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Former Lacombe resident continues to define his musical styles

Sam Thompson, originally from Lacombe, has a hectic schedule these days carving out his unique and compelling musical niche. (Photo submitted)

Local singer/songwriter Sam Thompson continues to garner a strong following as his musical journey gains momentum.

“For me, it’s something that I have always wanted to do — one of those things I’ve been very, very sure of for as long as I can remember,” said Thompson, who grew up in Lacombe.

He relocated to Lethbridge in his mid-teens where he received training in opera and eventually was weighing possible career paths which included a focus on landing a stint on Broadway.

But he was also doing a lot of ‘live’ gigs at the time and was growing more convinced that going solo was a more suitable path.

And once the pandemic closed things down, Thompson took time off to focus squarely on his writing, and further define his artistry.

“I wrote an entire album and then started to work on the recording of it,” Thompson, who also plays guitar and piano.

He then decided to serve a two-year mission with his church, so he put the recording process on hold. But now he’s diving back wholeheartedly into recording and exploring new means of expressing himself via his music.

These days, he’s also working on making contacts south of the border, with plans to complete and release an album this fall.

Over the past while, he’s released three singles which are striking in their originality.

Just last month, the richly rhythmic Shut Up surfaced on platforms and the tune effectively showcases Thompson’s remarkable skills both as a vocalist and a gifted songwriter.

Hurt Us further reveals his ability to write with a raw sense of authenticity and vulnerability, while 2023’s Deliver Me is a moving and meaningful testament to Thompson’s Christian faith.

The whole process of recording music is a joy, he said.

“The two peaks as a musician are of course performing, but the second is the studio. It’s the best thing — seeing a dream come to life,” he said, adding that he truly enjoys collaborating with others as well.

Looking back over his training, Thompson’s foundation in opera ultimately fuels his vocal versatility.

“I’d say that the pop sound was always in there, but after being trained in opera, coming back to it was a little bit difficult. But my belief is that opera and classical music are the hardest for a vocalist. They are the most challenging, and the most technical.

“I believe if you are trained in those ways, it will be able to support you in any other genre that you go into because you learn the fundamentals of music.

“Overall, it’s a huge blessing to bring those fundamentals of breath work, control, and power to a performance.”

Writing is also something that surfaced in his mid-teens. It’s a skill that has flourished over the years and takes different forms with each new project — including the songs for the upcoming album.

“Each one of the songs is kind of written in that space — of waiting until you feel whatever emotion you are feeling, and then stepping into how that emotion works, and how it feels in the writing of these songs,” he said.

Meanwhile, performing is probably the best part, but Thompson said when he started to do his music and not only covers, it wasn’t an easy adjustment.

“When I would perform opera, it would be as someone else — a different character. When it’s my stuff, it’s pretty vulnerable stuff a lot of the time.

“It was hard to get used to that. But during my mission, I did write a lot of Christian music, and I would perform a lot.

“So that process of performing a lot as a missionary kind of ‘forced’ me to become more comfortable onstage.”

He is passionate about his faith, and he aims to write music that reflects those principles but remains accessible to a wide audience.

“God loves us whether we are doing amazing, or having the worst time in life. His love is there, no matter what,” he said.

“My goal is to take those principles and put them into my music.

“Another goal is to help people through the healing process,” he added. “That’s what these (projects) have also been written for — to help bring people together and to connect them to the healing process.”

Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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