‘Songland’s Sam DeRosa Shares Her Journey to Success on TikTok

Jill O'Rourke
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Sam DeRosa at Recording Academy New York Chapter Hosts Celebration Honoring 62nd Annual Grammy Awards NomineesPhoto by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Former Songland contestant Sam DeRosa recently took to TikTok to share the meaning behind her tattoo, and how it relates to her journey in the music industry. The songwriter competed on the NBC talent show with her track “Pill for This” in 2019.


Sam DeRosa Recalls ‘Songland’ Journey on TikTok

DeRosa started her TikTok video off by showing the tattoo on her wrist, which features the amount $13.86. She then went back in time to share that she used to be a wedding singer in Boston. After singing through college and saving money, she moved to Los Angeles.

While in LA, DeRosa started singing covers at a steakhouse and “wrote songs with anybody who would write with me.” Eventually, when she had $13.86 in her bank account, she “decided I was too broke and had to go home.”

That’s when she learned that a song she wrote got a six-figure publishing deal. That song, called “broken,” was released by lovelytheband in 2018. However, DeRosa hadn’t received her money for the song yet when she was offered a spot on Songland.


Luckily, DeRosa was able to borrow money from her boyfriend to stay in Los Angeles and take the opportunity. As DeRosa said to finish her story, “I’m now a multi-platinum songwriter and artist full-time in LA, and I’ve got a long way to go, but I will never forget about that $13.86, and I’m glad I stayed.”

SEE ALSO: ‘SONGLAND’ SEASON 1: ALL THE WINNING SONGS, RANKED

@imsamderosa I’m glad I stayed and didn’t quit. #songland #nbcsongland #pillforthis #songwriter #storytime #dontquit #tattoostory ♬ original sound – Sam DeRosa 💜

DeRosa Competed with Song ‘Pill for This’

DeRosa competed on Season 1 of Songland in 2019 with her song “Pill for This.” The episode featured singer Charlie Puth, who was looking for his next hit song. Unfortunately, Puth didn’t end up choosing DeRosa’s song as the winner.


However, Puth also didn’t end up recording the winning song, “Bad Habit” by Zach Sorgen. The singer explained that it deserved “to be released by the person who wrote it.” He encouraged viewers to stream Sorgen’s version.

Meanwhile, DeRosa has put out two EPs since her time on the show. “Pill for This” is featured on her EP The Medicine from 2021. She released The Good Parts earlier this year. The writer also has credits on songs by artists such as Lukas Graham, Pentatonix, and Fitz and the Tantrums.

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