Sammie: The Comeback Kid
At the age of 22, R&B singer, Sammie, is already an industry veteran. By age 12, he was signed to Atlanta producer/songwriter Dallas Austin’s Freeworld Entertainment label under the Capitol Records umbrella. His debut album produced two hits, “I Like It” and “Crazy Things I Do.”
Then Sammie did the unthinkable and stepped away from the scene to focus on having a “normal life,” just as he was reaching the heights of success. It was a risky but brave decision and in the long run it seems to have paid off since Sammie comes across as one of the more grounded and humble artists on the scene. After a successful comeback in 2006, he is now fully back with another wide open window of opportunity to shoot into the stratosphere of success. His smooth vocals helped catapult Soulja Boy’s hit single, “Kiss Me Thru the Phone,” to #1 status in the country in 2009. As Sammie prepares for his forthcoming album release Coming of Age, he spoke with JimmyJazz.com about growing up in the hood, taking on the responsibility of being a man of the house, learning to take control of his own destiny, and more.
JimmyJazz.com: You come from a single parent household and with your success at age 12 you helped support the family. So how did it feel to be the man of the house at such a young age?
Sammie: It’s nothing negative, it was all positive. I was around the world making thousands of dollars at 12 and contributing to getting the house fixed and new trucks. So at that time I didn’t realize that was me. I didn’t understand I was providing for my family and that Christmas gifts were things Sammie contributed to. So it’s funny, now at 22 I can look back and say I was the man of the house since 12.
JimmyJazz.com: Is it the same situation now or are your siblings old enough to contribute as well?
Sammie: My mom is still working and my sister is about to get her first job, but as the oldest child I want to help my mom and little siblings as much as possible. I was raised in a family oriented home and that’s my job—to contribute as much as I can to make their lives as comfortable as possible.
JimmyJazz.com: Often the responsibility of being the man of the house is one that the father takes on. So was your dad ever insecure of the fact that you at 12, were helping to support your family?
Sammie: My father was very supportive. Parents always wish for their child to be the best at whatever they do and that was him. So to my knowledge he never once in his life showed any insecurity or animosity on his behalf of me being a star and providing for my family. I’m still a reflection of my pops so I’m his baby boy and he will never look at me negatively ‘cause I’m living my dream and making money doing it.
JimmyJazz.com: The new album is called Coming of Age, which is a big maturation period in one’s life. So what is your state of mind now as you are becoming a man?
Sammie: My thoughts are whatever choices you make in life—being able to deal with the circumstances and repercussions of those decisions. In this business being your own boss is important. When I say that it is not an ego behind that statement it is really just knowing your business, knowing your paper work, and having a relationship with your attorney. If things don’t go right this time around put the blame on Sammie ‘cause now I am the source of my situation. I am the glue to my foundation so only I can mess myself up. So growing up you go through things you can’t control or don’t understand but you have to make a decision. My decision is to be more responsible and involved in every aspect of my life.
JimmyJazz.com: What are you still struggling to understand about life?
Sammie: I’m not a foul person and I am very giving. So when bad things come your way you sometimes ask, ‘Why me? I didn’t do anything to deserve this bad thing.’ That statement may very well be true but I look at things now as a test and a testimony to Sammie’s story. So everything I go through good or bad I welcome with open arms ‘cause you can’t control it. So I don’t dwell on things anymore. I am so carefree and about having fun and smiling and still finding joy. I learned at 22 that anybody can be happy but it is situational. If I go platinum then I’m happy. If I got millions of dollars then I’m happy. But if I don't does that mean I'm not happy? So you can find joy in any place if you're rich, broke, or whatever. So I’m finding joy in all aspects of my life.