“If I had all the money in the world, I’d have a place in North London by now,” Aussie songwriter to the stars, Sam Fischer, tells Rolling Stone. Instead, he’s “nomading” in Virginia, taking up residence at his wife’s family home between tours.
The “This City” hitmaker can’t sit still since becoming one of Australia’s biggest music exports amid the global pandemic. His ode to the City of Angels went viral on TikTok during the 2020 lockdowns, bringing unexpected fame and fortune. “This City” — which is now double-Platinum — quickly stormed singles charts across global markets, landing Top 20 in England, Ireland, Sweden, Scotland, New Zealand, and Australia.
For Fischer, the lockdowns of 2020 were in Los Angeles. A city, it seems, that he hates to love, and loves to hate — which is exactly why he’s on the move.
“We’re just trying to avoid paying rent right now,” he jokes, before admitting he has no current address and is yet to decide where to call home. What he does know is that two cities are on the cards, Sydney and London. “We’ll probably do a year or two in both,” he says.
It’s our fifth interview together in three years. The evolution of Sam Fischer is subtle but not unmissable to the trained eye. He’s clearly come to grips with stardom, successfully navigating the shift from writing hits for pop stars (Keith Urban, Demi Lovato and Jessie J among his credits), to becoming a fully-realised pop star of his own doing.
There’s a new-found and growing confidence to Fischer that didn’t exist when we first spoke; he’s risen above the hurt, hurdles and horrors that made his foray into the music business something of a nightmare. “LA is a bitch man,” he recently told the crowd during a sold out show in Sydney. “I’ve been signed and I’ve been dropped. I’ve been abused in the music industry… Turns out, through lots of therapy, I wasn’t the issue, so snaps to therapy.”
One thing that hasn’t changed: Sam Fischer wears his heart on his sleeve.
Today, he appears at peace with his relationship with music and business, and visibly glows when revealing to Rolling Stone that the release of his debut album, I Love You Please Don’t Hate Me, is, finally, more than a decade in the making, now streaming. The album is infused with Fischer’s signature lyrical waxings on the complexities of love and life, and includes his latest cut, a duet with best mate and Australian Idol judge, Meghan Trainor.
“[The album] is an exploration of the relationship I have with myself — the way that I am in my personal relationships and mental relationships. It really creates the sonic world that I’m excited for myself to live in, for my fans to live in, and for the live show to exist in. It’s the culmination of what feels like a lifetime,” he says. He confesses that his relationship to self remains a “work in progress” and “complicated”, due in part to the loneliness of lockdowns and the unique experience of, in his own words, “having a global hit during a global health crisis”.
This interview features in the September 2023 issue of Rolling Stone AU/NZ. If you’re eager to get your hands on it, then now is the time to sign up for a subscription.
Whether you’re a fan of music, you’re a supporter of the local music scene, or you enjoy the thrill of print and long form journalism, then Rolling Stone Australia is exactly what you need. Click the link below for more information regarding a magazine subscription.