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Sammy Rae & The Friends

Reflecting influences ranging from folk and classic rock to funk and Latin music, singer and songwriter Sammy Rae developed her celebratory, soul-infused pop in the clubs and bars of New York during the mid-2010s. While she had recorded solo albums as a teen, she made her band-backed Nettwerk label debut with The Good Life EP in 2018. Raised in Derby, Connecticut, Sammy Rae started out on the piano, then wrote her first batch of songs at age 12. Influenced by voices spanning Bruce Springsteen, Ella Fitzgerald, and Freddie Mercury, she also practiced singing. Developing a soulful style of her own, she began performing in local venues and released three solo albums while in high school. In 2013, Rae moved to New York to attend Manhattan College. She left school a year later to pursue music full-time, becoming a regular at small venues in the city over the next several years and growing her fan base both live and online. Her self-produced debut on Nettwerk Records, 2018's The Good Life, included "Kick It to Me," which soon garnered over a million streams. Other songs from the EP went on to duplicate the feat. By the time the singer recorded the follow-up EP, Let's Throw a Party, her backing band had solidified to include C-Bass Chiriboga (drums), James Quinlan (bass), Will Leet (guitar, keys), Max Zooi (tenor sax/synths), Kellon Anderson (alto sax), and Kaya Kulu and Myra Moon (backing vocals). Credited to Sammy Rae & the Friends, it arrived on Nettwerk in 2021.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo
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