We had the good fortune of connecting with Samantha van der Sluis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Samantha, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I chose to pursue a music career because I am my happiest self when I am working on something creative. It brings me a lot of fulfilment, and when I am not being creative I feel a pain in my chest from a lack thereof. I am naturally a career-driven woman and as all creatives crave, I would like my work to be meaningful to a project and those listening to it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Being in an artistic field is incredibly hard. Every day I yearn to create something that is meaningful and valued, and it doesn’t always happen that way. I am my harshest critic and I struggle with my inner thoughts about my work. It is a constant battle and definitely one of the less “glamourous” aspects of working in a creative field. I knew I wanted to pursue music composition in my last year of high school. I picked up the piano in my high school years and it naturally resonated with me. Everything clicked and fell into place, it was like breathing for me. I put myself out there and started scoring music for films and video games. I’m so grateful I took the chance on myself to pursue this line of work and seek out these incredible opportunities. I was raised in Australia and traveled to Europe where I studied my Master’s degree before moving to the US on my O1 Artist Visa. I felt like this path was adventurous and I would describe myself as “free-spirited” so this move was definitely in my comfort zone. I’ve already achieved credits for working in film, but one of my deepest passions is scoring for video games. I’ve scored a few but looking to pursue more. I love the environment of a team working on a game project. Game development is usually more of a youthful crowd, and I feel that being a gamer myself helps to connect with developers and game designers.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For a moment I’m going to imagine the world is COVID-free. Los Angeles is one of my favourite places. There’s so much to do and see here, from the beach, the city, desert, and snowy mountains. I am very much an “indoorsy” type of gal, but there are many great places to visit here in LA. I love boba tea, so I would take a friend to visit The Boba Guys in Culver City, or to a local cafe, Undergrind Cafe, who serves excellent food and drinks. For the movie lovers, Universal Studios is a must, as well as visiting the Walk of Fame and perhaps doing a studio tour at Sony or Warner Bros. I also enjoy the Korean scene in Koreatown, so going to one of the karaoke bars or Korean BBQ is also fun.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I highly believe in support systems and asking questions. My loved ones have always been so encouraging throughout my work, especially my partner, Riley. He builds me up to the best version of myself and I always strive to create the best work I can. Sometimes I look back at my old work and projects and feel so grateful that my close friends and family members were there to encourage me and have a positive influence on my life. They have seen me grow and have played an important role in my growth as a composer. Asking for help and asking questions is the way to success in my opinion. You can never grow if you stay in your own bubble and feel ashamed to ask questions. At the end of the day, learning something new is so empowering that I never feel afraid to ask questions on how to improve. You can learn a lot from someone, especially the intern, or the janitor, or the person that keeps to themselves. There is no heirarchy; no “better-than” or “lesser-than” – everyone is equal, and anyone can play a part in your creative development.