If a story starts with “Alright, so boom,” you know it’s about to be a good one. That’s the vibe of our brand-new podcast of the same name, hosted by Nzinga Imani, Rae Holliday and Janeé Bolden. Digging into the origin stories of celebs is kind of our thing, and every week, we’ll go into all the behind-the-scenes details about your faves.
This week, we’re talking to R&B singer and songwriter Sammie, who opens up about the highs and lows of his nearly 25-year (!) career, his time in and out of the spotlight and the lessons he’s learned along the way. The now 36-year-old artist was still a seventh grade student at a Fort Lauderdale middle school in 1999 when he first popped up on the public’s radar. During a holiday break, Video Music Box played his music video for his now-famous single, “I Like It.” By the time he got back to school, his classmates were asking him if he was the same Sammie they saw on television.
The singer’s journey through the music industry showed him exactly why it’s one of the toughest businesses to be in. As Sammie details, maintaining his success and stability over the years was a fight. Sometimes you put trust in people who didn’t have your best interests in mind, and you have to start over. Other times, you’re getting money, but you’re using it to invest back into your career—and you’re doing it as an independent artist. If you ask him, his success didn’t come at the turn of the millennium. “It just happened, like, six years ago,” he says, speaking of the time things started to look up for him.
Sammie credits a strong code of ethics, dedication to the grind and his faith for bringing him through those times. He also shouts out the people who supported him then. One such person is R&B singer Lloyd, who Sammie considers a brother. The “You” singer played a key role in Sammie’s decision to join the Millennium Tour in 2020. “It changed my life and career,” he shares.
These days, Sammie’s enjoying the fruits that came from years of grinding and building upon it for the future. He rode the virality of his performance as the opening act for the June 2022 Verzuz along with Ray J, Bobby V and Pleasure P. The four teamed up to create R.S.V.P., and perform together in a show that Sammie says is a bit more structured than their perfectly chaotic moment at Verzuz. “In our dysfunction, there’s beauty and magic there,” he says. “When you come to a show, expect Verzuz with much better singing.” Suffice it to say—it sounds like he’s having a lot of fun.
Check out the episode to hear Sammie go in depth about his journey in the music industry, and be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode.