Suffolk singer Samantha Harvey goes from house cleaner to popstar
- Credit: Archant
Seven months ago Samantha Harvey was a full-time cleaner who posted covers online. This weekend she’s hoping to leave established chart acts in the dust with her debut single Forgive Forget.
The break-up inspired song entered the iTunes chart at number four last week, staying there two days; and was number three on the UK midweek chart.
The 24-year-old, from Hitcham, said: “I’m absolutely buzzing but it’s nerve-racking. I just pray we’ve had enough orders that it gets us into the UK Top 40. I never expected it to get anywhere in the iTunes chart so I feel it’s been a massive achievement already.
“It’s one thing having an online social media following where people like and share your videos but for people to buy my single... it’s like a dream come true.”
The former Stowmarket High School student, born in Harleston, has just quit the cleaning business she set-up.
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“I used to do everything from flats to eight-bed houses. I cleaned 12-15 a week, sometimes three or four a day in Ipswich, Stowmarket, Bury St Edmunds; got home in the evenings, do my covers, edit them.
“My dad worked away in the week, so when mum was bringing us three girls up she worked as a self-employed cleaner. When I had days off school I used to go with her to work. I was brought up with cleaning and I love it, I miss it,” she laughed.
Samantha fell in love with performing when she was eight. She saw an advert in the paper for the Brettenham and Thorpe Morieux Players, playing a workhouse boy in the musical Oliver! She went on to have leading roles in shows like Alice in Wonderland. When she was 16 she joined Oskar Foxtrot Productions and later studied performing arts at Suffolk New College.
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“I went into an office job and didn’t sing for like a year but thought I’m so bored so started a wedding band. That’s where people said I needed to start putting my covers online. I was so scared to post that first one of Sam Smith’s Stay With Me, sat in my bathroom for the acoustics. Six months in it went viral. I never, ever, expected it.”
She recorded self-funded Forgive Forget, in Los Angeles. It was written and produced by Jayson DeZuzio who has worked with Imagine Dragons, Little Mix, Christina Aguilera and Plain White T’s. She turned down label interest to release it independently to keep control of her career and stay connected to her loyal audience.
“I know who I want to be and the music I want to release,” said Samantha, who describes it as an empowering ballad for people going through a hard time. “It’s been life-changing and it’s so exciting to see where it’s going to go in the next few weeks.”