American Idol returns to ABC on Sunday, Feb. 19 for its Season 21 premiere.
Here’s more about Samuel:
* Singing show fans might be familiar with him. He auditioned for Season 21 of The Voice, which aired in the fall of 2021 and made it to the semifinals before being eliminated.
* He’s from Fort Wayne, Indiana, and describes himself on Spotify as a singer-songwriter with “a soulful voice and deep emotional lyrics.”
* Samuel’s run on The Voice was marked by emotional, impassioned performances. He sang Lewis Capaldi’s “Bruises” in the knockout round and later released a cover of the song that been streamed more than 1 million times, including more than 440,000 times on Spotify.
* It’s far from his only streaming success. A post-Voice single called “Help” has racked up nearly 350,000 streams on the site. A pre-Voice single called “Not the One” has more than 200,000 streams on Spotify.
* Samuel calls “Help” one of the most deeply personal songs he’s released. “I’ve never been open about my struggle with anxiety,” he said about the June 2022 release. “I wrote this song about what it feels like to just rot away in your own mind of constant worry. Thinking about wanting to vent to someone about it, but then deciding not to because you’d rather be alone and not be a burden to people.”
* That’s one of about a half dozen singles Samuel has released since appearing on The Voice. And those came on top of 17 pre-Voice singles. In other words, this guy’s got lots of music you can already check out. His most recent release is a breakup song called “What If” that came out Jan. 12.
* On Instagram, Samuel says his pursuit of music started around 2012 when he had no tattoos, really short hair, would borrow a guitar and start singing for people. “usually a group of girls with their phones out.”
* “I had a lot of people tell me when I first started that I should just stop or that a regular job is better for me,” he writes. That included a music teacher he says he looked up to who told him “music just might not be your thing.”
* But he’s been a full-time, touring music since around 2018.