Samantha Sclafani is a rising star in Commack in the MSG Varsity Talent Show.
As part of her victory, Sclafani was given studio time to record a demo CD which will include the original song and the album’s first single, “Taking Over Me.” Patch spoke with this Commack High School junior about her singing career, music, and life in Commack.
What got you into singing?
When I was younger, my mom would buy me Disney Sing-alongs, like songs from The Little Mermaid. I loved Britney Spears and N*SYNC, and I was mesmerized by them [and] what people thought of them. I really got into singing in middle school, which is late since most singers usually start when they are five or six. I was really into it, and my parents were totally supportive.
Who are your greatest musical influences?
The first artist I looked up to was Britney Spears, because I was born right when she was becoming an idol. [Her concert] was the first concert I went to. When I started getting into singing seriously, I began to look for real talent and vocals, and I began listening to Christina Aguilera. I also learned that my voice was very well-suited for jazz music, so I started listening to Etta James, who sung “At Last.”
In the MSG Varsity competition, you sang “I Wanna Rock” by Twisted Sister and “Wind Beneath My Wings.” Why did you choose these songs?
Well, “I Wanna Rock” I didn’t really get to pick. We got to pick from a select few songs chosen by MSG. There were sixteen people – eight female vocalists, and eight male vocalists – and there were about 32 songs. You got a number, and I drew ninth, so I was the ninth person to pick a song. The reason why I did pick Twisted Sister (though rock really isn’t my genre) is that I could have the absolute most fun singing and have a real performance. Even if you mess up on the vocals in a rock song, you can still give a good performance.
“Wind Beneath My Wings” was my first choice when it was my turn to pick [in the semifinals]. It is one of my parents’ favorite songs, and they were the ones who supported me – I guess you can say they’re the “wings” who help me fulfill my dreams. The performance was really from the heart, and I knew it would be touching to watch.
What are your plans for the future?
I definitely want to get all of my education in and go on to college to get as much education as I can as a backup in case singing doesn’t work out. There’s a time when I'll have to balance my singing life with my education life. I'd like to go to school for psychology, because it is something I am very passionate about. I’d also like to do a minor in theatre, because I wouldn’t want my singing to go to waste.
What are your favorite things to do in Commack?
There are quite a few. First, I like to go to all of the restaurants. Me and my friends like having our weekly meetings at Applebee’s. We love the pictures of Commack High School students that they have there. We also like to go to the Commack Lanes for a relaxing, fun time. I also love to shop at the Mayfair Shopping Center.
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