I was recently interviewed for the blog “Life.Tech.Music,” which became the first post for a series called “Chicks that Don’t Suck!” Check out the full interview here but I’ve posted some of the highlights:
Fatboi Fre$h: What initially got you into the Hip hop lifestyle?
SAMMUS: Growing up in Upstate NY I wasn’t really into Hip-hop as a kid. I grew up listening to Radiohead, Daft Punk, Weezer, Green Day, Nirvana and Bob Marley. I started getting into Hip-hop in high school after some of my friends encouraged me to listen to rap music that wasn’t on the radio like Talib Kweli and Mos Def. Around that same time I began listening to Pharrell because he represented a new era of alternative black expression (via skateboarding for example) and I really enjoyed his production because it reminded me a lot of video game music. What really changed my life was when Kanye West released College Dropout, my senior year of high school because it made me realize that even though I didn’t know anything about drugs, pimpin’ or the other things that the media had tried to convince me was representative of Hip-hop and blackness, I could still be a part of the conversation that is rap music. I could talk about issues that I encountered as a well-educated black girl from Upstate NY, with my blackness still intact. I had always had a guard up with Hip-hop because I felt like it was calling me out for not being black enough since I hadn’t experienced and couldn’t relate to so much of what was being said. After hearing Kanye and Pharrell, I let my guard down and began immersing myself in all kinds of Hip-hop from the ratchet to the “conscious.
Fatboi Fre$h: What software/equipment do you use?
SAMMUS: The only thing I use is Logic Express. I used to use GarageBand because it was free and before that I used Reason. I’d really like to start using some serious hardware soon and also start messing with Ableton Live because a few of my favorite producers swear by that program.
Fatboi Fre$h: Wow you seem like the coolest girl EVER!!!! Any nerds proposed to you yet?
SAMMUS: HAHA at coolest girl ever! A few nerds have made some passes, one has wifed me up, but no proposals under my belt just yet lol!
Fatboi Fre$h: I find your love for creating video game beats very interesting yet I’m surprised that you haven’t mentioned Haruomi Hosono, he made an album where he used sounds from Namco video games in the 70′s have you heard of him?
SAMMUS: I have actually heard of Hosono, but I just learned about him this year. I’m in grad school right now and one of my friends who’s studying Japanese Hip-Hop introduced me to Yellow Magic Orchestra after he found out that I love video game music. I had a brief period of time this year (several weeks lol) where I listened to YMO religiously and watched all their music videos every day. Awesome that you brought him up, you clearly know your shit!