"American Idol" star Samantha "Just Sam" Diaz is back singing in New York City subways, just three years after winning the show.
Diaz won season 18 of the talent show during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, after which they signed with Hollywood Records.
The deal was short-lived, however, with the singer releasing just one single under the label before parting ways.
Last month, Diaz began sharing videos of themselves singing in subway stations on Instagram.
In a since-deleted caption to one of their videos, the 24-year-old singer from Harlem explained how they felt about going back to their roots.
"Back in 2021, I was super embarrassed to be going back to the trains," they wrote, according to Just Jared. "I didn't want people to know that I legit needed the money. I didn't want people to know that it wasn't optional."
"I was disappointed in myself for allowing myself to fall so low after winning Idol," they continued. "But then I had to take it easy on me and remember that I started my journey with Idol at 20 years old."
Diaz added that they've since "learned so much" and is grateful to be able to share their journey "with other artists in hopes that they don't experience the same things."
"I know that everything happens for a reason and I know that this too shall pass no matter what things may look like right now," they wrote, per The Sun.
Last year, Diaz, opened up about how they "ended up broke" after parting ways with Hollywood Records.
"I am making music," they said in an Instagram story, according to Just Jared. "I just cannot afford to release music, because mixing and mastering music costs a lot of money. And I invested in myself and ended up broke. That's the truth."
In August, Diaz then revealed that they had been hospitalized for an undisclosed illness. They said at the time that they "seriously" needed help but did not reveal more.
Later in the month, they provided an update, saying they are "doing much better now."
"Thank you to everyone that checked on me. I am ALIVE and out of the hospital," they wrote on Instagram.