Samantha Newark

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Samantha Newark
Samantha Newark by Brad Everett Young.jpg
Background information
Born London
Origin Burbank, California
Genres Pop, rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, actor, voice actor
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1985–present
Associated acts Transformers, Jem and the Holograms, The Misfits

Samantha Newark is best known for her iconic voice-over work as the speaking voice of Jem and Jerrica in the beloved animated cartoon series Jem. Samantha, a singer-songwriter and voice actress was born just outside London England.[1] As a teenager, Sam became one of the most sought-after voice-over talents in mainstream television. Her work on "Jem" and voice-over roles on the original The Transformers cartoon as the voices of "Ariel", the original identity of the female Autobot Elita One, high school girl "Elise Presser", and the voice of the Zamojin Empress thrust her into a type of international fame that has produced a serious cult following that persists to this day.[2][3][4][5] She played the British voice of Peter Pan's mother in the classic Steven Spielberg film "Hook" as well as lending her voice talent to many radio and TV projects while writing and performing her original music as a solo recording artist in Los Angeles and Nashville TN and now Dallas Texas. Samantha just landed a featured cameo role for the live action feature film adaptation on Jem and the Holograms directed by Jon Chu, and is currently working on an upcoming third album.

Acting career[edit]

Newark is best known for her Iconic voice-over work on the animated 1980s cartoon series Jem as the speaking voice of Jerrica/Jem[6][7] (Britta Phillips was the singing voice). She was nominated for a "Young Artist award" twice for "Exceptional young actress in animation, series, specials, or film features" also nominated for her performance in "Best animated series". Other voice-over credits include guest-starring on the original Transformers cartoon as "Ariel" in the classic Transformers episode "War Dawn" and in other episodes playing the roles of "Elise Presser" and the "Zamojin Empress". Samantha was also cast as the gentle British voice of a young Peter Pan's mother in Steven Spielberg feature film "Hook" as well as doing countless on camera and voice-over TV and radio commercials. Samantha was cast in the PlayStation game Britney's Dance Beat playing the roles of the Choreographer and the Asian dancer. She also played the role of Debbie in the horror film Summer Camp Nightmare. In 2012 she was invited to contribute two characters to the Festival favorite animated short "Pound Dogs", created by Mike Salva. This project won the MTV "Voice and Vision animation award for writing and animation and garnered two development deals with MTV. "Jem" remains her most well known role and Newark herself still retains a very special connection and fondness for her character today and is invited to meet the Jem fans at Pop Culture conventions all over the world. Samantha will make a cameo in the upcoming JEM live action film adaptation starring Aubrey Peeples as Jem/Jerrica and directed by Jon Chu. The movie also stars Juliette Lewis and Molly Ringwald.[8]

Music career[edit]

Samantha Newark began her professional music career at the tender age of 7. Signed to Nitty Gritty records she recorded her first record while living in Africa and then toured to support her single "Jimmy Jimbo" produced by Allan Goldswain, Mike Adams. At age 10 she and her family immigrated to America and Samantha was promptly signed to International Creative Management where she was thrust onto the State fair circuit opening for Eddie Rabbitt, Pat Boone, Debbie Boone and Mac Davis. She was cast as the precocious red head in the United States Navy band production of the musical Annie in Washington DC. And eventually moved with her family to Burbank California where she played Rosie in a production of Sweet Charity and Dorothy in a Los Angeles production of The Wizard of Oz.[disambiguation needed] She was a frequent performer of The L.A. Kids caberet and performed often with the Ray Anthony orchestra at the famous Shrine Auditorium and on many telethons. She also was a featured guest vocalist at age 14 with the 65 piece Los Angeles Pops orchestra.

She sang the theme song for the anime classic film Project AKO and worked with Richie Zito and Joey Carbone and was hired to sing multiple songs on the soundtrack for the movie Crazy Six starring Rob Lowe, Burt Reynolds, Mario Van Peebles.

She won the Los Angeles vocal competition at the tender age of 17 and then through the late 90's started to write and record her own original music with many different incarnations of original bands.

She was one of the 20 finalists out of a staggering 10,000 submissions for the Lilith Fair talent contest sponsored by Star 98.7 radio and Universal contests in 1999. And was one of 15 budding songwriters accepted into the coveted Lester Sill Ascap songwriting workshop where she met writer producer and long time collaborator composer Mike Reagan[9] She and Mike worked together through the late 1990s writing original music performing live and contributing vocals for various PlayStation games. She sang vocals on the movie soundtrack Some Girl starring Juliette Lewis and also sang vocals in the movie Material Girls.

While living in Los Angeles she worked as a session singer for writer, producer Michele Vice Maslin.

She has worked in the EDM world co-writing a song called "Deeper" for the German group Fragma. The version with her vocals was remixed by EDM producer Nick Terranova.

In late 2006 she auditioned for Julian Coryell to be a backup singer for renowned poet laureate Leonard Cohen. The project was set to do a world tour and after two months of rehearsals the tour was cancelled and put on hold for two years where it started up again with a new MD and new team.

Samantha made her move to Music city Nashville in Tennessee in October 2007. She released her selt-titled debut album in 2008.[10][11] Songs from the album have been featured in numerous television programs including Smallville, Reba, Life is Wild, and Gossip Girl, "Americas next top model" as well as MTV's Laguna Beach, Punk'd, and My Super Sweet Sixteen[12]

In 2008 Samantha was invited to be a part of the documentary film "Saravia" written and directed by Joaquin Montalvan about the spiritual journey into the life of painter, writer and composer Mauricio Saravia. Samantha and Mauricio met in Los Angeles and worked closely together on the soundtrack for the film. Samantha composed the melodies for Mauricio's poetry that was featured throughout the film and she performed one of the songs live in the movie. Sadly Mauricio succumbed to his illness and passed away shortly after filming.

Samantha Newark released her second album "Somethin' Good" in late October 2011. A stylish and glittery synth/pop/electronica influenced record.[13][14] songs written and performed by Samantha and produced by Dave Polich, Michael Jackson's keyboard programmer on the "This Is it" concerts. Samantha is set to release more original music this year with long time friend and keyboard programmer, producer Dave Polich best known for his work with Michael Jackson, David Foster and The Cure. Samantha is also currently enjoying lending her diverse and beautiful background vocals to the longest running Dallas based Pink Floyd tribute band Bricks in the Wall in the US playing sold out shows at regional House of Blues venues.


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