1. When and how did you decide to become SamyO? Any fun anecdote about your debut as an artist?
Well to be honest, the name started out as "Serious Sam" from a friend of mine since we always use to rap outside of school, playing hackysack. But once the end of Freshman year of high school came around, a friend of mine said my name twice as fast which is "Samuel" but it continued to sound like "sam yo" ! I liked how it sounded, so I just started calling myself "SamyO" and the rest is history.
2. If I borrowed your iPod right now, what artists would I find in the recenlty played list? Are they your main influences?
My music library ranges more than the average person. Started off with rock, then listened to rap, then started listening to everything and not restricting myself to any type of music like All Time Low, Cartel, Forever the Sickest Kids to Eminem, Drake, Kanye West, and Mac Miller. My main influences right now are Mac Miller, Hopsin, Ludacris, Snow Tha Product, & Neyo.
My library ranges more than the average person
3. Where does your inspiration come from and which one of your song best represents who you are as a person and an artist?
My inspiration started at a young age. I got into poetry the day I heard Eminem's "Toy Soldiers" on a school trip. Within the song he says a syllable on every drum-snare, which made me interested into how he was so talented at doing so. I started writing my own songs, not recording, just writing and rhyming words together. I would do so much writing all the way until about sophomore year in high school, beginning to show my friends. But everyone wasn't supporting my rapping as much as I wanted them to.
My one friend though had given me so much support, and we would just make random songs on paper all the time. As for my best ideas, they tend to come around when I'm going through a stubble, or simply just an event in time for me that makes me think twice, which tends to be a lot of the time. The lyrics I write always have to have a meaning or need to tell a story, even if I'm just showing I'm having a good time.
4. You just released your album “New Single” on Jamendo. Are there any particular messages you are aiming to convey through this album?
This album (still developing) is just to be an album where I can explain who I am, but still have a good time doing it. This album I have no intention to rush on when making the rest of the songs, this is to be made as time goes on for the next couple of months. The messages I'm trying to state is simply don't fit in with what everyone else is doing, make your own moves instead what's wanted by everyone else. I grew up always having to keep up with what's new, what's cool, what's consider "in." At a young age though, I began to realize what's the point if you're just doing it to impress people that are just doing the same thing as you are. If you don't fit in, oh well. If you get made fun of, oh well. If what you do is considered weird, oh well. Just do what makes you happy, but keep a level head ya know? Like I say in the song "this is my time.." and I don't see anything stopping me.
5. Where did you learn how to rap? Any mentor?
Rapping honestly just started to happen, once I started writing I started to practice saying it out loud and the rapping started to begin. As for some sort of mentor as how was to sound, I would just listen to rappers. Mostly I would listen to Eminem, Ludacris, & Hollywood Undead. As time continued, I just practiced on how I wanted to sound when saying certain words. I still work on it today as I make music, it's a continuous learning process.
Don't do what everyone else is doing, make your own moves instead.
If you don't fit in, oh well.
6. You got surprised by Nessa and the MTV team who offered you tickets for the MTV music awards as well as the chance to buy new music equipment. Could you tell us more about that experience? Did it have an impact on you as an artist ?
Well when first called by MTV and asking to get interviewed, I was very skeptical if it was real or not. Even though I was having many conversations and emails, I still was on the fence to how real it was. Especially when I finally got picked up, I was still a bit worried as to if it was really MTV picking me up, though I was in a mini limo, it was still so different. But the moment I appeared in New York, cameras appeared on me so I became more comfortable. And once the interview began and Nessa came in to surprise me, I realized at that point how real everything had just become. The whole experience after that showed me how anything is really possible. Ever since that day, my set goal on making it somewhere in music has went from a dream to making it a reality.
7. You are currently a Montclair State University graphic design student and you said “Music is my dream and I want to become a known artist”. What are you planning to do if you make it big?
There's no if, I got this! ha, but well the plan is to go on tour, have a record deal. Basically be an known artist in the industry. I do however want to finish getting my degree at college, but at the same time I want to just start moving on with the music career. It's a pretty tight spot right now, and until I get a call like "Hey, this is so and so record company and we'd like to have a meeting with you about a record deal" I'm not exactly going to debate what step to take this very moment. As of now, just finishing classes, recording music in my room, and seeing where it takes me.
8. You chose to share your music for free under Creative Commons licenses on Jamendo. Why did you make this decision?
Mainly because the instrumentals used are from producers that allow the use of their music to be for free purposes. Basically since I don't pay for the beats, I'm not allowed to make profit off of them, which I don't. I simply just let the people hear the music on free services and let the music be shared at will. The producers are always enjoying what I make and share the music most of the time. People have to realize these days, to get known you can't be worried about making money. I mean, once a record deal is placed or something, then yeah, I wouldn't mind finally making money for my work. But as of right now, why worry about it so much? I want people to just get to know who I am, hear the music without having the struggle to pay for it. Besides, everyone downloads music for free anyways, even when it's not supposed to be.
9. Do you have a fun anecdote that your fans don’t know about and would be surprised to hear?
I have a lot of things I could mention that would surprise the fans, but one of the coolest ones is my recent encounter with Disney. I actually had to work there for 6 months for an internship I did for school. I actually have TONS of video blogs on it and my adventures on youtube for the world to see if you need where to search. Imagine having fun for 6 months and getting paid for it while having Mickey Mouse as your boss. Exactly, you can't beat that!
If I had to ask a question, I'd ask what movie would I want to be in? And to answer that, Back To The Future would be my movie.. it's forever my all time favorite! I wouldn't mind going back to 1955 !