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Gerald: Sam I am what's up girl? I remember when you were starting #SammyApproved from scratch, it's so cool to see how far you have come.
Sammy: Hey whats up G! Thank you for choosing me for this platform. Love what you're doing!
G: What made you start this media outlet and how has the feedback been from followers?
S: I honestly started the platform as a portfolio to get a job in my field. However, people were very receptive to it early on so I decided to continue sharing my views and opinions on music that I naturally "approve" of. People are engaged with the content, and I believe I will increase engagement 10x once the website is redesigned later this month to celebrate growth with my 2 year Blog-A-Versary!
G: What was your initial goal with SammyApproved? What separates you from the next news outlet ?
S: Like I mentioned earlier, the initial goal was to simply have all of my work living in one place online. People were impressed with the launch and consistency after the release of my outlet and the growth was honestly a little overwhelming to begin with. Let's just say my goals quickly changed. I believe Sammy Approved differs from other news outlets, because we're not a news outlet at all actually. We simply want to share our views on independent and mainstream music in the industry while exposing creative talents that might not otherwise get a mention from top blogs and magazines. We understand the true culture of music and have established a sense of influence in music and entertainment to where people want to know what it is we're stamping next in popular culture.
G: What's the goal in 2017 with SammyApproved, what can music lovers look forward to?
S: The goal is creating an opportunity for other writers to express themselves creatively without the typical editorial structure. The goal is to give young creatives an opportunity to grow with the brand as we transition into a new website, more events and continuing to service our community through our initiative "Throw It In The Bag" which works to help feed and provide resources to those individuals in need. So look out for editorial, social media and editor positions soon.
G: Whenever a new Gucci album comes out, I have a few people I automatically hit up, your one of them lol. What's this thing about trap music that you love? You and I don't sell dope, but what can you say about trap music that would convince your grandparents to listen or a 40 year old white man lol? Who do you think you'll have more success with? Lol
S: Trap music is apart of my culture being from Atlanta. It's something about the production and specifically with Uncle Guwop, he's capable of bringing anyone in his world whether you've lived in the world of trap or not. You just somehow understand and can imagine what it feels like to live the life. I have never sold drugs and I don't commend anyone for it, but I respect people sharing their story, and I have friends from all different backgrounds so it's not anything I have never seen before.
I would never convince my grandparents to listen to this sort of music. I could easily convince an older white man to listen, because I believe white people simply want to relate to our culture. So, a 40 year old white man would be a bit more interested in listening than my grandparent. On the flip side, I enjoy learning about classic music that my grandparents listened to and always have conversations with older people about what they listen to. Have to learn to keep an open mind!
G: Now that Gucci is back, Migos are getting bigger, how do you feel this will impact the Atlanta music scene?
S: The truth is regardless of if Gucci or the Migos were here or not, Atlanta music isn't going anywhere. We're one of the first markets most artists try to tackle when promoting their music, because this is where music lives. Like it or not, you have to get your record spinning at our radio stations, in our strip clubs and in our night clubs. That's just the way it is and it won't go anywhere.
G: Was music always a outlet for you? When you were younger did you have aspirations to be musician?
S: Music has always been an outlet for me. Writing and music were two of the things in my life that remained consistent since I was a child. I love those two things most because they are both universal. You can go anywhere and play a Beethoven classic or Migos "Bad and Boujee" and it will resonate with each individual somehow regardless of if you speak the same language. I never had aspirations of being an artist, but I've been a musician since the 4th grade picking up my very first instrument - the clarinet. Then, moving onto french horn in marching band later on in high school. I have written songs with my sister since I was a child, and may have hopes of getting back into songwriting when I find the right inspiration.
G: It's never easy starting something from
Scratch, what is the driving force in your life and have do you keep pushing forward defeating each day?
S: The driving force in my life is the passion I have for what I do. I know that if I remain consistent toward my goals, I can do what it is I am most passionate about everyday. I see how possible it is by continuing to be consistent and persistent in defeating each day. I believe in order to defeat each day you must plan it out and write it down and speak it into existence. That has been written as early as biblical times, and I'm sad I just realized what it takes to make it happen. But it really is that easy. Plan it out, write it down and speak it into existence.
Interviewed by Gerald Jackson