex journey of transracial adoption and self-discovery on their new EP ‘I Used to Be Sam’ – an explorative new collection of deeply personal, cinematic, left-field pop, all wrapped up in the singer’s distinctively illustrious voice.

Originally written on piano, I Used To Be Sam continued work on the track with producer Novaa, adding further layers and movement. Something about it’s droney playfulness just felt right – “This whole experience of coming into my adoptee identity, DNA tests, and heartbreaking rejections have been a real journey and I wanted the song to have a fairytale wandering through the woods kind of vibe.”

An apt final single before the release of the full record, ‘Grateful’ is a song of reflection; for the work that she has done to get here, and also a thank you to the people in her life who have helped her get to this point.

They continue, “my chosen family has really stood by me throughout this process, both artistically and personally. So I needed to have a song that was a ‘thank you’ to them and that part of myself. The other aspect of this song is about being ready to walk away from my own damaging cycles, and other’s toxicity. I feel like I have enough perspective now to start seeing how some of my trauma responses attract toxic and manipulative people and thought patterns. And that’s something I not only want to change, but also need to change to keep evolving.”

Previously known for her work as Annie Goodchild and as a featured singer in the musical collective Postmodern Jukebox, the new project sees a shift in musical direction for the multi-faceted artist, as well as a deeply personal exploration of their identity and adoption journey. The devastation and passion pours out of every track on this complex and enchanting record.

On a gruelling songwriting trip to Berlin in 2020, I Used To Be Sam had a life changing experience working with a queer, female, POC producer. Up until this point, they had primarily only worked with white men, given the lack of diversity within the music industry. However, after meeting this new producer, who they more closely identified with, I Used To Be Sam felt comfortable enough to open up about their adoption story, speaking candidly about meeting her birth father for the first time, and the agony of trying to reconnect with her biological mother which was met with hostility and rejection. As the artist recounted their experiences, she confirmed her birth name had been Samantha, “After telling my story, I looked up at the producer and she was crying. In that moment, the name I Used to Be Sam came to me. I decided I couldn’t make Annie Goodchild music anymore, because Annie was who I had to be to get to this point. This new project was something I needed to create so I can continue to grow and evolve.”

Following this life-altering moment, I Used To Be Sam became impassioned to use their music as a vessel to bring people with shared experiences together, and to open up the narrative around transracial adoption from the perspective of the adoptee, which is very rarely heard and explored. She has created a community with other transracial adoptees (TRAs), many of whom she has interviewed for this project. Fragments of their stories can be heard throughout this new record.

I Used To Be Sam’s self-titled debut EP is set for release this Autumn, and marks a pivotal moment for the artist making the bravest, freest and most confronting music of their career.


Reviewed by Nagamag on June 27, 2022