Former “American Idol” winner Just Sam is speaking candidly about life after the TV show.
The singer, 23, whose real name is Samantha Diaz, won the 18th season of “Idol” in 2020 when the show went virtual amid the pandemic.
Diaz, who has gone back to being a subway musician in New York City since parting ways with her record label, said on her Instagram Story: “I thought it was gonna be easy, just go to the studio, record, put out music,” Just Jared reported.
“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.
“I have people who are helping me. I’m putting out music when I can and when it’s ready,” she continued. “It’s just hard because I’m coming out of pocket and I have bills to pay. And ‘American Idol’ is not going to pay my bills. Lionel Richie’s not going to pay my bills. Katy Perry’s not going to pay my bills. Luke Bryan is not going to pay my bills. I have to pay my rent. I have to make sure that I’m eating every day, which is hard to do.”
Diaz didn’t release an album with Hollywood Records before they parted ways.
“I was not the one that pulled [my ‘Rise Up’ performance] down from iTunes; Hollywood Records did that,” she explained. “I don’t know the logistics behind it. I don’t know the legal side of things. But I believe that when we parted ways, in order for them to keep 100 per cent of the money that was made from ‘Rise Up’, I think they had to pull it from streams so that I wouldn’t get a cut, which is smart. Smart move Hollywood.”
She insisted that it’s tough to afford to make music and pay bills: “I am making music. I just cannot afford to release music, because mixing and mastering music costs a lot of money. And I invested in myself and ended up broke. That’s the truth. Not broke, broke – like, I’m living. I have my own place.
“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 had already recorded. I’m recording all the time or making music all the time, writing every day, doing what I have to do to survive.”
“How can I put music before rent? I’d literally be back in the place that I was in before the show if I did that,” Diaz went on. “And I tried, I really genuinely did try to pay off my music, the way that the label suggested after we parted ways. I tried their way and it did not work. I’m doing it God’s way. I’m trusting the process.”