JD Samson

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JD Samson
JD Samson
JD Samson
Background information
Born (1978-08-04) August 4, 1978 (age 45)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.

Jocelyn Rachel Samson (born August 4, 1978), known professionally as JD Samson, is an American musician, producer, songwriter and DJ best known as a member of the bands Le Tigre and MEN.


Samson grew up in Pepper Pike, Ohio, and attended Orange High School. Samson came out as a lesbian at age 15 and is well known for their support of both LGBT and feminist causes. In high school, Samson played field hockey and was involved in their school's gay-straight alliance.[1]

Samson graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2000, with a degree in film.[2] While at school, Samson held jobs as a manager of a coffee shop, a campus tour guide, and as a research assistant for her queer-theory professor.[1] Additionally, she co-produced and directed the Sarah Lawrence College Film and Video Festival while at school.[1]


Le Tigre[edit]

Samson joined Le Tigre in 2000 when co-founder Sadie Benning left the band before the album Feminist Sweepstakes was recorded.[3] Samson had previously worked as the band's projectionist and slide-show operator during live performances in support of their first record, Le Tigre. The self-proclaimed "underground electro-feminist performance artists" combined visuals, music and dance in their performances. Samson's contributions to Le Tigre include the song "Viz", which deals with her experiences as a member of a sexual minority,[4] and "New Kicks," which contains excerpts of a protest that Samson recorded.

Feminist Sweepstakes came out in 2001 and was released on Mr. Lady Records & Videos in North America and on Chicks On Speed Records in Europe.[5] Le Tigre's final album, This Island (2004), was Le Tigre's first on a major label (Universal Records). Ric Ocasek of the Cars produced one track, "Tell You Now".[6] Samson and her Le Tigre bandmates Kathleen Hanna and Johanna Fateman also produced the Christina Aguilera song "My Girls ft. Peaches", for Aguilera's album Bionic.[7] In the second half of 2006, the band decided to take an extended break.

In 2016, Le Tigre reunited to show support for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, releasing their first song in a decade entitled "I'm With Her".[8]

JD Samson and MEN[edit]

In 2007, Samson and Fateman formed a new project, MEN, as a DJ, production, and remix team. After initial songwriting and outside remix work, Fateman took time off to have a child, and Samson recruited the members of her side band Hirsute, including Ladybug Transistor's Michael O'Neill and Ginger Brooks Takahashi, to perform live as MEN. Samson has said that their music speaks of "issues such as wartime economies, sexual compromise, and the demand for liberties through lyrical content and an inventive, high-energy stage show".[9]

In 2009, MEN self-released an EP called MEN that sold out following US tours with Peaches and Gossip. MEN also toured in the UK and Europe during this time. Their debut album Talk About Body was released on February 1, 2011, via Iamsound in the US and through Sony/Columbia in Europe. The album included singles for the songs "Who Am I To Feel So Free", "Off Our Backs", and "Credit Card Babies".

In the spring of 2012, MEN changed their name to JD Samson & MEN and released an EP Next in April followed in September by the song "Let Me Out Or Let Me In" in support of the Russian feminist punk-rock collective Pussy Riot. JD Samson & MEN's second full-length album was titled Labor.[10]

Other bands[edit]

Samson also has performed as a member of the band The New England Roses and as keyboard player of electro-punk artist Peaches' live band, The Herms, with Radio Sloan and Samantha Maloney.[2] Samson collaborates with Nick van Hofwegen of Young N' Sick on their electro disco project, SHARER. In 2020 Samson released a minimal live to tape record with Roddy Bottum and Michael O'Neill under the name, CRICKETS.


Samson has a songwriting and publishing deal through Universal Music Publishing Group. They have written songs for Christina Aguilera ("My Girls ft. Peaches"), Junior Senior ("Can I Get Get Get"), Cobra Starship ("Shwick"), French Horn Rebellion ("Girls ft. JD Samson and Fat Tony"), The Aikiu, Bitch and Ferron, Pelifics ("Spray Painted Knuckles"),[11] among others.

Performance art[edit]

Samson is a co-founder of the performance art group "Dykes Can Dance". In 2003, she released 'JD's Lesbian Calendar', a collaboration with photographer Cass Bird, which was followed up in 2006 with 'JD's Lesbian Utopia', a calendar documenting Samson's travels around the U.S. in an RV.[2] Since then, JD has worked closely with choreographers Vanessa Anspaugh, Katy Pyle, Julie Cunningham. Samson collaborated with filmmaker, Sam Green on a project for the 2019 Whitney Biennal and is currently working on another project with him.


Samson appeared in John Cameron Mitchell's 2006 film Shortbus as "Jid", a patron of the Shortbus club.[12]

In 2010, Samson served as a judge at the 9th annual Independent Music Awards.[13]

In 2016, Samson appeared in the Netflix series The Mr. Peabody and Sherman Show as a musical guest.

Samson hosted several Broadly interviews such as Last Lesbian Bar about the disappearing lesbian bar, and interviews with Margaret Cho, and Kate Nash.

In 2017, Samson plays a small role as a New York artist in Odd Mom Out.

In 2019, Samson makes a brief appearance as a Postmates employee delivering food in the Netflix series Russian Doll.[14]


Samson wrote a widely quoted piece on the economics of being an artist for The Huffington Post[15] in 2011. Titled "I Love My Job But It Made Me Poorer," the article examines the financial realities of a long-term career in music. In 2013, she began writing for Talkhouse.[16] Samson has also written for Tom Tom Magazine and Creative Time Reports.[17]


Starting in 2016, Samson started teaching at NYU's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, where she is currently an assistant arts professor.[18] Additionally, Samson has lectured at the We Make Waves Festival, Bard College, TED X (CLE), and the Artists with a Conscience Conference at Amherst College[17]

Personal life[edit]

Samson calls themself a lesbian, gender-nonconforming, and non-binary non-exclusively.[19] Samson was in a relationship with Australian singer Sia between 2008 and 2011.


  1. ^ a b c "jd herstory". www.letigreworld.com. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "JD Samson – Feminist Electropunk Artist – Biography". The European Graduate School. August 4, 1978. Archived from the original on July 1, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  3. ^ "Le Tigre Bio | Le Tigre Career". MTV. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  4. ^ Liebetseder, Doris (2013). Queer Tracks: Subversive Strategies in Rock and Pop Music: Subversive Strategies in Rock and Pop Music. Ashgate. p. 235. ISBN 9781409472032.
  5. ^ "Le Tigre – Feminist Sweepstakes (CD, Album)". Discogs.com. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  6. ^ Vincentelli, Elisabeth (October 17, 2004). "Just What They Needed?". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (June 10, 2009). "Le Tigre and Christina Aguilera is a brilliantly odd pairing". The Guardian. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  8. ^ Minsker & Philips (October 19, 2016). "Le Tigre Return With New Video for Pro-Hillary Clinton Song "I'm With Her"". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  9. ^ "Talk About Body". Iamsoundrecords.com. April 23, 2014. Archived from the original on September 14, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  10. ^ Mirk, Sarah (September 30, 2013), "JD Samson Talks About Her New Album and Being an Activist Artist", Bitch Magazine
  11. ^ "JD Samson Discography". Discogs.com. August 4, 1978. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  12. ^ "Shortbus". IMDb.com. October 6, 2006. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  13. ^ "9th Annual IMA Judges". Independent Music Awards. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  14. ^ SAMSON, JD (February 1, 2019). "You may recognize me as the PostMates Delivery human on @RussianDoll this season. I am very proud to be associated with @nlyonne and her amazing genius-ness". Twitter.com. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  15. ^ Samson, JD (October 5, 2011). "I Love My Job, But It Made Me Poorer". Huffington Post.
  16. ^ "JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN) Talks Bat For Lashes' The Haunted Man". The Talkhouse. April 3, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  17. ^ a b "INFO AND PROJECTS". JD Samson. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  18. ^ "JD SAMSON".
  19. ^ JD Samson: Why I'm Non-Binary I I Am Proud, archived from the original on December 21, 2021, retrieved May 8, 2021

External links[edit]