Sam Johnson
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Sam Johnson

San Francisco, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

San Francisco, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Rock Pop




"Arion Salazar"

Sam is crazy talented. A natural born songwriter with a gift for playing guitar and singing from his soul. He does both incredibly well and you believe every note. Not bad with a crowd either :) - bassist of Third Eye Blind

"Dave Matthews"

Sam has a beautiful voice, he reminds me of my friend Martin Sexton. - legendary singer-songwriter

"Tracy Morgan"

F**k this bucket, f**k this street corner - Sam should be making millions of dollars! - comedian

"Stephen Bradley"

Sam Johnson's natural voice and sound are a breath of fresh air in this day and age. - band member of No Doubt

"Robert Gunter"

Sam is one of the most complete rock musicians I've ever heard. - Yahoo! Voices

"Topher Mohr"

Sam is an absolute pleasure to work with. Enthusiastic, talented and open to direction. - producer, writer, guitarist for Mayer Hawthorne

"San Francisco gets even more adorable with this music video"

If you’re 20 feet or more outside the city limits, this video by Sam Johnson will have you running back. The local musician’s catchy tune begging his lady to come home to “The City” is the title track off Johnson’s album of the same name. Just about every neighborhood gets a shout-out as the singer attempts to persuade his gal to return from the woods, presumably far away from San Francisco. Close inspection suggests that “the woods” might actually be San Francisco’s Presidio, but who cares? We’re fans of the sweet love song. - Time Out San Francisco

"Afternoon Palate Cleanser: Sam Johnson's 'The City' Takes Us On A Fun, Goofy Tour Of SF"

About Sam Johnson's song 'The City' - This, my friends, is the song MTV will use when they do establishing shots of the city in the next San Francisco iteration of either Catfish or The Real World, whichever comes first. And if it's not, well, more the fool them. - SFist


21 - single
California Fires - single
Future Me - single
Building a Home - single
Fuego - single
Faded - single

The City - EP
Time Machine - EP
Tower of Hollywood - EP



Sam Johnson’s love for music goes back to his adolescent years, when he learned Bob Marley and Sublime songs on hand me down instruments, and started a reggae band at his high school in Huntington Beach, California. This early influence inspired him to create his laid-back, soulful blend of pop, rock, and reggae styles that he describes as “quintessential California music”. 

But he says his music career really started 8 years ago in San Francisco, where he street performed 5 days a week in the hectic, carnival-like atmosphere of Fisherman’s Wharf. Dodging seagulls and competing with the other street performers for the tourists’ attention, Sam’s chops developed at an accelerated rate. “The first day I played in the wharf, I made $60. I knew one day I would make $600!” In this way Sam supported himself full-time for more than 2 years - one CD at a time, one dollar at a time. He says “it was like touring the world from a street corner.” 

Many of the successes and relationships Sam has had since then are directly related to his time spent busking. During his street performing years, he made thousands of fans from all around the world who support him to this day. So much, in fact, that his fans fully funded his third EP “The City” through Kickstarter, backing the project with nearly $10,000. The album’s lead single “The City” received airplay on San Francisco’s Live 105 FM for several weeks. 

Although he is no longer street performing, Sam maintains a busy performance schedule with over 200 shows per year touring at college campuses across the US, performing at festivals, and corporate and private events, and the Ritz Carlton San Francisco invited him to be their resident performer, a spot which he has held for the past 5 years. In 2016, Sam joined top 40 artist Andy Grammer on his west coast tour, performing for thousands of fans each night as his opening act. Since then, Sam has shared stages with many big pop and reggae artists including Shwayze, Collie Buddz, Flipsyde, Common Kings, The Holdup, Leilani Wolfgramm, Anuhea, Mike Love, and more. Recently Sam won the Sixthman Soundcheck competition to perform on the Sail Across The Sun music festival at sea.  He will set sail with with Train, Matt Nathanson, Ezra Ray Hart, Allen Stone, and other popular artists in February 2020 and he will also be performing at BottleRock Napa Valley in May 2020.

Sam’s original music is also frequently featured in TV shows on MTV, FOX, NBC, BRAVO, and SPIKE. Macy’s used Sam’s version of “In The Midnight Hour” for their popular nationwide Black Friday ad campaign for 2 years in a row. He has also written songs specifically for the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) that they keep in regular rotation. 

Sam signed a deal with start-up label Text Me Records in 2018, and has since released half a dozen singles, with hundreds of thousands of Spotify plays, and his song “Faded” debuted at #3 on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts. A new full length album is on the way in 2019.

Band Members