It’s the third time around for R&B singer Sammie, but it’s feeling more like a well-seasoned first. Although the former child star’s new single “Gettin’ Em” featuring ATL’s 2 Chainz is a lot more edgier than his squeaky clean gold-selling 1999 single “I Like It.” It feels like a natural evolution for the star who came of age during a self-imposed hiatus.
“Every time I come out it’s a new me," Sammie says. "I have facial hair now and 16 tattoos. I’m just living and talking about things that a 24-year-old young man is more than likely concerned about. So I don’t have to walk around and say ‘Oh I’m grown now.’ I don’t have to put on this front. I’m just me and I think that in the process of doing that my fans grew up with me.”
Since the March 2000 release of his debut album, From the Bottom to the Top, Sammie has had his fair share of growing pains off stage. After dealing with problems with his management, the then 13-year-old singer decided that it was in his best interest to retreat from the scene and finish high school. With his comeback album, the commercially unsuccessful Sammie in 2006, the singer was hit with the harsh reality that cracking the music business would never be as easy as the first time around. The Florida-born crooner returned to the studio to revise his strategy and in the interim produced two mixtapes, a No. 1 hit single “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” with Soulja Boy and an EP, It’s Time.
Right on time, Sammie had a chance meeting with Troy Taylor, owner of the production company Songbook Entertainment and mentor to Trey Songz, whom Taylor helped to get his career off the ground. Over the years, Troy has worked with the likes of B2K, Ginuwine, Tyrese, Boyz II Men, The Isley Brothers, Johnta Austin, Johnny Gill and more, but the talented music man specializes in developing raw talent. Under Taylor’s tutelage, Sam has been working on his own personal sound and technical skills, by focusing on songwriting and even taking piano lessons.
“In this ‘break’ I’ve just been in the gym making sure my mind has been aligned with my body as well as my spirit and working on my songwriting because I feel like I’m a lot more than just an artist as far as vocally and as a performer,” he says. “I just wanted to grow in my content and lyrically...and do something out of the norm. Everyone knows me for the ballads and the love songs. So I just wanted to swag it out and kind of show that I could have a little edge as well as the lovable side.”
The new single “Gettin Em,” a clear departure from Sammie’s typical love ballads, is a prime example of this new approach. The uptempo club banger is hard-hitting and catchy but manages to capture the singer’s vocal capabilities as well as any ballad could. As far as the change up goes, Sammie isn’t concerned about how he’ll be received because he’s just doing him.
“I think with music this is where artists kind of lose themselves and their fans,” he says. “I just feel it. I don’t do too much thinking about what people are going to think. If they’re going to keep me in this cubicle of being this young star.... My music will exude my age and my sound in the content will all tell the story."