Play it Loud is the perfect online video series for fans of good music and good storytelling.
Season Three of Play it Loud is now online, and the featured artists will perform at Grand Casino and Resort on August 17.
Play it Loud is a captivating, intimate and sentimental video series from the mind of Chad Mathews, hosted by Adam Hampton. While each episode holds an entirely different feeling, an overarching theme remains through them all – there’s some amazing things going on in Oklahoma.
The creative team behind this project chose artists from around the state, some with jokes to share, some with philosophies to discuss – and all with compelling stories. This season, the artists are The Imaginaries, Samantha Crain, Jabee, and Mike McClure.
Samantha Crain is soulful and deliberate. She is an artist chasing a drive to create something new, something that means something, And she’s doing a damn good job.
Play it Loud’s Adam Hampton sat down with Crain at Lunar Manor studio and Saints Pub in the Plaza district.
Read more about Lunar Manor and other iconic recording studios below.
Just like Saints, Crain creates an atmosphere that is classic and comfortable.
The episode kicks off with a monologue from Hampton talking about passion, chasing your message, chasing what you love – something Crain knows a whole hell of a lot about.
“Samantha’s tough. She’s guarded, and she’s intelligent, doesn’t seem keen on foolishness, but she wears some pretty kooky socks. She argues there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure.”Adam Hampton
The two bond over a love of creative writing, a love of chronicling your life, other people’s lives.
Sitting on the cozy couch of Lunar Manor, Crain talks about where her love of music began – the Conservatory and Size Records on Western (now 89th St. Collective). Once Crain was old enough to drive, she was driving over to the live music venue and checking out the record store next door, buying the records that caught her eye.
Then she started writing. She started with poetry, and then she put her rhymes to music. She started performing at open mics, mostly with covers of songs like Radiohead’s Creep before she felt comfortable sharing her own songs. What she found from the music scene was an overwhelming sense of camaraderie, a group of friends.
“I was just happy to have found other people who seemed sort of like-minded and were accepting of me,” Crain told Hampton. “I found this group of people all of a sudden that I didn’t feel like a complete outcast with.”
Music, to her, has always been about three main things – travel, creativity and therapy. It’s an excuse to go to new places, learn more about the world, work through emotions, and create something new in the world
Crain said she was always a writer – introspective and imaginative. Her mother used to buy her blank notebooks with pictures of strangers, and she would tell their stories. Sometimes she still uses songwriting as a method of storytelling.
“There are some songs that you feel are good because you’ve tapped into somebody else’s story really well, and you’ve conveyed that really well, and then there are some songs that work because they’re completely and utterly personal to you,” Crain said.
Surrounded by twinkle lights and a warm, inviting atmosphere, Crain shared her music with Hampton.
“Her voice, all vulnerable and timeless, well, it breaks your heart into pieces.” – Adam Hampton
He said her talent is undeniable, and her songs speak for her gentle soul.
“It almost knocks the breath out of you if you just shut up and listen.”Adam Hampton
An artist with drive
Crain has performed with legends like The Mountain Goats, Ingrid Michaelson, and Gregory Alan Isakov. She’s known for her soft and contemplative songs, and she has several songs recorded entirely in Choctaw. Her first EP “Songs in the Night” was released in 2009, and Rolling Stone said, about the EP, “her voice is gorgeously odd — all fulsome, shape-shifting vowels that do indeed billow like fog.”
Since then, her music has been featured on multiple NPR programs, including the PRI program “Invisible Nations.”
Crain has also made a name for herself with her local activism and made the news in 2014 after staging a peaceful protest against the band Pink Pony. The band’s lead singer Christina Fallin (daughter of former governor Mary Fallin) had been accused of cultural appropriation after being photographed in a feather headdress.
Samantha Crain is a legend in Oklahoma music, collaborating with icons such as John Calvin Abney and Kyle Reid, and she’s an iconic voice among the Choctaw community in her songwriting and her activism. She’s a force that is immovable, fierce, honest, and soulful.
Chad Mathews – the man with the plan
Play it Loud started when Chad Mathews, Marketing Director for the Grand Casino, noticed what was happening in Oklahoma music and wanted to be involved. We visited the Grand Casino and Resort to chat with Mathews about Play it Loud and the future of local music.
“It’s not hard for anybody who’s even remotely close to Oklahoma City to see that stuff is happening,” Mathews said. “We wanted to be a part of the momentum that’s going on in Oklahoma City.
Mathews is a member of Outsiders Productions, and independent film company based out of Oklahoma.
Mathews asked his friend, Adam Hampton, a founding member of Outsiders Productions, to be involved in the project as the writer and director. Hampton’s main job is to interview the artist and narrate each episode.
“When I started doing this, I wanted it to be Anthony Bourdain meets Austin City Limits.”Chad Mathews