American Idol winner, Samantha Diaz, who goes by the stage name Just Sam, has revealed she went broke after paying off her record label.
The 23-year-old won season 18 of the popular singing competition in 2020 –– when the show was forced to go virtual amid the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Most of her live performances happened from her hotel room in Los Angeles, Just Jared reported.
Before landing a coveted slot in front of Idol judges, Sam says she sang in the NYC subway and has since returned to it.
“I thought it was gonna be easy,” Sam said on her Instagram Story. “Just go to the studio, record, put out music, and that’s not how the world works. That’s not how the industry works. It takes time, it takes money that I don’t have. It takes patience.”
After winning Idol in May 2020, Sam signed a deal with Hollywood Records, but left the label without releasing an album under them. She ended up having to pay the label to claim the music she’d already recorded.
“I’m not even going to tell you guys the amount of money that I had to pay after leaving the label to claim songs that I already recorded,” she said. “And I invested in myself and ended up broke. That’s the truth.”
“I have people who are helping me,” Sam added, “I’m putting out music when I can and when it’s ready.”
“It’s just hard because I’m coming out of pocket and have bills to pay. And American Idol is not going to pay my bills” she said, adding later that, “I have to pay my rent. I have to make sure that I’m eating everyday, which is hard to do.”
Sam told her followers she’s still making music, but “just can afford to release music,” due to the costs of mixing and mastering.
Sam says she’s “doing it God’s way. And I’m trusting the process.”