Sam Fischer: ‘It’s taken me 10 years to become an overnight success’
Fans of global pop superstar Demi Lovato were initially left unimpressed after learning of the singer’s upcoming collaboration with ‘This City’ hitmaker Sam Fischer, but a lot can change in seven weeks according to the LA-based Australian singer-songwriter.
‘What Other People Say’, a track on which he shares vocal duties with Lovato, was released on March 5 through Sony Music in Australia and internationally via RCA Records.
It’s Fischer’s first radio-friendly follow up to the record that catapulted the musician, 29, from hit songwriter to almost famous. The now double-Platinum ‘This City’ stormed singles charts in multiple markets, landing Top 20 in England, Ireland, Sweden, Scotland, New Zealand, and #17 on the ARIA Singles Chart.
Australian radio stations finally started adding the track (which he wrote in 2016 and released two years later) in late 2019, once the lonelyhearted ballad became a viral hit on the short-form video app TikTok. Writing buddies Meghan Trainor and Lewis Capaldi also shared it online.
“It’s taken me 10 years to become an overnight success,” Fischer tells me over Zoom after having just had his first COVID-19 jab at a drive-through in LA. “I think it’s a weird one being in the industry for so long and then having my artist career kick-started by TikTok because it’s so random, and it’s so hard to recreate.”
He needn’t worry. ‘What Other People Say’ – which he wrote in 2019 with Canadian songwriter Geoff Warburton “before things kicked off” – is beginning to show all the telltale signs of a hit. It’s one spot from cracking the coveted Top 40 on the TMN Hot 100 Airplay Chart and climbed five spots on the pop charts this week, sitting at #39.
“Any success at any time is great. ‘This City’ came out of nowhere,” Fischer admits.
“There’s always an expectation, especially putting out a song with a superstar, like Demi. There’s a whole new set of pressure, a wave of attention. It’s a microscope closing in on me. And I had my fair share: there was a lot of hate on Twitter before the song came out.”
Lovato fans hadn’t heard of the Aussie singer-songwriter, leading to tweets like “Is Scooter Braun having Demi Lovato collaborate with just anyone now?”
Braun, the mega music mogul and artists manager to pop’s biggest, was sent a demo of ‘What Other People Say’ by Fischer’s manager, who forwarded it to his client.
“Demi heard it. And she told me that she listened to it, and she cried afterwards. And it was something that she had wanted to say for a while, but she just didn’t know how to say it. And that that’s such a humbling thing because she’s Demi Lovato. And I’ve lived the majority of my life in total obscurity, and she’s been Demi Lovato since she was eight. And so it’s been cool to be able to connect in just like a human moment in the song. It’s been a good ride.
“I’m excited about this song. I think you just have to back yourself. And I’m really proud of the music I’m writing. Hopefully, this song has a similar life to ‘This City’ – we’ll see what happens.”
We agree to chat again when the record beats his previous best of #2 on the airplay charts, but not before he teases an upcoming project which he insists is less an album and more a “concept”.
“There’s a title for the project that I’m not allowed to say just yet, but it’s there. And it’s a concept, and it’s just going to expand. You’re just going to have to wait and see.”