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SAMOHT | GET TO KNOW THE GENRE BENDING R&B SINGER

February 17, 2020

Read the full interview on Flaunt.com!

SAMOHT is an entire mood, no matter where you are. His music arrives as a breath of fresh air in the R&B realm, a combination of blues and soul with a unique voice that can hit notes both high and low. The beats are hypnotizing, the production is bass-heavy, and the instrumentation is beautiful.

Born into North Carolina but moving to Brooklyn, New York, the singer-songwriter describes himself as “a spiritual being having a human experience.” One listen of his newest album Exit, you’re immediately entranced into what this musical entity has to offer. Not to mention, he’s been killing it independently. His fan base grows as each week passes, reaching engagement numbers in the millions across all social media platforms.

Having a number of accomplishments under his belt — singing the Brandy tribute at the 2019 BMI Awards, featured on John P Kee’s album I Made It Out, and featured on TERRELL’s Song Association twice — nothing brings him more joy than the live shows he shuts down all across the States.

From the performing living room to selling out venues, the “Moving On” recording artist continues to bless the world with his energy. We caught up with SAMOHT in his few days in Los Angeles to discuss his upbringing, love for Kid Cudi, remaining independent, and collaborating with Luke James!

You’re originally from North Carolina? 

North Carolina, yep. I moved to New York. Just recently moved to Charlotte from New York after living there for 9 years. Well I’m from this little town named Wilson, North Carolina, so I moved to the city. I’m never there really. I’m everywhere.

Growing up in New York, what were you seeing?

A lot. Everything is times 10 in NY, so it took me some time to adapt to so much coming at me at one time. I needed that grit. The grit was already in me, but New York brought it out of me — in a positive way actually.

Photographed by  Andrew Morales .

Photographed by Andrew Morales.

SAMOHT is an entire mood, no matter where you are. His music arrives as a breath of fresh air in the R&B realm, a combination of blues and soul with a unique voice that can hit notes both high and low. The beats are hypnotizing, the production is bass-heavy, and the instrumentation is beautiful.

Born into North Carolina but moving to Brooklyn, New York, the singer-songwriter describes himself as “a spiritual being having a human experience.” One listen of his newest album Exit, you’re immediately entranced into what this musical entity has to offer. Not to mention, he’s been killing it independently. His fan base grows as each week passes, reaching engagement numbers in the millions across all social media platforms.

Having a number of accomplishments under his belt — singing the Brandy tribute at the 2019 BMI Awards, featured on John P Kee’s album I Made It Out, and featured on TERRELL’s Song Association twice — nothing brings him more joy than the live shows he shuts down all across the States.

From the performing living room to selling out venues, the “Moving On” recording artist continues to bless the world with his energy. We caught up with SAMOHT in his few days in Los Angeles to discuss his upbringing, love for Kid Cudi, remaining independent, and collaborating with Luke James!

You’re originally from North Carolina? 

North Carolina, yep. I moved to New York. Just recently moved to Charlotte from New York after living there for 9 years. Well I’m from this little town named Wilson, North Carolina, so I moved to the city. I’m never there really. I’m everywhere.

Growing up in New York, what were you seeing?

A lot. Everything is times 10 in NY, so it took me some time to adapt to so much coming at me at one time. I needed that grit. The grit was already in me, but New York brought it out of me — in a positive way actually.

You say you made it out the hood in “Yellow Diamonds,” what were those childhood days like? 

The projects. It wasn’t all bad in the projects, it was the culture and the hunger of the people. It’s different because they don’t have much and that’s all they know. Everything is a dream.

What did you see, hear, aspire to be? 

I was seeing a lot of violence, like most hood neighborhoods. I seen people get shot at. I’ve been shot at before. I was going through a cornfield, this guy came out and shot at me and my friend. But I ran in the woods.

You weren’t doing anything… ?

Nah, me and my homeboy were walking on one of those country roads [chuckles], We’re walking near a potato plant but we got to this corn crop spot, some dude came out and just shot their gun right in our direction. And he’s an adult, I was so confused! Because I was used to adults protecting kids.

Was it traumatizing to you?

No, I just knew to run and ride. Because I’ve seen people get shot at before.

So you weren’t in the streets, what were you doing to stay occupied? 

My mom played the organ at our own church, so I was at church for a lot of rehearsals. School kept me occupied, activities at school. I wanted to be in Boy Scouts and take swimming lessons, but we didn’t have the money. So I did a lot of playing with my sister and singing in my room a lot, just making stuff.

How did Kid Cudi influence your life/music?

I love Kid Cudi. He came out with Man on the Moon, I was still living in the projects. It was right before I decided to move to New York. I watched the DVD to that CD probably a hundred thousand times. Because we didn’t have cable, but we had a DVD player. He was doing something so different sound-wise that allowed me to be free to experience and go with what I felt on the inside. Not feel so boxed in just because I’m a Southern guy. People just think I do soul music.

When did you realize the music thing was for real? 

It wasn’t something that I did success-wise that made me feel it was for real. It was an experience: when I saw my grandma singing at the church, she was shaking her head. For the first time, I felt what she was feeling. I’m thinking “what is that thing? I want to feel that some more.” I started searching and I developed a liking for singing.

Where is your name from?

I came up with the name SAMOHT because someone else had my original name, which I won’t say. But I asked my mom for her blessing, she said “yeah go for it.”

Why did you name your album Exit?

Because I wanted to get the hell out of where I was mentally. I wanted to close the chapter and move forward. Not only me but also the people listening to the music, there was a shift that happened. There was a door that opened for us to exit out of, and also enter into a new place.

Did that have anything to do with you getting out of New York?

You know what, for the first time… I never thought about it like that. New York isn’t bad or anything, I love New York. I love Utica Ave, that was my stop on the A train. But I had to become okay with things ending. That was the process of Exit, being okay with things ending and something new being birthed.

Being independent, how’d you get your name out there and gaining a following? 

I started releasing covers on SoundCloud. But I wasn’t singing the actual lyrics of the artists, I was taking the track and writing my own lyrics. It started there. I remembered when it’d literally only get 10 plays, that’s the only way I knew how to release music. From there, I just kept doing it until one day people were saying things like “this dude can sing.” I’m like, “I’ve been doing the same type of singing all my life.” Then I released my album MXXN WAVE. I don’t know who told anybody, but everybody listened to it. I was shocked. I’m grateful.

You’re very versatile, Exit has so many layers to it. How would you describe your sound?

It is definitely like New York. It’s a melting pot, but the cadence is still gritty and soulful. That’s the foundation of everything. I’ll always keep that because it’s home for me, but I love all different types of genres of music. There’s something in each genre that has some of the same frequencies. The high or the peak when people are shouting in church, that same moment is delivered in a heavy metal band shaking their heads, like I know they need Tylenol after. That type of feeling, I get that listening to Future. The same feeling I get when a preacher is hootin’ and hollerin’.

“Moving On” is such a vibe. What were you going through when you recorded that? 

I was trying to move on, that’s why I wrote it. The mental state that I was in… people were like a drug of mine. Most people are usually addicted to other types of drugs, but people were my drug because I wanted to please people. I wanted acceptance. If I was rejected by anybody, especially relationships, I’d feel super low. I wanted to find out why do I feel like that? And deal with that so that I don’t feel low anymore if I am left. Nobody’s ever left really, they’re set free.

How’s tour been?

Fucking amazing. It’s a dream. Regardless of how hectic it is, being independent is a lot of work.

First headlining tour?

No, third. [brushes shoulders] I started out in living rooms. I used to do lives and invite random people to my house in Brooklyn.

You got a house in Brooklyn?

You know, that sounded good. But no, definitely had an apartment. I started out doing living room tours, then ended up getting actual venues.

How was the LA show?LA was amazing, I did The Sayers club. It’s a nice vibe in there. My fans came out, they shut the club down. Most of the time they say when there’s a performance there, everybody leaves. Nobody left. Not that it’s like “nobody left my show,” but grateful to know the energy that comes along with the music is so impactful to people that they wanted to experience this.

Loved seeing you on Luke James’ project. What’s your guys‘ relationship? 

Luke James owes me money. No [laughs]. He’ll look at me with a side eye if he heard that. He’s real cool. Luke James has actually inspired me to be my nice self. Not that I’m an asshole, but I met him a few years ago and the same guy he was then, is the same guy now. Just advanced and enhanced as an artist. Good dude.

How did you guys meet? Instagram?

Yeah, but I met him before. I was working a job and he was the artist of that day.

What are some goals for yourself at this point of your career? 

Better lighting at shows. I guess in a sense, I’d be considered a selfish artist. I’d perform with the lights, the fire, and the smoke if it was just me singing to the air. A big part of me would be pleased because I love aesthetics. I like when the aesthetic is A1, but I also want to give that to the fans through the music.

Do you plan on staying independent?

God’s will. Whatever God’s will is. I do know if I sign anything, it’ll be for the advancement for myself and the people that I work with. I’d need full creative control, be able to drop the albums and EPs when I want. Saying that real strong, just letting everybody know: I’m controlling and I’m a Virgo.

Anything else you want us to know?

More dope art, more soul, and more shows.

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