Sam WebsiteSamantha Durnan has finally broken through to show that there is more to the North East of England. Writing her own songs and playing the guitar since before she even discovered eyeliner, Samantha’s talent proves that if you’re born with it and work hard to craft it … you’ll make it.

Working both acoustic and with her backing band, Samantha has already received tributes and airplays from Radio 1’s Jen and Ally ‘Wow, what a voice’ and is ready to expand on her loyal UK fan base with a relocation to London this year.

Samantha has already supported Ed Sheeran, The Hoosiers and Beverley Knight and has spent the last few months pouring her spirit into her debut EP ‘Samantha Durnan’.

Samantha is heavily supported by OES Oilfield Services Group, she is a star in the making. She is a beautiful girl with an amazing voice and we wish her every success in her lucrative future.

A week in the life off Samantha Durnan ….

“I arrived in the early hours of Wednesday morning and I only had a few hours until I had to be up to perform a set to the children at The English College of Dubai. The fact that I didn’t get much sleep didn’t bother me as I was excited to see what was in store.

I pulled up outside the school and marched in with all my equipment. At a first glance I was taken straight back to my schools days, which in some cases wasn’t a great feeling. But after the realisation that I wasn’t there to learn or recite times tables, I was ready to set up.

A few students cautiously walked past whispering ‘is that Samantha’ which in my eyes meant I was practically a celebrity. ’I’m miles away from home and they know me!!’ I thought to myself. Five minutes later I was pleasantly informed by the head mistress that all students had been given a small briefing about myself and expected performance. Safe to say, I pretended we never had that conversation.

Sam at EC

The school bell rang and from nowhere appeared hundreds of hungry children. Slightly amazed and side tracked from the kebab stand in the playground, I finally strummed that first chord.

The younger generation ran to the front and the older kids observed from a distance. I didn’t mind, it just made me sing that little bit louder. I started my set with a few well known covers to grab the children’s attention and then performed a few of my own songs, which to my surprise went down a storm.

Sam at EC 1

My set had finally finished, the children seemed impressed, the older kids where now at the front and I felt my first Dubai performance was a success.

This was confirmed when I was surrounded by students waving pens and photos of myself in their hands asking for my autograph. I was in total shock but the rush of energy from the children was just amazing.

I was asked by the head mistress if I would kindly come back and take a workshop with some of the music students, to which I happily accepted!

After a few days to take in the beautiful scenery and attractions of Dubai I was ready for my next gig at Maxx Music Bar.

I walked in with my guitar over my shoulder and instantly fell in love. I felt like I was in a scene from The OC or Buffy at a student music bar.

I was introduced to the sound guy and he was just so cool, and I mean COOL! He reminded of an old rock legend with his all in black leathers, bandana, cigarette and husky ‘mic check, 1, 2’.

Not long after arriving, I was called to the stage. I had 20 minutes to wow a crowd who I could tell appreciated music. I decided to go down the singer songwriter route and I’m pleased to say, it was the right choice. The reception was great and I sang from the heart. It was only a short set but one to remember.

It was the morning after Maxx Bar and I was looking forward to the workshop with the musicians at The English College. I arrived and I was welcomed by 4 polite young boys waiting in suspense. I introduced myself and got to know the boys performance levels to see who could play what. There is no better feeling than the buzz you get from collaborating with other musicians. I wanted to try and create this for the boys and make them feel part of a band. They all had their own unique ways of playing so I used this to build their performance. After an hour of jamming with the talented students it was time to call it a day. Oh so I thought. The boys informed me it was lunch time so I jumped back on that drum kit as if I was Jack Black. The buzz of the day for me was to see the kid’s reactions as we built each song up and to see them perform as part of a group. They were fantastic!

My third gig was at ‘Jazz @ Pizza Express’. Now I know what you UK folks are thinking… A gig at Pizza Express? Right? That’s exactly what I thought. Oh how wrong I was. This venue was totally not what I expected. I was quickly beginning to learn that pretty much every venue in Dubai was just awesome. A guy was set up playing on the stage when I first walked in and his voice was just phenomenal. Again he looked like a typical 70’s rocker and I LOVED that. It was happy hour so I ordered myself a few Jack Daniels and headed over to introduce myself to the rocker. He was extremely welcoming with his long hair, long beard and husky Brighton accent. He explained how the night worked. He picked a name out of a hat and you were up. Simple. I didn’t mind as the happy hour lasted a little while longer. 3 rounds, a bunch of extremely talented musicians later and I was up. I had 3 songs to win the crowd over and all I wanted to do was play them my own songs. Before I knew it the set was over and the crowd were buzzing. That didn’t have anything to do with how many Jack Daniels I had but it was down to the respect and support received from the people in the audience. Another amazing night.

Sam at The Music Room

It was the last night gigging at The Music Room and I wanted it to be a good one. It wasn’t, it was brilliant. This by far was my favourite gig. The set up was excellent, the event organisers were extremely helpful and to top it off the artists performing were so friendly!

The in-house band took to the stage first, and got the crowd warmed up. They were an extremely energetic and powerful band. I just hoped to God me and my acoustic would do the crowd justice.

They have this rule in Dubai where after a particular time all artists performing on that night need to sit in their own area behind a red barrier rope and aren’t allowed to speak to their friends or any members of the crowd. At first I was a little displeased with this rule, that was until I was introduced to the other performers. They had people performing from all over the world that night. Australia, America, Canada, UK, Philippines etc. It was fascinating to sit and listen to them speak about their experiences as a musician.

As I learnt over the whole trip every single audience member would clap, cheer and show respect to every single performer. I sang my heart out that night and thoroughly enjoyed it.

If there is anything I learnt from my trip it’s that there is a lot of talented people out there. We shouldn’t see them as competition; we should support and respect them for their art. There is a lot to be learnt from creative people like myself, but we can teach each other from our own experiences”.

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