How Sammy White’s Life During COVID Was The Epitome Of Everything You Hear In A Country Song

7 June 2023 | 10:18 am | Anna Rose

And how that lifestyle and experience helped to mould her debut studio album, 'Dirty Laundry'.

Sammy White

Sammy White (Image: Supplied)

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Cows, chickens, self-sufficient homestead living – up-and-coming country singer (and our current Centre Stage artist) Sammy White paints quite the picture of her idyllic Central Queensland country life, driving onward home alongside partner and fellow country artist Brad Cox when she speaks with us. Anything but this lifestyle is what Sammy calls boring and stale. Sammy’s life paints the quintessential country picture, practically and musically. 

Her lifestyle, and her experiences, have been moulded to a sonic soundtrack and manifested in her debut studio album, Dirty Laundry.

Out now, Sammy says she’s feeling a lot of relief now the album is out in the world, feeling quite differently to the sense of anticipation she experienced in the run up to its release. 

“It’s been a long time coming,” Sammy says. “I began recording in late 2020. Just sitting on songs and writing a bunch in between now and then, [to] keep building it, it’s been a massive project over the last few years.” Sammy pauses, taking a satisfied sigh. “Just to have it out there, it’s just a bit of a relief!”

Sammy has in no way been inactive over the past three years. Heading off soon on tour, Brad – who recently released his third studio album, Acres – will bring Sammy along as his support act. “Adelaide, Perth, a few others. We’ve been focusing pretty heavily on touring,” Sammy says, “even when a lot of music and things were shut down during COVID.”

In fact, she and Brad lived quite the nomadic dream during the pandemic, having adventures that people in country music generally sing about – where the romantic edge to tales of trials and tribulations are amped up to be somewhere beyond realistic, those stories fabricated by others were in fact the couple’s life.

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“We lived in our car, we had each other; we just jumped on the road, did shows together and made a bit of a living out of it when people weren’t able to work.” Truly the epitome of everything you hear in a country song. “Pretty much! laughs Sammy. “We ended up in Central Queensland because we were on the road, it’s where a lot of people work, we were driving through the region, fell in love with the area.

“And off the back of that, we’ve made a bunch of great mates – we’ve got Brad Butcher here, Jeremey Marou (from Busby Marou) – we’re really lucky we’ve got some great roots in this region. We’re living the best of worlds – rock stars by day, farm people by night!”

When Sammy released her first EP, Undone, going into 2020, she says she really wanted to lean into the singer-songwriter moniker. “At that point there were a lot of pop-country, especially young female artists, coming up through the ranks, and I really wanted to be different,” Sammy says. “I think Undone achieved that, and I think for Dirty Laundry, it’s given me the legs to move into the commercial side of country music.

“Song writing is one of my favourite things to do in the world – even though it’s an album I’ve written, it definitely caved into that pop-country artist, rather than the alternative singer-songwriter.”

Given the level of work Sammy’s done with Brad – and given she’s a young female artist – it’s interesting to learn more about how Sammy’s whittled out an artist identity for herself that stands apart from her only being known as “Brad Cox’s partner”; a question posed, of course, without the intention of starting an argument in the car between the pair of them. Giggling, Sammy says, “I’ve definitely got that at the start of my career. But I think ‘I’m a singer, I sing really well, and I’m a song writer,’ and I think that speaks for itself.”

“To be honest, I focus on what I’m doing – if anybody has anything to say about my being Brad Cox’s partner, he is my partner, and I love him so much, but at the end of the day we’re also two musicians, doing two separate projects that sometimes intertwine.”

Indeed, Sammy is a very good singer, with a soft lilt to her voice that is something to adore. She cultivates a particular sound within Dirty Laundry so that she can continue to further herself as Sammy White. 

“I was lucky to be a teacher at a singing school a few years ago,” she begins. “I think the best of my sound comes from vocal education, knowing how to sing safely and to be able to do a full tour and not blow the arse out of my sound.

“That’s the basis; education. Everything else is bits and tips and tricks and things that I think sound pretty, that’s the icing on the cake.

“I think being able to have a few things up my sleeve helps, it all stems from that.”


Follow Sammy on her Facebook page here.