Sam Lopez

 

Into the unknown

Article from the Sun daily by Joyce Ang (posted on 30 August 2016)

MILLENNIALS are known as an idealistic generation, whereby entrepreneurial dreams and artistic desires are goals that could be achieved – provided that they are willing to pay the price. Hence, "stepping outside one's comfort zone" is a clichéd truth that resonates with this generation of dreamers.

Sam Lopez happens to be one of them.

Although he has written a good amount of songs, the Ipoh native found that he has become far too contented in Penang, where he was pursuing a bachelor's degree in mass communication.

"It was a really comfortable place, and my music stagnated for a while. That made me question whether there was more to my music than just the songs I had and my ability to play," the 23-year-old explained.

With that in mind, Lopez decided to put his studies on hold to move to Kuala Lumpur in July 2015, in hopes of exploring his talent.

Would you call yourself a risk taker?
No, I'm the last person to take a risk. I can go all 'YOLO' (you only live once) in terms of going on road trips and things like these, but the worst of a risk I'd take would be calculated. If you were to ask me then the possibilities of moving away to do music, I would never have thought of it.

Does that mean the eventual move was a calculated risk?
I calculated, but what actually happened was not what I expected, especially in the first few months after I got here. I thought I have counted all the costs required to live here, but I was wrong. As a result, I had to adjust a lot, and I did not have paid gigs until later that year. At that point, I was really down. I doubted my decision to move out to KL and reassessed my choices, but I eventually decided to stop thinking about it and run with it. That was a very humbling process where I picked myself back up and tried putting myself in a place where I could learn and grow.

Could you share with us some of the lessons from that time?
I learnt that I cannot rely on people's affirmations for validation and encouragement, and that everything comes from where the heart and passion lie. Also, that what I'm able to do comes from God and from finding His validation from within. When I came to this point, I realised that what seemed to be a risk before did not seem to be that much of a risk anymore. That was when it became easier to just run with things.

Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in almost everything. I tend to question things and look at things from various perspectives, especially when it comes to life. I always believe that life is more than just about me – doing everyday things, and simply going through different phases – because to me, there always has to be an added value in what we do.

Being born and raised in a Christian home, I would also question my faith even as a child. These questions motivate me to seek out answers, and in those processes, I get inspired to write about a life that is larger than life.

However, I really started writing songs because of a girl that I was in love with.

What are you proudest of?
My two brothers! Also, I would say that I'm very proud that I stepped out. Had I not, I would just be in my own little cycle in Penang, and totally miss out on this adventure and what God has for me here. Like I said, I usually would calculate everything in my head before doing anything, but I'm glad that I threw that aside and took that step anyway.

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