Singing Sensation Sam Tsui Talks Music, Marriage, & Answers Fan Questions!
If you haven’t yet heard of Sam Tsui, where you been? The singing YouTube sensation boasts three million YouTube subscribers, and racked up followers covering everyone from Britney Spears and Adele to Bruno Mars before releasing an original album in 2013 called Make It Up. Don’t worry, he still does covers — you can hear him belting Taylor Swift or both the Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello portions in their “Señorita” duet… NBD.
thewhisp got to chat with Sam at Vidcon 2019 before he took the stage alongside Kurt Hugo Schneider for YouTube Onstage on Night One of the YouTuber-centric event. We talked about the music and his personal life before Sam answered Samily’s questions submitted on Twitter!
the whisp: What are you most excited to do while you’re here at Vidcon? Is there anybody that you’re looking forward to meeting or reconnecting with?
Sam Tsui: There are always tons of friends to see at VIdcon. That’s the fun thing about it is the familiar faces and people who you don’t get to see as much throughout the year, but they’re all here in one place so it’s really really fun to see them. But people I’ve never met before? I heard that Claire from Bon Appétit is here — do you watch any of those videos? — Okay, they’re amazing. I’m a big foodie. Anyway, she is someone I would want to meet. But in general, it’s a ton of fun. I’ve got a few performances, I’m performing on stage later and then we’ll do a little bit of acoustic stuff later so it’s busy but I’m excited.
the whisp: When preparing for the acts that you have scheduled for this weekend, was there anything particularly nerve-wracking about getting them together?
Sam Tsui: Everything was pretty easy this year. I feel like performing is what I love to do, so any opportunity to do so is great. Obviously Vidcon has such a positive fan vibe. So it’s easy. You know what I mean? You know that the people listening are gonna be amped up and jazzed about it, so we don’t have to work too hard to get people excited.
the whisp: That’s been such a theme through all my interviews today — just how respectful, fun, and thoughtful the fans are here and how amazing that is.
Sam Tsui: Absolutely, absolutely.
the whisp: I mean you don’t want to go somewhere where everybody is kind of ‘blah.’
Sam Tsui: You try to avoid those.
the whisp: I also wanted to talk to you about coming out. You came out in 2016 and now, you’re married. Obviously, there must’ve been some concerns when you did decide to come out but can you talk about what those concerns were and what kind of advice you would give to young YouTubers going through something similar?
Sam Tsui: I had been out in my personal life since I was about 16, but just I think it’s been interesting to watch the platform of YouTube and how it’s changed so much. I started just having this music channel and that was sort of what I focused on and didn’t really talk much about my personal life. But as the platform develops, I realized ‘oh you kind of also have to talk about it’ — it’s a little bit of everything. When people are excited about the music, they want to know more and they want to be a part of the journey, which makes sense. So at a certain point, I was like, ‘Okay, you just have to actually say it’ because all of these sort of hardcore fans knew at that point. I was like, ‘You know, I’m just gonna do a video.’ It’s been so phenomenal to see that my coming out and so many of my colleagues and peers who’ve done similar things [has had an effect]. I think it really is this new generation of viewers and you do have a really awesome catalog of being able to sort of understand the experience through so many different people’s stories and lenses which previously no one had access to in the same way. So I’m just I’m happy to get to be a part of that and now, you know, if someone is seeing my video — or any of my videos since I did my wedding music video and all that stuff — and sort of getting a slice of my experience, allows them to help them understand. I think it’s fantastic. It’s a message of embracing who you are and living authentically and that especially in the digital age you’ll find a tribe and a community.
the whisp: Even in the past five or ten years, the YouTube community has just completely morphed into such a more accepting place.
Sam Tsui: Oh for sure. I’m so hopeful about the new generation that is growing up with access to all these different stories.
the whisp: My last question is going to be is there anybody that you are in talks about collaborating and, if there is not, then who would be a dream collaboration for you?
Sam Tsui: Well, Meghan Trainor is performing tonight at YouTube On Stage and we just passed and she was like, ‘I love you,’ and I didn’t know she’d ever seen my videos. So I’m a big fan of hers. Maybe we’ll make the connection later and do something. You heard it here first. [Laughs] I don’t know, but she is awesome and I can’t wait to see her later.
the whisp: Anything else you’re looking forward to in the near future?
Sam Tsui: I just released a music video for my song, “Free.” It’s sort of the last song off this album cycle and then a new single coming later in the fall.
You Asked, Sam Answered:
We asked for fan questions via Twitter and chose some of our personal favorites to ask Sam Tsui during our Vidcon interview!
Which one of your videos are you the most proud of? ??
— Su TB ? (@SuEainSii) July 11, 2019
Sam Tsui: Oh my gosh, that’s a hard one because we’ve done a lot of, a lot of crazy stuff. All the stuff with my new album I’m really, really proud of. We just released a video for a song called ‘Just For The Night.’ I’m a big sci-fi and Black Mirror fan — And so we went into that and we did a virtual reality-mind storyline with kind of a mysterious ending. I love that one and it was it was really fun to have a little fantasy moment.
what is the stupidest way you ever got hurt?
— Lien ? (@AnotherFanOfSam) July 11, 2019
Sam Tsui: My husband has gotten hurt in stupid ways a lot recently. He broke his foot in Vietnam. I haven’t had any major [injuries] – I’ve never broken a bone. I can be a little clumsy sometimes on stage because I’m really getting into it; I’ll trip over things and walk back and accidentally hit the drums. I would say when I’m performing and kind of in the zone, I’ll sometimes get some bruises. But no major injuries thus far… knock on wood.
if you were given the chance to relive a particular moment in your life, what event would that be?
— fio (@brolamp) July 11, 2019
Sam Tsui: Hello, brolamp from the Philippines! Can I be cheesy and say my wedding? Yeah, it would. I think it’s like that for everyone. One’s wedding day is like a bit of a blur after the fact. There’s just like so much going on and it was like, I had so much fun but I feel like I would enjoy reliving it so I can just be able to be an observer or, you know, a fly on the wall. It was magical, though, it’s not like I would change it.