One of Nashville’s hottest new singer-songwriters Kashena Sampson made her mark in the UK last night with her debut London performance at the UK Americana Awards at Paper Dress Vintage with a packed music industry showcase celebrating the release of her debut UK single ‘It’s A Long Way Back’, out now. UK media have already offered strong support with a high profile premiere and song of the day feature on Folk Radio UK, features on tastemaker sites including The 405 and performances on BBC Radio Oxford before she supported LA band The Americans at Oxford’s The Bullingdon.
A timeless enchantress, Kashena combines a 70s folk-rock aesthetic and sound, which draws on a California country and classic Laurel Canyon, quickly garnered flattering comparisons to giants such as Nicks, Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt as well as cult heroes such as Barbara Keith, Jim Croce and Bobbie Gentry.
Kashena is not afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve and her unique and interesting life shines through her beautifully crafted songwriting and though her super sonic vocal powers that could shake the walls of an opera house. Her ability to embrace her own vulnerability and perseverance is more than apparent on her debut UK single ‘It’s A Long Way Back’ – no doubt drawing on life experiences including finding sobriety after years as a troubled Las Vegas party girl and her years balancing a demanding cruise ship singing career with dreams of becoming a professional singer-songwriter.
Like many before her, the modern starlet put everything in her rear view mirror in 2015, when on a whim, she found herself driving to Nashville with no solid plan other than wanting to make a record in Nashville. Initially she struggled, and found working multiple side jobs including a local greasy spoon to make ends meet. Finally her dreams came true when she I saved enough money from bartending to cut her debut record, ‘Wild Heart’ at The Bomb Shelter in East Nashville with top Nashville based players including Jon Estes co-producing as well as playing bass, Jeremy Fetzer on guitar, and Jon Radford on drums. Despite its self-release, the record was a cult hit last year in the USA and was heaped with praise from esteemed media including Rolling Stone, who compared her to her hero, Stevie Nicks.
Reflecting on her success Kashena looks back on the experiences that forged her honest song writing and taught her persistence and to never give up on her dreams,
“My experiences taught me a whole lot. Taught me about performing and about life. I did a lot of living and learning out there and I’m grateful for it. I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
Kashena Sampson plans to officially release her album ‘Wild Heart’ in the UK, in 2018 – watch this space!