INTERVIEW: SAM MCGOVERN TAKES THE WORLD BY STORM WITH VIRAL COVER OF U2'S 'I STILL HAVEN'T FOUND WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR'
Photography - Cedric Tang
After appearing on The Voice Australia this year performing his rendition of 'I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For' by U2, Sam’s blind audition amassed millions of views & went viral on TikTok, Facebook & YouTube. With such huge demand & hype, Sam McGovern has finally released the highly anticipated full length cover along with a sold out launch at Mojos to top it off.
Sam McGovern is a 22 year old Singer Songwriter, Guitarist & Surfer from WA. Spending most of his time on the road travelling around the coast, Sam derives experiences from those moments and en-captures these songs. He approaches songwriting as a way of expressing feelings that come unspoken in his life, when words fail, music speaks. His stories are told through heartfelt and honest lyrics that unravel a deeper meaning. Sam is also a graduate from the prestigious WAAPA Music University.
Sam appeared as an artist on the popular TV show The Voice Australia Season 11 in 2022. On his blind audition he turned 2 chairs (Keith Urban & Jessica Mauboy) and gained the praise from all 4 judges, whilst creating thousands of fans around Australia. He preformed his rendition of 'I Still Haven’t Found What Im Looking For' by U2, which amassed over 1.2 Million views on Facebook, 370 Thousand views on YouTube & over 1.6 Million views on Sam’s personal TikTok.
This latest track is to celebrate your time on the voice, tell us a little bit more about that process and how it has changed your career.
Wow no amount of words can really describe the whole experience, it felt like I was living in a movie & it all blurred together. The whole process was insane, from the countless rounds of auditions before the blinds, the filming, the travelling, wow, the list goes on! During this process we all felt like superstars, being set up in hotels & everything paid for! Definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
The best part about being on the show was meeting all the other artists, from all different genres, walks of life, but yet we all came together & bonded, making friends for life.
I am super excited to have released my full length studio version of this song! It was my own rendition & definitely means a lot to me.
This whole experience was life changing! It has definitely made me even more driven and ambitious to achieve my lifelong music goals!
Going viral on social media must be just as surreal as being on TV?
Hahaha! It was quite a weird experience, I guess it came hand in hand with being on The Voice, when my audition aired on TV my socials absolutely blew up, thousands and thousands of new followers, messages, likes, views all on one night, and it didn’t stop there!
I really made sure to utilise my TikTok during The Voice, posting as much content as possible & it paid off!
I managed to rack around 3.5 million views to my page, it was insane haha!
These days being an artist definitely involves harnessing your socials as much as possible, so I definitely made sure to juice as much as I could out of my time on The Voice!
Selling out Mojos is a huge accomplishment! How was the launch party for the new track?
I’m not shy to say that I am super proud of myself for doing so! Especially being 100% independent. I put in so much work and dedication to promote the show & really got my hustle on. There was times where I felt stressed & overworked but in the end it all paid off.
It was the most amazing show & I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Dynamically it was perfect, I was so happy to have Taylor & Asha open the show up.
I started my set solo, 4 songs in I played a duet with my friend Matt Gresham, it was a song we wrote together recently that we are really proud of. This was one of the most amazing moments of the show & my career so far, we threw a curveball at the audience & chose to play the song acoustically, no amplification, standing on the bar, to 230 people! Wow, what a buzz, you could have quite literally heard a pin drop!
After that my full band jumped on stage to play the rest of the set, the encore was just beautiful! Everyone singing back lyrics to me on both songs.
It was absolutely everything I never expected, but everything I could have dreamed of & as perfect as perfect could’ve been! I am so so grateful.
After joining New World Artists here in Australia, Sam has just announced his support with beloved musician and storyteller Jordy Maxwell. Sam kicks off on the Bunbury leg at Froth Brewery's new WA venue on the 8th of October, joining him for multiple shows in Victoria and New South Wales.
You have just announced you are going on tour with Jordy Maxwell, another big announcement! Have you followed Jordy's journey as an artist and how has that made an impression on you?
Yes! I am SO EXCITED! I am lucky enough to be working with Liam from New World Artists, Jordy’s booking agent & now mine, they organised this, so thankful!
This is my first national tour & cannot wait to see what life is like on the road!
Jordy is an absolute legend! I've known him since May 2021 where I supported him for the first time at Indian Ocean Hotel, that was probably the first “big” show I was a part of, so it's awesome to also be a part of this tour with him.
He has such beautiful songs that really tug ya heartstrings, like he said at his last show “Anyone here in a relationship?? Well, when you’s break up, I’ve got some songs for you!”
Definitely couldn’t have asked to be going on my first tour with anyone else!
Can we see any more releases this year?
I'm hoping to release my next single sometime in November. I’m yet to jump into the studio to record, but have been writing a fair bit lately and am feeling extremely proud to show everyone the music I’ve been working on, the songs definitely have scope for a bigger and better sound that no one has heard from me yet. Think a mix of; John Mayer, Sam Fender, Norah Jones, it's exciting!
So yes, let this be a promise to myself and everyone that I get some more music out this year!