SoloSam Is All About the Come Up

 Photos by  Michael Salisbury

Essential Listens

“Fast cars, fast life, I ain’t really worried about it”. Solosam’s music moves quickly, spitting circles around all listeners.  But you won’t catch him speeding through the bumps in the road. Sam’s philosophy is one based on consistent releases, performances, discipline. If his music is progressing at breakneck speed, it’s because he’s taken the opposite approach to laying his foundation - slow and steady win the race.

It starts with the songwriting itself. Spitting about himself in his baritone, at first you’ll hear braggadocio but dig deeper and find the humility of an artist who values hard work over material success. As he puts it on "The Comeup", "Play my position like the whole game / I ain't worried about the scoreboard / I'm gonna hit it good like a trap dealer  / when he goes to break open the floorboard“. The end result may look fast, but the process was un-glamorous, nothing but blood, sweat and tears.

Solosam raps with an ear for the past and the future.  He’s a lyricist without many “ayes” in his vocabulary, but recognizes the need to get creative with songwriting in 2018 (see the rolling flow of "Hysteria"). Given that balancing act, the development of Solosam’s sound has been a painstaking process. Nailing down his aesthetic , an ear for the old-school without crossing into overt nostalgia, keeping it modern, and staying entirely Solosam. “Creating not what other people would like to hear, but what I like to hear and what other people connect with. Once you find that mutual balance, you can find what makes you, you.”

Sam credits his support system for pushing him creatively when he felt torn in two different directions, stuck in neutral. “It got to a point where I had a writer’s block. Everything I was recording was hit or miss. Take 5 songs, 3 of them are Solosam songs and 2 of them are ‘you’re rapping dope on that song’ but it wasn’t cohesive.” Encouragement from friends like BanksTheGenius helped him emerge through the fog. “It’s different when you have a friend who supports you in the sense of ‘your music’s dope, I’ll play it, I’ll come to your show, vs someone who says ‘I think you could have done this better, when’s your next release, you gotta keep your momentum going.’ People who act as bumpers in life...they keep pushing you. I think a support system is the only way you can really be successful.” Leaning on your friends isn’t the glamorous answer, but it’s true is universal.


Therefore, the name Solosam is easily misunderstood. It’s not an “I don’t fuck with you” or “I do this on my own”. It’s about the music he wants to create, valuing his experience over the preferences or trends of others. The goal is self-expression, not imitation. This theme is touched on in the new project he’s working on, Egocentrism.  "Egocentrism is another project I’m working on, and that's more about understanding self. Self love, self expression. Embracing individuality. Solosam doesn’t mean I’m by myself all the time, I don’t need anybody.  It’s more that I’ve found a support system in the singular self that I am.”

With every release, he gets closer and closer to actualizing his creative nirvana, exemplified by his two most recent tracks, “The Come up” and “Fast”. “The Come Up” is that amazing combination of old and new, utilizing steamy, industrial production with that and endless bars in which Solosam bares the naked truth of his rise. “Fast” accomplishes something similar, filled with a with a loop of neverending saxophone. Solosam pulls the rug out from under us, what at first listen hits you as an ambitious lifestyle record. But in actuality, he's looking for the simple things that make him happy. 

It's no surprise then that his music is a breath of fresh air. “I’m making this not something that I do as just what I’m passionate about, but what my life is consumed with. Eliminating anything that doesn’t consume music in my life, I want music to be the priority. So many people get caught up in the material and financial…I want this to be the focal point of my life. Music is to me as air is to me.” It's with that same autonomic inevitability that you see success on the way to SoloSam.  Fast or slow, it's coming..