For Samantha Farrell '05, an aspiring musician with golden hair and a soulful, jazzy voice, it is an amazing honor to be nominated among the first round of nominations for "Best Pop Album of the Year."

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) is composed of artists, producers and recording engineers who strive to cultivate artistic talent and improve the industry.

NARS is responsible each year for the Grammy Awards and it prides itself on commemorating artistic achievement rather than album sales or chart positions.

"It is a great honor just to be invited into that pool," said Samantha Farrell.

The nomination provides young talent with great exposure.

Samantha Farrell is steadily making a name for herself as an unsigned artist in an industry dominated by record-studded musicians.

She has opened to much acclaim for The Dave Mathews Band, and her debut album "Luminous" reached number 8 on the iTunes pop chart.

Ever since Samantha Farrell's brother, Associate Director of Residential Education Ben Farrell, can remember, singing has been a lifetime passion for her.

"She called us up and we couldn't believe it," said Ben Farrell. "Our family was bouncing of the wall."

Ben Farrell said it is exciting "that she is an unsigned artist in an industry where musicians are backed up by so many resources. It doesn't floor her. "

According to Ben Farrell, Bowdoin helped Samantha Farrell explore a musical side that she had never fully connected to before.

"Her nickname at home was 'Lala.' She was always singing," said Ben Farrell. "At Bowdoin, she starred in a production of 'Annie' and that was her moment to sing. She also sang in Miscellanea. Bowdoin allowed her to be herself and who she always was,."

The future looks bright for Samantha, who combines the shrewdness of a scholar with the passion of an artist.

"There's so much to do if you devote yourself to the entertainment industry," said Samantha. "I am my own full time business. It's a full-time job, too. I've started my own label, Blue Honey Records, as a vehicle to release my own stuff and expand it to other artists."

Samantha Farrell knows that just the glamour of the industry does not come without hard work and perseverance.

"There's no overnight success. Nothing happens overnight in this business," said Samatha Farrell. "It takes a steady progression of your art and your business acumen to break out on a national scene."

Samantha Farrell plans to perform at Bowdoin later this year.

"Everyone is so supportive. Bowdoin helped me grow as a person and as an artist. It left a great mark on me."