Samuel Omotere (Sammy VOA), a fast-rising Nigerian-born music sensation in the United States of America, shared his music experience with OLAWALE OLANIYAN. Among other issues, he revealed his plan to have collaborations with Wizkid and Burna Boy. Excerpts:
I’m a native of Ondo State. I come from a family of three and I’m the first. I had a little part of my secondary education in Nigeria then later finished it in Belgium, before moving to the USA. I went to Georgia State University in Atlanta.
As a Nigerian artiste doing entertainment in the US, in what ways do you think entertainment in both countries are similar and different?
There are lots of similarities. My sound appeals to everybody both in Africa, in the diaspora and to non-Africans. When it comes to the difference, I don’t really think there is any major difference. Afrobeats is now global.
Which song do you think put the spotlight on you and how did you get inspiration for that song?
That should be ‘Bad Gan’ which was produced by Bossbeatz. Initially, I was only a song writer and I wrote a song for a client, which he didn’t use. I drew the lyrics of that song from an actual incident that happened to me, so I adopted it for personal use. In college, there was this girl who lied to me that she didn’t have a boyfriend and that she had feelings for me. At the end of the semester, I realised she had a boyfriend. I didn’t feel like she played me though. The song was about that experience and it actually won me a lot of young fans. Even the older people were impressed. The massive acclaim really surprised me. People started sending me dance videos and all that.
Your recently released two singles. Tell us about them.
I am so excited about that. I was in the studio with my producer, Mtech, the whole day just listening to beats trying to create something meaningful but that was to no avail. So, we took a break and went out. When we came back, he played a key and I told him to keep repeating it. That was how the inspiration came.
How do you come up with your lyrics and beats?
Actually, that will be the first time I did not write any song before singing into the mic. It just came naturally while the beat was playing and I composed the vocals on the spot.
When and why did you leave Nigeria for the US?
It was after my mother passed away. My brothers and I were all alone then. My father did everything he could to get us there. He wanted a better life for us. That was what my mum also wanted for us.
Which musician(s) do you anticipate working with in Nigeria and beyond and why these people? Are there any with UK-based artistes?
I really want to work with Wizkid. I like his sound a lot. Also, there is Burna Boy and D’banj, my favorite artiste of all time. I don’t have any collaboration with any UK-based artiste yet.
Have you performed with any Nigerian entertainer in the US during their tours?
Yes. I opened up a lot of shows for Davido, Runtown, Sarkodie, Mayokun and Olamide. Shout out to Big Mike and Bisa Kdei.
Any plans to release another album anytime soon?
Yes, of course. I am working on that.
What can bring you to Nigeria at this stage of your career?
I want to share my story with them and let them know they all have a voice I want to represent. That’s where I’m from and I’m ready to bring that energy on stage and make them feel happy, regardless of what the country is going through. I’m all about positive vibes.
Finally, who inspires you and your advice to artistes?
I draw inspiration from my mother. She groomed me for a time like this, you know. She realised I could sing and she enrolled me in the church choir since I was nine years of age. My mother wished for me to be a musician. She always told me that. Shout out to all the great ones that have done it. They paved the way for people like me; 2Baba, 9ice, P-square, MI, D’banj, Banky W, Davido, Wizkid and others.