Miami’s Sammie knows the definition of success is staying true to self, all the while remaining humble and staying hungry. Having acquired platinum success at the tender age of 12, Sammie took some time away from the limelight to come of age. But his passion for music lured him back to the microphone, giving him not only a voice to sing, but a voice to influence the youth through the Sammie Youth Foundation.
Sammie kicked it with Singersroom on a sunny day in Harlem and dished on everything from the reason for his hiatus, loving music, staying true to self and R&B, to giving props to those who’ve contributed to his success and what’s next on his agenda.
Check out some excerpts:
On Taking a Break: I always just wanted a sense of normalcy… I took four years off to go to high school, I played basketball for two years, I was homecoming king. I just got to do things a lot of artists my age missed out on. I think that when all you know is fame, lights camera, action, you can’t relate to the real world. Me, I never wanted to have that problem…you can’t buy time back.
Loving & Staying True to (R&B) Music: I love it so much it makes me sick. I think that’s what I was blessed and born to do…It’s opened so many other doors, I have my Sammie Youth Foundation where I go to inner city schools to talk to kids about the importance of extracurricular activities, stress the importance of education…I love music, it’s the universal language. I can’t leave the root and basis of who I am…R&B can’t die. I’m a Marvin Gaye fan, I’m a Stevie Wonder fan, I love Al Green, Temptations. I was brought up in the church, so I’m all about impacting your life and singing passionately, and substance is necessary, so I can’t leave. I don’t do it for [fame], I love music.
Advice for New Artists: Other people have motives that they don’t showcase. They’ll sell you a dream, but their motives are everything but that. The people that you pass going up are the people you’ll meet coming down. You can’t be at the top forever. I think that your relationships and your reputation will determine how far you’ll go.
Shout Outs: Dallas Austin changed my life. He took me from the hood in Miami and opened my eyes to New York, LA, overseas, I’ve seen the world. He’s not one dimensional. I learned to not just make money by doing music. As an entrepreneur, I took that from Dallas. Brian Michael Cox was a dream come true to work with him, I think he’s an amazing producer. Then Troy Taylor, he’s like a mentor, a father….I think we’re in a time where you need to evolve or evaporate, that’s something he’s been able to do very well. So I take from all these people.
Next on the List: I’m putting together a tour…feel like that’s the best way to touch my fans is being in an intimate setting, bring my songs to life. Also going in the studio to finish up my third album. It was titled “Coming of Age,” but I’ve been through so much throughout this process with label changes and management changes, I feel like I AM of age now, no longer “coming.” And weighing my options, with what label situation I wanna partake in to distribute my project.
Contributions from Lea Brown and Gary Gentles